MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing major universities to consider altering the way they teach classes.

The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday that classes on all five campuses will go online when students come back from Spring Break next week.

“I think it’ll be a learning curve for everyone,” University of Minnesota junior Molly Hawkins said.  “I think everyone is trying to have a lot of grace.”

The University is one of many colleges across the country having to figure out what to do with thousands of students that live on campus or commute for class. The U’s announcement came hours after the University of Wisconsin-Madison canceled in-person classes.

WEB EXTRA: WCCO Coronavirus Resource Page

The University of St. Thomas in St Paul has contingency plans to move coursework online.

Harvard University in Boston will go online, and students have until Sunday to move out of their houses and first-year dorms. The University of Minnesota said residences will stay open.

“I also trust the university to make the best choices for the students for their best health and their best academic ways,” U of M student Jonathon Haller said.

Spring break will be extended on the U of M’s Twin Cities, Rochester, and Duluth campuses until Wednesday, March 18. That’s when students will resume classes online until at least April 1st.

There are currently no known COVID-19 cases at the University of Minnesota. President Joan Gabel said the move was a “precautionary measure”.

Kate Raddatz

Comments (4)