‘I’m washing my hands for at least 20 seconds, singing the Hail State song’; MS universities modify classes in response to coronavirus

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi’s eight public universities have modified the schedules for the spring semester classes due to the coronavirus.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are paramount,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “Our universities are modifying the schedules for the spring semester out of an abundance of caution.”

All eight universities, including Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi are observing Spring Break this week and will extend Spring Break an additional week.

Classes will resume the following week, on Monday, March 23, and will be taught online or other alternative instructional methods. Students are encouraged to remain at home and will participate in their classes remotely.

“The situation remains fluid and university plans are subject to change in response to new information and recommendations received,” said Rankins. “We continue to work with the Mississippi Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Response Planning Steering Committee and the Mississippi State Department of Health as we develop our plans for the coming weeks and months. Our goal is to mitigate the risks posed by the coronavirus while maintaining the quality and integrity of our instructional programs.”

Faculty, staff, students and their families should monitor their university’s website, official social media accounts and their email daily for updated information.

Belhaven University, which is not one of Mississippi’s public universities, also said it will extend spring break one week for traditional students, and convert all classes to an online/remote format beginning Monday, March 23.

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