Freshmen and sophomore students at Northwestern University cannot return to campus after all and will take classes remotely, the Chicago school announced late Friday.
The Chicago Tribune reports that until Friday’s announcement, Northwestern University officials planned for undergraduate students to return to campus. The university also is keeping fraternity and sorority houses shuttered during the fall semester.
“This is not a letter we wanted to write, but we are compelled to make several adjustments to our plans for undergraduate students this fall after consulting with Northwestern Medicine experts as well as state and local public health officials,” officials told students in an email.
Illinois health officials said Saturday that 1,880 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported and 11 more people have died of the virus.
Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported 231,363 cases of the coronavirus and 8,008 deaths. Statewide, 4 percent of new testing results have been positive for COVID-19 during the past seven days.
“As we mourn the family, friends and neighbors who have been taken too soon, let’s do our part to prevent more senseless tragedy,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “Wear a mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands. Every action counts.”
Northwestern students in their third and fourth years or in graduate and professional programs will be allowed on campus and can take classes remotely, in person or a mix of both.
The date for those students living in on-campus housing to move in is delayed until Sept. 12.
Universities around the country have struggled with plans for the fall semester as the coronavirus continues to spread. Early outbreaks forced some schools’ administrators to cancel in-person classes temporarily or for the fall semester.