The spread of the new coronavirus is forcing more local colleges to move classroom lectures online.
Both Daemen and Villa Maria colleges made the announcement Thursday, following the same decision made by state colleges and universities the previous day.
Online instruction at both campuses will begin March 23, after spring break.
In a letter to the Daemen campus, President Gary A. Olson said the online instruction will continue “for the foreseeable future.” Olson also extended this week’s spring break through Friday, March 20.
“During this extended break, Daemen faculty will transition their coursework to an online format,” Olson wrote. “You will learn more details about this from the Office of Academic Affairs and individual faculty in the near future.”
Villa Maria President Matthew Giordano said the college plans to resume in-person classes on campus April 14, but officials are monitoring the situation and that may change.
Meanwhile, Medaille College – which is also on spring break this week – announced it, too, will extend its break through Friday, March 20. Medaille officials said the situation will continue to be monitored on a day-by-day basis in terms of any further decisions for the rest of the spring semester.
The shift to online instruction was ordered Wednesday at all 64 campuses of the State University of New York – including community colleges – in an attempt to try to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Daemen said as recently as Wednesday that it had no plans to make major changes to college operation, but that decision changed with the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reported in Monroe County.
“Daemen College will remain open, and the college’s campus operations will continue without interruption,” Olson said in the letter. “This includes administrative offices, as well as residence halls, campus dining, student academic support, health services, the college library and other college services.”
The Villa Maria campus also will remain open for staff to report to work as usual, Giordano said.