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UCO extends spring break, prepares possible move online

The Old North building on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on April 20, 2015. [Oklahoman archives]
The Old North building on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on April 20, 2015. [Oklahoman archives]

EDMOND — Students at the University of Central Oklahoma will get an extra week of spring break this month as the school prepares preventative measures for the global pandemic COVID-19.

Faculty, staff and student employees will use the extra week, March 23-27, to lay the groundwork for a possible suspension of all in-person classes, according to a UCO announcement Wednesday.

Universities across the country, including the University of Tulsa, have moved all classes entirely online to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

TU announced Tuesday it would implement virtual instruction after a family member of a student was confirmed to have the disease. Oklahoma's only two confirmed COVID-19 cases are in Tulsa County.

Coronavirus in Oklahoma: What we know, latest updates

The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University said Tuesday they are considering canceling face-to-face classes on their Norman and Stillwater campuses. OSU is also mulling whether to go online-only for its Tulsa campus.

UCO asked faculty, staff and students to complete a preparedness assessment to help the university plan for potential remote teaching or alternative study methods. Students were instructed to bring class materials with them when they leave for spring break at the end of this week in case classes are moved online.

"The university will continue to monitor the situation and will make decisions about the reconvening of classes after the extension of spring break," UCO said in a statement.

UCO said all university-sponsored travel is canceled. Campus events that involve 100 or more participants must postpone, cancel or adjust until April 30.

The inauguration of UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar, which was planned for April 3, has been delayed until the fall.

Students, faculty and staff are asked to self-report where they will travel for spring break before leaving. This will allow UCO to determine who should be recommended for self-quarantine, depending on developments in particular areas.

Coronavirus in Oklahoma: What we know, latest updates

Nuria Martinez-Keel

Nuria Martinez-Keel joined The Oklahoman in 2019. She found a home at the newspaper while interning in summer 2016 and 2017. Nuria returned to The Oklahoman for a third time after working a year and a half at the Sedalia Democrat in Sedalia,... Read more ›