As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in New York, Cornell has announced that classes in Ithaca will move online after spring break to avoid further possible contact with the novel coronavirus.
According to the university, effective tomorrow, all in-person, non-essential Cornell events with 100 or more people in place both on- and off-campus, will be postponed, cancelled or offered online. The university's on-campus dining services is also eliminating all self-service options, and converting from china to disposable containers and utensils. They have also suspended use of reusable cups and mugs in dining halls.
Cornell professors have already been preparing for the possibility of class cancellations, according to The Cornell Daily Sun. Some professors are changing their attendance policies and trying out distance learning techniques.
The most popular substitute for in-class instruction is Zoom - online video conferencing software that allows professors to broadcast their lectures to students remotely.
Both Columbia and Fordham Universities have also canceled all classes and switched to virtual or online instruction.
This morning, New York State Department of Health reported that there were 173 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus throughout the state. There are 108 in Westchester County, 19 in Nassau County, 6 in Rockland County, 2 in Saratoga County, one each in Ulster County and Suffolk County. There are 36 confirmed cases in New York City.
The Tompkins county health department is investigating one person for a potential diagnosis. According to the health department, that person is currently in isolation and being tested.