UPDATE: Southwestern University extends spring break, moves to distance learning due to coronavirus concerns

Southwestern University extends spring break amid coronavirus concerns March 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Southwestern University extends spring break amid coronavirus concerns March 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Southwestern University extends spring break amid coronavirus concerns March 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated 8:15 a.m. March 13

Southwestern University has extended its spring break a full second week due to coronavirus concerns, the university's website stated March 12.

Southwestern initially extended spring break by two days for students.

"In trying to protect both the welfare of the campus community and the ability of students to complete their spring coursework, and, in some cases, their degrees, in the face of COVID-19, we have been taking a step by step approach—taking one step and then evaluating before considering the next," it said.

Beginning March 30, classes will be taught through distance-learning avenues for at least two weeks ending April 9, due to the Good Friday holiday, it said. During that time, university officials will asses whether face-to-face on-campus learning can resume April 13, it said.


The university also announced it has suspended all athletic competitions, instructed all students studying abroad to return back to the U.S. but will not be allowed to return to campus until cleared to do so, canceled all summer study abroad programs, and canceled or reorganized all campus gatherings and events.

"Because the situation is fluid, we are discussing and assessing our operational plans every day. We will communicate as quickly as possible, any changes in the day-to-day operation of the campus," it said.

For more information on Southwestern distance learning, visit
www.southwestern.edu/emergency.

Earlier:

Southwestern University announced that it will extend its spring break, citing coronavirus concerns March 11.

The break will be extended by two days for students in an effort to better prepare the campus for any additional actions that need to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, the announcement said. The break will be March 16-24, it said. The extension does not apply to faculty.

"The university strongly recommends that all students remain off campus during the entirety of spring break," the announcement said. "There will be no classes or programming on campus during this period."

The university also stated that all food services will be closed during the break following dinner served March 13. Food services will begin again March 24, it said.


Southwestern said it will continue campus operations and university-sponsored domestic travel for students, faculty and staff for the time being, but will communicate if there are any changes to the decision. However, it did cancel summer abroad trips to Granada, Spain.

"The university will continue to monitor the factors surrounding other summer abroad programs and will make a decision about each one in the coming weeks," it said.


The university asked that if any member of the campus community feels sick during or after any travel, that they self-quarantine before returning to campus.
By Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Ochna Health Direct Primary Care relocated on April 5 to 1821 Westinghouse Road, Ste. 1190, Georgetown. (Courtesy Ochna Health)
Ochna Health Direct Primary Care relocates within Georgetown

The business offers telemedicine, laboratory services and prescription medication services.

Williamson County will close its mass-vaccination sites. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County commissioners to close mass-vaccination sites

The county judge expects to have everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the shot by May 21.

Georgetown ISD parents call for removal of mask mandate. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown ISD keeping mask mandate despite parents speaking out

The district is keeping its policy for safety, but some parents say masks have a negative effect on kids.

Georgetown ISD has completed four more projects of the 16 additional bond projects. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown ISD completes 4 more of 16 additional bond projects

The board approved the 16 additional projects in January.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.(Community Impact staff)
Nearly half of Williamson County is vaccinated, but positivity rate climbs again

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

GISD plans for in-person summer learning starting in June. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown ISD plans for in-person summer learning

Georgetown ISD is working on plans for in-person summer learning with a low teacher-to-student ratio.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

The Pushing for Justice Caravan for Javier Ambler was held in San Gabriel Park on Aug. 15. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Javier Ambler’s Law awaits Texas Senate approval

The bill passed the House on April 15.

Jack Allen's Kitchen will be at 1345 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. (Rendering courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
7 restaurants coming to Cedar Park, Leander; new murals to go up in Georgetown and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the Central Texas area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

See how Georgetown real estate fared in March. (Courtesy Austin Board of Realtors)
See how Georgetown real estate fared in March

The Central Texas real estate market continues to set housing records despite affordability growing pains, according to March Austin Board of Realtors data.