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Arizona universities move classes online amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 17:19:22-04

PHOENIX — Universities across the state are taking precautions as concerns regarding the coronavirus continue to grow.

LIST: Valley schools announcing closures amid coronavirus concerns

Since Governor Ducey's public health emergency declaration Wednesday, officials at public and private universities in Arizona have been releasing their plans to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect students and faculty.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus news, prevention tips, more

Take a look below for the latest plans announced by each university.


UPDATE - On Monday, President Michael Crow announced that all classes will remain online through the rest of the spring semester. Take a look at the full statement below:

Officials say the university remains open. University housing, computer labs, food service, health clinics, counseling services, research labs and all other aspects of the university remain open.

On Friday, ASU issued a new release with a series of updates. Among them, all events "not directly related to the educational or research mission of the university" over the next 30 days are canceled; students and employees who have traveled to Lever 3 or high-risk areas, such as cruise ships, airplanes, or areas with COVID-19 outbreaks, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Read more.


Effective Monday, March 23, NAU will transition classes to online instruction for at least two weeks, at which time we will re-evaluate and provide direction for the remainder of the semester.

"As communicated yesterday [Wednesday], the outbreak of COVID-19 is fluid and continues to warrant the attention and flexibility of each of us as we work together to keep our students, faculty, staff, and communities safe and healthy. As students prepare for spring break, we are implementing a number of measures to ensure we continue to deliver the high-quality education our students need to keep them on track for graduation, as well as focus on the health and safety of our NAU community."


On Wednesday night, UArizona President Robert C. Robbins announced the university will delay the start of classes to March 18 and will move to online instruction wherever possible.

  • Residence halls, recreational facilities, food services and Campus Health are open now and will remain open.
  • Classes will continue in online mode until Monday, April 6, at which time the University will assess its operational status.
  • All public events will continue, with the exception of the Bear Down Music Fest, unless otherwise announced.


On Thursday, a spokesperson for Grand Canyon University released a statement that following their spring break, "all but a few" classes held on their Phoenix campus will be online-only for the remainder of their semester.

A spokesperson for Grand Canyon University tells ABC15 that their spring break does not start until next week, but they have a task force putting together plans in case they have to move to online classes.

Latest statement from GCU:

After carefully monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the recent developments that are impacting the entire country, Grand Canyon University has been working diligently to ensure we are protecting the health and well-being of our campus community. Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at GCU at this time, we have made the following decisions today as it relates to spring semester classes:

  • Classes on the Phoenix campus will continue as scheduled through Friday, March 13.
  • Spring Break for GCU traditional students occurs the week of March 16-20, during which time there are no classes.
  • Following Spring Break, all but a few classes on our Phoenix campus will continue in the online-only LoudCloud environment for the remaining four weeks of the spring semester. Additional details will be available in each student’s individual LoudCloud classroom before classes resume on March 23. Students in the few select classes that will need some face-to-face experience will be contacted by their Student Services Counselor directly by the end of the day on Friday, March 13 to discuss options.
  • The Western Athletic Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this week in Las Vegas have been canceled.
  • All Spring GCU athletic events, including NCAA Division I, club and intramural sports, have been suspended. Coaches will be coordinating future activities directly with student-athletes.
  • All Spring Fine Arts performances and other co-curricular activities have been suspended. Faculty/coaches will be coordinating future activities directly with impacted students.
  • GCU’s Facilities Department will continue its enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout campus for the foreseeable future.

Students are encouraged to return to their homes to complete their coursework online. However, the GCU campus will remain open for those students who need to stay on campus. Residential students will receive a survey asking to communicate their plans. Residential housing, designated dining options, the library, Health and Wellness Clinic, counseling services, and other campus resources will remain open on a limited basis. Certain campus student-worker positions will remain open and students should check with their supervisor for additional details.

We are making this decision out of an abundance of caution in order to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and to make the transition as easy as possible for students who are getting ready to leave campus for Spring Break. We have been in constant contact with Maricopa County public health officials during this process and they have not yet recommended that universities in Arizona cease in-person classes. However, we felt it was prudent to make the announcement at this time before students travel for Spring Break to different parts of the country and world where COVID-19 may be more prevalent.

GCU’s mandate for a 14-day quarantine period, per CDC guidelines, remains in effect. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to evaluate their travel plans in the immediate future, especially if you plan to travel to international locations. For the most recent travel advisory from CDC, please visit the CDC website. FAQs and other information are available on GCU’s coronavirus web page. We encourage students and families to visit the page periodically for additional information and updates


UAT is relying on online instruction and is monitoring the situation to determine if any other precautions are needed.

A statement from the school reads:

"UAT continues to actively monitor the worldwide spread of the respiratory illness novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization has formally designated a “pandemic.” This is an unprecedented situation that continues to evolve. UAT is committed to sharing as much information as possible for the benefit of our students, faculty, staff, and community.

Although there are no known COVID-19 cases within the UAT family, we are taking necessary precautions to protect our community and family. UAT classes will continue in an online instruction format beginning March 16th for a period of 2 weeks. We will monitor the situation and determine if additional time is needed.

At this point, the UAT Campus, Founders Hall, and the UAT dining hall remains open for access. We ask all of the community to practice safe health practices. Remain home if you are not feeling well, have a weakened immune system or displaying any signs of fever, cough or sickness.

UAT will continue to follow CDC guidelines and do what is in the best interest of our community. We will continue to email, post in Canvas, and update our Student Intranet as updates occur. Please be sure to continue to check for any updates.

We want to keep the UAT family and community healthy and safe. At this point closures have not been mandated, but we are choosing to maximize our “Advancing Technology” community and stay healthy as a precautionary method."