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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

2 of state's largest universities implement changes to help prevent spread of coronavirus

When IU students return from spring break March 16, they will take their classes online for two weeks.​

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - While there are no known cases of COVID-19 at any of the nine Indiana University campuses or at Purdue, school leaders want to be proactive now. ​

​University presidents made the announcement Tuesday afternoon. ​

​When IU students return from spring break March 16, they will take their classes online for two weeks.​


​"A lot of people are happy, but it's kind of unnerving that they feel the need to cancel classes and make them online," said Jalen Royal, a sophomore at IU.​

​"It was shocking but it was also nice to know they are being proactive in taking the precautions needed to protect their students," said Kelly Mindak, an IU junior.​

​Faculty and staff are encouraged to work from home and teleconference, as opposed to meeting in person on any IU campus. ​​University-related domestic and international travel for faculty and staff is discouraged.​

​Students are encouraged to travel home if possible.​ ​Visitors are discouraged from coming on campus.​

​Malachi Watson, who had been accepted to IU's musical theater program, arrived just in time for a tour.​

​"I'm glad I made it because it was the perfect time. If I waited any longer, I wouldn't have gotten to shadow anything," said Watson, who came with his mom from Wichita, Kansas. ​

​It's a similar situation at Purdue. ​​Students there will have to take their courses online as opposed to in person.​

​University-sponsored events are canceled through May 2. ​

​Students who had study-abroad plans will be reimbursed by the university.​

​Purdue leaders say they hope to have commencement exercises but will make a final decision at a later date. ​

​IU and Purdue campuses will not close. Residential halls and dining will remain open.​

​Some IU students say being positive is key. ​

​"I think it's a step forward and we'll see," said Royal. ​