Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced Sunday night that the university will conduct the remainder of spring semester classes entirely online and cancel all IU-sponsored events for the rest of the academic semester, amid growing fears of spreading the new coronavirus throughout the country.
IU had already moved classes online for two weeks following this week's academic spring break.
The more drastic measure comes after the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention released new guidelines earlier Sunday, advising against gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.
The announcement includes the cancellation of this year's Little 500 bike race and notes that spring break, starting this week, will be extended by one additional week.
The school will also close most of its residence halls and on-campus housing by March 20. The statement says move-out procedures will be emailed to students by Tuesday and will include information for students "with highly exceptional situations who do not have a permanent residence or cannot return to their permanent residence, including some international students."
McRobbie notes there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus on any IU campuses, but writes that the situation could change quickly.
"We had hoped our intermediate steps would be sufficient, but it is now clear that IU must take the set of actions as outlined below to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community," he writes. "I know how deeply disappointing these changes will be for our entire community, and especially for our students."
The statement says officials will assess the future of the university's commencement ceremonies, scheduled for May.