By Estefania Magdalena
UPDATE (Wednesday, March 18, 2020 : 1:00 p.m.)
Kapiʻolani Community College and all University of Hawaiʻi colleges will go to online-only classes for the rest of the semester, UH President David Lassner announced in an e-mail.
Campuses will remain open to students and staff.
UPDATE (Thursday, March 12, 2020 : 1:00 p.m.)
In-person classes are expected to resume Monday, April 13, UH President David Lassner said in a system-wide e-mail.
Due to concern for coronavirus, the president of the University of Hawaiʻi, David Lassner, announced with an early Thursday e-mail that starting March 23 — the first day after Spring Break — Kapiʻolani Community College and all University of Hawaiʻi campuses will shift to online-only classes.
So far there have been two confirmed Covid-19 cases here in Hawai’i, none with any announced ties to UH or KCC, but Lassner pointed to his “concern for the safety of our students, faculty and staff” in making the decision.
“This has been a tumultuous week, with many changes in the COVID-19 situation in Hawaii, across higher education and globally, accelerating into today,” he wrote in the e-mail.
This is not an uncommon decision. At least 100 other U.S. colleges and universities — including the University of Washington, Harvard, and the state and city universities of New York — all have made similar decisions, according to USA Today on Wednesday. UH’s announcement comes the morning after U.S. President Donald Trump enacted a 30-day ban on travelers from Europe.
Worldwide, Covid-19 has had a sustained impact. China, where the outbreak originated in late December, has had nearly 81,000 confirmed cases with nearly 3,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, just surpassed 1,000 deaths, with 189 deaths coming in the previous 24 hours, according to the Independent.