Northwestern University officials announced late today that in response to COVID-19 concerns they will extend spring break by a week and conduct spring classes remotely for at least three weeks.

NU President Morton Schapiro also said he’s asking that instructors be flexible in their approach to the final two weeks of Winter Quarter. While many final assignments can move forward as planned, some contingencies may need to be made, he said.

Schapiro said officials will reassess the situation by April 17 to decide whether to extend the virtual classes or return to in-person instruction by April 27.

Students who leave campus after final exams should not return until further notice, if possible, the school’s statement says, but for students who remain on campus, residence halls and dining services will remain open.

The statement also encourages that heads of individual units within the university be flexible about letting employees work from home to ensure childcare or other family responsibilities.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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