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ASHLAND -- Ashland University is suspending face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in response to COVID-19, which has been found to be community-spread in Ohio.

Online instruction, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 18, will continue through the end of the spring semester.

Students currently enrolled in labs, clinical experiences, studios, internships, student teaching, etc., will receive specific instructions from their respective academic programs. Details related to dropping off or picking up materials from academic buildings also will be provided to students through individual programs.  The suspension of all face-to-face instruction includes the Ashland Theological Seminary.

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"First and foremost, we want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation over the past several days. These are challenging times and we will persevere together as One Ashland," said AU Public Relations Coordinator Tami Mosser in a press release.

All residential students attending Ashland University have been asked to move out of their rooms by 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22.

AU recognizes there are some students whose personal or family situations make it impossible to return to campus, the press release said. Those who cannot follow this process should email reslife@ashland.edu. Students who are unable to return to their homes, including international students, or students whose permanent residence is Ashland University, must complete the Special Housing Request Form  as soon as possible and no later than March 20.

Communications regarding the specifics of the move-out schedule will be sent to students from the Office of Residence Life. 

Any student exhibiting COVID-19-type symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, fatigue), is asked to call a health care provider before visiting campus. Students who have in the last 14 days been to a Level three, travel-restricted country, have been on a cruise, been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or attended any event in which an attendee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must contact reslife@ashland.edu to coordinate alternative move-out procedures. 

Housing status changes will be processed as soon as possible. Residence hall and apartment access will be deactivated no later than Sunday, March 22 at 6 p.m.

The University is currently establishing a "fair and equitable way" to offer refunds for room, board and certain fees, the press release said. Additional information is forthcoming.

At this point, the University is also canceling all face-to-face May 9 commencement activities. This decision complies with the March 15 CDC advisory limiting in-person events to 50 people or fewer for the next eight weeks.

"These are unprecedented days for all of us and we will be hosting virtual town halls this week with students, staff and faculty to stay keep them current on AU’s response to COVID-19. We will get through this together, keep students on track and serve those in need," Moser said in the release.

For regular updates, please check the Ashland University website https://www.ashland.edu/covid-19.