Photo via Humboldt State University.

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Hoping to contain the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, Humboldt State University has canceled all intercollegiate and club athletic events for the spring semester and will suspend face-to-face classroom instruction through April 17.

The university is also encouraging students, faculty and staff to remain in Humboldt County over Spring Break, March 16-20.

Classes have been canceled altogether for the three days after Spring Break, March 23-25, to allow faculty time to figure out how to “move to alternative modes of instruction” once school resumes on March 26. Those alternative modes will incorporate remote learning management programs such as Canvas and Zoom, according to an announcement earlier today.

The university is following recommendations from the California State University Chancellor’s Office along with guidelines from state and local health officials. 

“The decision was not made lightly,” the university said in a message emailed to the campus community this afternoon. “The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups or spend prolonged time in close proximity in spaces such as classrooms.”

The university plans to offer additional food and other services to students sticking around during Spring Break, according to Communication Specialist Grant Scott-Goforth. “We may be calling on student employees to work during the break,” he said in response to questions from the Outpost.

For students who do cancel their planned trips to Baja, Miami Beach or just home to see the family, the university hopes to offer a bit of entertainment, though that may be hampered by the state’s guidelines on social distancing

“Residence Life is looking at movie nights with snacks, and is working on additional programming,” Scott-Goforth said. However, the university has suspended all large events

HSU is offering refunds to students who purchased tickets through the university’s Homeward Bound program, which offers chartered bus rides to the Bay Area and Los Angeles. 

Meanwhile, HSU has canceled all intercollegiate and club sports, including competition, practices, and student-athlete recruitment, for the duration of the spring semester. That decision was announced this afternoon following a meeting with presidents from the California Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA).

Recreation and intramural sports were spared the ax, for now. Athletic scholarships will still be honored, according to the announcement.