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Sault, Michigan's Lake State U. moving classes online; Algoma U. classes continue as usual

Laurentian University made a similar move this week due to COVID-19 concerns

SAULT STE. MARIE — All classes continue to proceed as scheduled at Algoma University after Sudbury’s Laurentian University and Sault, Michigan’s Lake Superior State University (LSSU) decided to suspend classes and move to online learning for their students over COVID-19 concerns.

“Algoma University continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and related impacts on our university and the communities we serve,” stated Brian Leahy, Algoma University communications director, in an email to SooToday Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, LSSU announced effective Monday, March 16, 2020, the university will suspend all face-to-face instruction through at least Friday, April 17, 2020, and will move to an online/virtual learning environment, though there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at LSSU.

Laurentian University stated Wednesday it would be suspending all classes “as a precaution” because of the COVID-19 outbreak, students having to take their classes online until further notice.

“We are updating our campus community on a regular basis, including posting updates on a COVID webpage on our main university site which provides important information on this topic of relevance to our students, faculty and staff...the decision made by Laurentian and LSSU was based on specific information pertaining to factors impacting their particular circumstances,” Leahy wrote on behalf of Algoma University.

Meanwhile, Ron Common, Sault College president, in a letter sent to the college’s students, staff and faculty Thursday, wrote "I want to reassure all of you that we are working diligently to keep our campus, students and staff healthy and safe. As part of this, Sault College has and will continue to work closely with Algoma Public Health (APH) and follow its direction. At this time, APH has advised that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algoma."

"We understand there may be concern among staff and students and I want you to know that we are taking this seriously and your health and safety remains our top priority. We are committed to keeping you updated and we will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Common wrote.

The following information was shared to the Lake Superior State University dedicated COVID-19 update page:

Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Lake Superior State University (LSSU), effective Monday, March 16, 2020 the university will suspend all face-to-face instruction through at least Friday, April 17, 2020, and will move to an online/virtual learning environment.

As the global situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) constantly evolves, LSSU will provide periodic updates to the campus community regarding Lake Superior State University’s planning and preparedness actions. The University is vigilant and taking steps to ensure the safety of the campus community.

The possibility of resuming classes is subject to ongoing evaluation by the University. The Provost, Dr. Lynn Gillette, will provide specific information to faculty members about instructional delivery later today. Students should be in contact with their instructors regarding course delivery. Also, all students, faculty, and staff should check LSSU email accounts regularly for updates.

Residence halls and dining services will remain in operation.

Recreational use of the Norris Center is suspended until Friday, April 17, 2020.

Administrative offices and services on campus will continue normal operations. All employees of the University should report for work. As a precaution, the University is encouraging higher-risk employees to contact the Director of Human Resources to discuss potential accommodations for working remotely.

Effective immediately through at least Friday, April 17, 2020, all international and domestic University-sponsored or endorsed travel by students, faculty, and staff is suspended, regardless of the funding source. Athletics events will follow NCAA and GLIAC guidelines and recommendations. Any essential travel must be approved by the Emergency Response Taskforce.

Visitors to campus

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, LSSU is unable to welcome visitors to campus until at least Friday, April 17, 2020. Daily campus tours, information sessions, open houses, and visits are canceled. All conferences and events with attendees that are not LSSU faculty, students, or staff are canceled or postponed. We ask students to refrain from inviting personal guests to campus during this time, with the exception of family members assisting with travel arrangements.