That’s why Caslen says the school will move all classes online at Thanksgiving break. But that’s not the only step the university is taking.
Fall break is canceled.
“The public health risks associated with thousands of students and faculty returning to campus after Fall Break travels could be significant for the campus and Columbia communities and could jeopardize the continuation of the semester,” Caslen said in his message.
The letter does not mention the university’s plans for its athletic programs. Major college football brings tens of thousands of fans to the campus every fall.
“We are discussing different scenarios and different models as we move forward,” said Steve Fink, assistant athletics director for communications.
Why officials predict a winter spike in Covid cases
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he’s almost certain coronavirus will come back later this year. The fact that the virus is so transmissible makes it even more dangerous, he said.
Along with his grim prediction, Fauci had another message: making changes now can save lives later.
“In my mind, it’s inevitable that we will have a return of the virus or maybe it never even went away,” he said. “When it does, how we handle it will determine our fate if by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well.”
The consequences of not doing so, Fauci said, could mean the US could “be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”
Seasonal influenza viruses are present the entire year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But many Americans start getting sick with them in October, with peak activity between December and February.