Coronavirus: USC to hold classes online-only to test possible emergency response

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- To prepare for a potential coronavirus emergency, USC has decided to shift classes to online-only for three days next week.

The University of Southern California does not have any reported cases of COVID-19 on campus. But school officials they want to test their ability to move to an all-online model if an emergency arises.

"Our university must be nimble and flexible in the event that we need to make any further changes to the semester," the school wrote to students and staff. "We have about 7,000 lecture classes this spring."

"We need to test our technical capabilities to ensure academic continuity in an online environment should there be a disruption.

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The online-only plan will start Wednesday, March 11 and end Friday, March 13. Athletic facilities, dorms, dining halls and other facilities will remain open during this time.

"I emphasize that this is a test of our capabilities. The university is fully functional," wrote Charles F. Zukoski, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

After the test, the school has its regularly scheduled spring break. During that time, campus officials will review feedback about how the online test worked and plan for future adjustments.

Stanford University is taking a further step, canceling all in-person classes for the last two weeks of its winter quarter starting Monday.

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