GCU joins other major AZ universities with move to online classes amidst coronavirus pandemic

A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the United States. Note the crown-like spikes on the outer edge of the virus, hence the term "coron (NIAID-RML)

Officials with Grand Canyon University say they will "all but a few classes" online as due to the spreading COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to a statement obtained by FOX 10, classes at GCU's Phoenix campus will continue through Friday, following which students will go on spring break. The transition to online classes will happen on March 23, and will last for the remaining four weeks of the university's spring semester.

"Students are encouraged to return to their homes to complete their coursework online. However, the GCU campus will remain open for those students who need to stay on campus," read a portion of the statement.

In addition, GCU officials say they have suspended all GCU athletic events during the spring season, including NCAA Division I, club, and intramural sports. The Western Athletic Conference Men's and Woman's Basketball Tournaments have also been cancelled.

"We are making this decision out of an abundance of course in order to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and to make the transition as easy as possible for students who are getting ready to leave campus for Spring Break," read a portion of the statement.

School officials also say there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at GCU. School officials are also encouraging students, faculty, and staff members to 

Other Arizona Universities Also Moving Classes Online

GCU is one of a number of Arizona universities that have decided to move classes online in recent days. On Thursday, officials with Northern Arizona University announced a move to online instruction for at least two weeks, starting on March 23.

On its website, NAU officials say they will re-evaluate the situation after two weeks, and provide direction for the remainder of the semester.

Officials with both Arizona State University and University of Arizona announced a move to online classes on Wednesday, with UArizona officials announcing a delay to the start of classes following spring break, and a transition to online-based classes starting on March 18.

ASU officials say their transition to online classes will happen on March 16, and will last for two weeks.

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In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.