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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

UPDATED: Ohio University First To 'Postpone' Graduation Due To Coronavirus

Scott Kissell
Miami University

Updated: March 18, 12:30 p.m.

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the Tri-State, many local universities started out canceling in-person classes. Now, at least one is postponing its graduation ceremony. 

Miami University was among the first to suspend all face-to-face instruction in lectures, discussion sections, seminars and other similar classroom settings in early March. On March 18, Ohio University became the first to announce it was "postponing" its commencement ceremony. 

A full list of everything we know so far is below. This list will continue to be updated. 

In Ohio

Miami University

Miami President Gregory Crawford sent a letter to students faculty and staff. It says courses will be delivered by remote instruction through at least April 12.

Miami University currently has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The president says in light of the governor's announcement Tuesday and the advice of the Ohio Department of Health to limit large gatherings, the University is taking a number of immediate actions to protect the health and safety of the community.

Students may return to their permanent residences or stay on campus.

You can read the full letter here.

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati will move to "remote instruction" March 14 and intends to resume face-to-face instruction April 13. Residence and dining halls will remain open, according to a notice on the school's website.

"Instruction that involves labs, studios, music lessons, clinical experience, e.g., may meet at the discretion of the dean provided that social distancing is observed and respected," the statement says.

University events of more than 150 people must be rescheduled, canceled or "virtualized," whether on campus or off, the school says.

"Certain events, such as athletic contests and performances, may be modified to decrease the need for a crowd or audience. Details on these modifications are under development and will be shared once finalized," UC says.

All international travel is suspended until May 31.

Xavier University

Xavier announced Tuesday evening it will also move to remote learning for all courses, beginning March 16.

"We hope to resume in-person instruction on Tuesday, April 14, after the Easter holiday, but we will continue to evaluate the situation," writes Father Michael Graham, university president. "Moving forward, I would ask all students to check their Xavier email daily. Faculty and administrators will reach out to you in the coming days with more details. Our goal is to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community while maintaining our commitment to student success and academic progress."

Staff and faculty with "operational responsibilities" will still report to work, and the school will determine if events should proceed on a case-by-case basis.

Xavier is currently on spring break, so students are being encouraged to return to or remain at their permanent residences

"Knowing many of our students are away on spring break, an additional residence life email will be sent tomorrow," Graham writes.

Mount Saint Joseph University 

Beginning March 16, the university's classes will move entirely online. Its campus and residence halls will remain open.

University of Dayton

UD announced it is suspending in-person class starting March 11 and moving classes online March 23 to April 6. The school is also closing down its housing starting Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Cedarville University

The school is canceling classes for the remainder of the week and will begin remote classes March 16 through March 27.

Wright State University

Wright State University has suspended face-to-face classes until at least March 30. Classes that are already online will continue as scheduled, the university says. 

Ohio University 

Beginning March 10, in-person classes on all campuses are suspended and moved online through March 30. The university is asking students who traveled home on spring break to remain there and students who traveled elsewhere have been asked not to return to campus during this time frame.

The university has postponed its spring 2020 commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 1-2.

Ohio State University 

In-person classes are suspended through March 30.

Cincinnati State 

Classes will move to an "alternative format," though the exact date is unknown. Faculty members are expected to reach out to students with these alternative methods by March 18. Some in-person lab activities will continue "with appropriate attention to guidelines for social distancing," the school said in a statement. The campus, businesses and student support services will remain open, though the fitness center is closed until furhter notice and student activities and events scheduled from March 14-29 are postponed.

In Kentucky

Northern Kentucky University 

University officials cleared a possible coronavirus case they were monitoring from a visiting student. While its students are on spring break this week, it has canceled all scheduled youth activities, and on Wednesday, announced it would move classes online starting March 23, and extend spring bring until March 20 "to allow faculty and staff time to prepare for the transition." 

"During this time, NKU will continue normal university operation, and all residence halls, dining halls and campus building will remain open," a statement read.  

On March 18 NKU announced it will start raising funds to help students who are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Information on how to apply can be found here.

Berea College

On Tuesday, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs announced the school will end its academic year Friday and send students home, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. "Concluding, after careful analysis, that it will not be possible to adequately assure student and employee safety in the circumstance of a case of COVID-19 occurring on campus, we have decided that the college will cease instructional activities as of the end of the day on this Friday, March 13," Roelofs said in a statement. To date, there have been no cases reported on campus. 

University of Kentucky

The school goes on spring break from March 16-22. Classes will remain in session until March 16, and beginning March 23 through April 3, classes will be taught online. The university will remain open and operations will continue as normal, the Courier-Journal reports

University of Louisville 

In an email, President Neeli Bendapudi said spring break would be extended from March 15 to March 17, with classes transferring online from March 18 to April 5. The campus will remain open and operational. 

"We understand that these restrictions will cause significant inconvenience for many of you," Bendapudi wrote, according to the Courier-Journal. "Please know that we do no make these restrictions and recommendations lightly. I am convinced that these measures are essential to preserve the health and well-being of all members of our university community and all citizens of the Commonwealth."

Western Kentucky University

WKU is extending its spring break through March 22. The university is encouraging students to remain at home but said residence halls will remain open. Beginning March 23 through April 5, the school said it would "transition face-to-face classroom delivery to an alternate delivery format," noting that more information would be forthcoming. 

Bellermine University

In an email, the university said it is transitioning to an online learning environment until April 1 and canceling any large group events. Face-to-faces classes and activities are suspended from March 12 until March 18 as doing so "will give us time to transition to alternate course delivery." 


Earlham College

The college has yet to take any of the above measures, but is cautioning students, faculty and staff to reconsider travel plans and is suspending college-sponsored group travel to Washington State, California and New York during spring break. As of this publication on March 11, classes will resume on campus beginning March 23

This story will be updated. 

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology
Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.
In 2005, Maryanne Zeleznik came to 91.7 WVXU from WNKU where she served as News and Public Affairs Director for 20 years. At WVXU she is responsible for all news and public affairs programming, hosts Morning Edition Monday through Friday, and fills in to host Cincinnati Edition. As time allows, she covers daily news, produces local features, and contributes news stories to National Public Radio.
Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU, having served in various digital roles for such legacy publications as InStyle and Parade, as well as start-ups like Levo League and iVillage. She helped these outlets earn several awards, including MIN's 2015 Digital Team of the Year. She graduated from Rutgers University with a journalism major and English minor and has continued her education with professional development classes through the Poynter Institute, Columbia University and PMJA. Before moving to Cincinnati from New York in 2016, she vowed her son would always call it "soda" and not "pop." She has so far been successful in this endeavor.