VIDEO Howard Has a Plan: University Officials Take Action Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


By Journey Rucker, NewsVision and Nathaniel Easington, Howard University News Service

Washington, D.C– As Howard University continues to deal with the fall out associated with the outbreak of COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, the provost of the university, Anthony K. Wutoh, addressed the concerns for students that are not able to leave campus during this time. 

 “The dormitories are going to remain open particularly for students for whom it would be financially difficult to travel back and forth and obviously for internationals students.  We will also be going to continue to provide meal service with Sodexo, it’s just going to be a little bit modified,” said Wutoh at a media briefing Thursday.

Howard University released a statement on March 11 highlighting the administration’s choice to cancel all in person classes following spring break, which begins March 14 until April 6.  Students and staff are expected to have normal scheduled days on March 12 and 13.   

 As students plan to return from their “extended” Spring Breaks at the start of April, there has been an increasing concern for events just a few weeks away that can be seriously affected by the pandemic.  While convocation and events like graduation haven’t yet been altered, it seems like changes to the layout, attendance policy and even the date entirely will likely be affected. 

 “We’re following recommendations from the Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention and also the DC Department of Health. So we’re certainly going to follow their cue if they recommend that we still maintain limited large gatherings and so if it becomes necessary that we have to consider either postponing commencement or canceling it again, depending on the status of the outbreak, we’ll make that decision in the next couple of weeks,” said Wutoh. 

 The changes and precautions aren’t only specific to Howard as other HBCUs and universities all across the nation are taking the steps to put the students and staff safety first.  Hampton University, Bowie State University, Lincoln University and Morgan State University, which are all located on the East coast, have all transitioned to online classes.

Over 131,000 cases of the disease, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, has been listed in over 100 countries since the beginning of the outbreak last year.