UMW closes campus

University of Mary Washington freshmen Isabelle Withers (right) and Karlie Jahn pack up for Jahn's drive back to Virginia Beach on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. UMW students will finish the semester via online classes.

The University of Mary Washington has extended its suspension of in-person classes for the rest of the semester. 

UMW president Troy Paino announced the decision in a letter to the university community Tuesday evening. 

"Guidance from public health officials tells us that we should limit gatherings for several additional weeks as we all do our part to take the necessary steps to limit the spread of COVID-19," Paino wrote. "As a result, we have reached the very painful conclusion that we will not be returning to normal operations this semester."

The letter states that UMW will continue remote instruction through the end of the semester and final exams.

In addition, all campus-based or sponsored events at Fredericksburg. Stafford, and Dahlgren are canceled through May 15.

Paino said administration is still considering commencement alternatives.

Paino stressed that it is UMW's intention to keep all faculty and staff working and paid throughout the shutdown. He said supervisors are being urged to identify telework opportunities and come up with alternate duties, professional development opportunities for those whose jobs cannot be performed remotely. 

Residential students will be given a timeline for moving out of their dorms. Credits or refunds will be given for housing and dining, though Paino said it would take "some time" to determine how much to credit or refund each student.

Students who wish to stay on campus for the rest of the semester must complete a "petition-to-remain," the letter states.

Adele Uphaus-Conner: 540/735-1973

auphaus@freelancestar.com

@flsadele

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