Growing number of Big 10 schools, including Minnesota, switch to online-only amid COVID-19 concerns

The University of Minnesota announced that it will transition to online-only classes on Wednesday.

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel addresses the Minnesota Senate on the University's plans to contend with COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, at the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 10.

Parker Johnson

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel addresses the Minnesota Senate on the University’s plans to contend with COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, at the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 10.

Cleo Krejci

Update: The University of Minnesota announced that it will transition to online-only classes on Wednesday. 

Seven of the 14 Big Ten schools have canceled classes or moved to online-only instruction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, Michigan State University, the University of Maryland and Rutgers University have all transitioned away from in-person instruction. 

Minnesota announced on Wednesday that it will cancel in-person instruction until at least April 1.

A change.org petition calling for the University of Minnesota to close classes is gaining traction. It has 1,085 signatures as of about 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

“Keeping the school open is reckless and is bound to spread the virus unnecessarily. Classes can be offered online and should be for our safety,” the petition says.

Ohio State University suspended classes fully until March 30. Rutgers canceled classes from March 12 to 22.

Many schools are designating a set amount of time for the online-classes, pending the further outbreak of the virus. Michigan State University will transition to online-only classes from March 11 until April 20.