Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven is canceling classes entirely for a week, then holding only “remote” classes for the rest of the semester, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“At this time, students are free to go home or to remain on campus,” President Lawrence Schall said in a statement on the university’s website. “A decision about whether to close our residence halls to all students except those who cannot return home has not yet been made.”

All classes are cancelled from March 15 through March 22, then will continue remotely – meaning no in-person classes – starting March 23.

Extracurricular activities are also cancelled. The 4484 Peachtree Road campus will remain open, Schall said.

The announcement came only a day after the university had said it would continue with classes and events, but was prepared to do so if necessary. The university had said there was no evidence of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease on its campus and that officials had made efforts to see whether anyone on campus had traveled to countries affected by major outbreaks.

University spokesperson Renee Vary said the change in plans had come not because of anything on the campus and noted Emory University’s March 11 decision to cancel in-person classes.

Oglethorpe is a private university with about 1,400 students. The cancellation of classes comes a day after the university announced a new president, Nicholas Ladany, who is scheduled to take the office on July 1.

For the latest information about the new coronavirus, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.