Palomar College
Palomar College. File photo

Palomar College is the latest institution of higher education to transition to online-only classes amid coronavirus concerns throughout the region.

Following the March 23-27 spring break, the San Marcos-based community college will move all classes online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. This includes the main campus and Palomar College’s education centers in Rancho Bernardo, Escondido and Fallbrook.

Faculty are being provided two non-instructional days, March 18-19, to prepare for the transition.

Additionally, Palomar is suspending all business travel, canceling events with more than 100 people, implementing social distancing for smaller events and restricting spectator access to athletic events.

“The health and welfare of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority of administrators and the Board of Trustees of the Palomar Community College District,” said acting Superintendent and President Jack Kahn. “While the risk to our campus remains low, our goal is to mitigate opportunities for exposure as much as possible. We launched a communication campaign to encourage good personal hygiene on campus, inclusive of urging anyone who feels ill to stay home.”

On Thursday, the University of San Diego also announced remote teaching would go into effect as of March 23. The university added an additional caveat, stating that all USD students who live in the on-campus residence halls must relocate no later than March 22.

“We understand there are some students who may have personal hardship, financial hardship or academic reasons to stay on campus, so we are preparing for a limited number of students to remain on campus for the foreseeable future,” the university said in a statement.

USD, San Diego State University and UC San Diego have suspended or outright canceled athletic events.

SDSU announced Tuesday that it will begin transitioning all classes to virtual instruction by April 6. UCSD announced Monday it will move all lecture and discussion courses online starting March 25.

SDSU will make decisions regarding hosting events on a case-by-case basis, while UCSD advised that events expected to have more than 100 people will be canceled, and any campus tours or other events that bring visitors to campus will be canceled for groups of more than 15 people.

Athletic events on the UCSD campus will continue as scheduled, but spectators will not be permitted, according to UCSD.

–City News Service