Updated 7:30 p.m.

The Nevada System of Higher Education said, currently, no institutions will be closed amidst COVID-19, but advises institutions to prepare for online course transitions. 

The Nevada System of Higher Education and the University of Nevada, Reno said there are  institution closures due to COVID-19, but institutions are required to prepare for online course transitions should the virus spread or become a bigger threat.

Faculty at the university were sent an email on Wednesday, March 11 with instructions. 

“We are requesting that faculty have an online delivery instructional plan for all classes (e.g. lectures, labs, performance, recitation, arts, etc.) finalized no later than March 30,” the email read. “These plans would be used in the event the University chooses to shift to alternate operations and directs students to complete their spring semester work without further in-person instruction. This plan should include how you would address your courses, related materials, and assessments and to evaluate and train yourself on technological resources available to assist you.”  

NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly said in a press release there is no immediate systemwide closure of campuses or cancellations. However, institutions should be ready for remote instruction no later than Friday, April 3.

“I request all institutions to continue your planning and be prepared to transition all in-person courses to remote instruction no later than April 3,” the memo from Reilly read. “While making preparations for remote instruction, please develop contingencies for students who may not own or have access to a personal computer or other technologies.” 

Additionally Reilly said NSHE employees who are vulnerable are advised to communicate with supervisors and human resource departments. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is considered vulnerable if they are of older age, have chronic heart or lung disease and diabetes.   

According to the memo, NSHE System administration will continue working collaboratively with the Governor’s office and all county, state and federal health officials. 

“The health and wellbeing of Nevada’s public higher education community continues to be our utmost priority in this developing situation,” the memo read. “We are encouraging our campus communities to keep perspective, demonstrate empathy, and show respect.”

According to a report done by USA Today, more than 150 university’s have closed their campuses due to COVID-19 fears.

This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is made available.

The Sagebrush News Desk can be reached at oali@sagebrush.unr.edu