Vanderbilt cancels in-person classes for the rest of the semester

VUMC staffer tests positive for COVID-19, Wednesday evening email states that undergraduate residents must move out by Sunday.


Emily Gonçalves

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Immanual John Milton, Deputy News Editor

Vanderbilt has canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester due to a VUMC health care worker testing positive for COVID-19, according to a March 11 email from Interim Chancellor Susan Wente. 

All undergraduate students on campus must move out by Sunday, March 15. Students who may need to stay beyond March 15 will receive further communication, the email said. Online and alternative learning will launch Monday, March 16, for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

A follow-up email clarified that students that have left campus already do not need to go back. These students will recieve more information later about getting their belongings.

The text of the initial email reads as follows:

Dear Vanderbilt community,

Today, we received notice from Vanderbilt University Medical Center that a VUMC health care worker has tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution and based on public health recommendations and best practices, we will move fully to online and alternative learning for the remainder of the semester.

Given that, all undergraduate residential students should make plans to move out by March 15. We are actively working on plans to assist undergraduate residential students with move out and are evaluating an approach to address on-campus housing and dining fees for the remaining month of classes. We will send details about those plans to the students and families. Students who need to remain on campus beyond this date will receive further information.

Classes remain cancelled for the remainder of this week. Online and alternative learning will launch Monday, March 16, for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Faculty and graduate assistants should coordinate directly with their deans and department chairs, and staff with their managers, with questions.

Be assured that our campus remains safe and open. We are continuing our cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing and other best practices to keep our campus safe.

I know this news will raise many questions specific to your situation. We are now preparing detailed information, guidance and resources for all students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars. We will share that information as soon as it is available.

This is not how any of us wanted this semester to proceed, but we are acting now to ensure the health and safety of all members of our community. While our campus is the heart of this university, our people are its soul. This challenging situation is necessitating a temporary change to how we deliver education, but it will not deter us from the pursuit of our mission.

I remind you that all of the rest of our policies and guidelines remain in place. Please closely monitor the university’s COVID-19 website—all updates, policies and a detailed FAQ will continue to be posted to that site. Contact [email protected] with questions.

With much appreciation,

Susan R. Wente

Interim Chancellor and Provost

Stay up to date with updates to Vanderbilt’s response to COVID-19 with The Hustler’s live updates.