The University of Idaho and Washington State University are urging students to stay home rather than return from spring break in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

In its message, the UI also said its previously announced “indefinite” move to online instruction will remain in effect for the rest of the spring semester and that it was canceling spring commencement.

“If returning to campus is your only option, facilities around the state remain physically open with some modifications, including the Moscow campus,” UI President Scott Green said in a message sent to students, faculty and staff and posted to the school’s web page Thursday. “If, however, you wish to remain away from campus and learn from home — which we strongly recommend — you can do so for the remainder of the semester.”

In the message, Green said those campus residents who wish to cancel their housing agreement with the UI will be offered pro-rated meal and housing credits to their account.

WSU leadership is also asking its students to stay away if they can. However, the university acknowledged some students live in Pullman or need to return. In a letter sent to the WSU community Thursday, school officials indicated students who must are welcome to stay in Pullman but noted on-campus services will be limited. They are requesting that any student planning to return fill out a “post spring break plans form” which can be found online at

Meanwhile, New St. Andrews College, a private Christian liberal arts college in downtown Moscow moved to online instruction starting last Sunday. According to a notice posted to the school’s website, instruction will remain online until March 27 but school leaders may extend that term.

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