MIT announced today that it is canceling classes next week and will move to online-only education after classes resume following spring break, which starts March 20, due to Covid-19 concerns.
In his announcement, MIT President L. Rafael Reif also told seniors that they should pack up and take everything home, with the assumption they won't be returning to campus housing at all. He said no decision has yet been made about whether or how to hold graduation.
Some students will be allowed to stay on campus, for example, international students worried they might not get back into the US due to visa concerns or because of Covid-19 outbreaks in their home countries and students who do not have a home at all to return to.
Rieff explained the decision;
State and federal public health officials advise that to slow a spreading virus like Covid-19, the right time for decisive action is before it is established on our campus. Therefore, although the risk to those on campus remains low, given the ongoing spread in our state and elsewhere, we are now escalating our institutional response to protect our entire community - staff, students, postdocs and faculty - and the many communities we belong to.