Washington, April 15: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged the United States, top varsities in the country are not sounding optimistic on opening up their campuses before 2020 ends. The Boston University (BU) issued a statement to inform its faculty members and enrolled students that the varsity may keep in-person classes suspended till 2021. Coronavirus Cases Cross 2 Million Worldwide, Over 126,000 Deaths So Far, US Worst Affected.

The top educational institutions in the States will continue operation virtually, through online classes, assessments and exams. All colleges and universities have announced a closure till at least September this year. The statement of BU, however, indicates that the wait to return to the campus may be longer for the teachers and students. NYC Schools Closed Till September, Announces Mayor Bill De Blasio as New York Remains COVID-19 Hotspot in US.

"The Recovery Plan recognizes that if, in the unlikely event that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020, then the University's contingency plan envisions the need to consider a later in-person return, perhaps in January 2021," the university said in an online statement.

The prestigious Harvard University,though considering to resume the operations by fall semester, said a concrete decision could only be taken depending on the coronavirus crisis in the next few months.

Varsity President Lawrence S Bacow, while speaking to reporters last week, said the institution will always keep the safety and security of students as its topmost priority. The possibility of reopening the campus by fall would emerge only after the threat of COVID-19 subsides, he said, adding that the administrators would take into account all the "different scenarios".

Oregon State University spokesperson Steve Clark, while speaking to a daily, said the varsity if hopeful of a return to the campus in fall 2020. However, they are also preparing for "every possible contingency", he added. Similarly, the University of Arizona also stated that a decision to resume the person-to-person classes would only be finalised after taking into priority the health and well-being of students, faculty and other staff members.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 15, 2020 01:52 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).