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Two of Indiana's largest universities implement changes to help prevent spread of coronavirus

Indiana University and Purdue University are both moving to online instruction. There are no known cases of COVID-19 at any of the universities' campuses.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - While there are no known cases of COVID-19 at any of the nine Indiana University campuses or at Purdue, school leaders want to be proactive now.

University presidents made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

When IU students return from spring break March 16, they will take their classes online for two weeks.

"A lot of people are happy, but it's kind of unnerving that they feel the need to cancel classes and make them online," said Jalen Royal, a sophomore at IU.

"It was shocking but it was also nice to know they are being proactive in taking the precautions needed to protect their students," said Kelly Mindak, an IU junior.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to work from home and teleconference, as opposed to meeting in person on any IU campus. University-related domestic and international travel for faculty and staff is discouraged.

Students are encouraged to travel home if possible. Visitors are discouraged from coming on campus.

Malachi Watson, who had been accepted to IU's musical theater program, arrived just in time for a tour.

"I'm glad I made it because it was the perfect time. If I waited any longer I wouldn't have gotten to shadow anything," said Watson, who came with his mom from Wichita, Kansas.

It's a similar situation at Purdue. Students there will have to take their courses online as opposed to in person.

University-sponsored events are canceled through May 2. Students who had study-abroad plans will be reimbursed by the university. Purdue leaders say they hope to have commencement exercises but will make a final decision at a later date. 

IU and Purdue campuses will not close. Residential halls and dining will remain open. Some IU students say being positive is key. 

"I think it's a step forward and we'll see," said Royal. 

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