The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is moving all business school classes online for a week in response to two gatherings of students at public parks, officials said Wednesday night.
There have been no reported cases of the coronavirus among the MIT Sloan School of Management students who participated or among the “thousands of students and staff tested since Monday,” MIT said in a statement.
“Our internal discipline processes have been engaged and we continue to gather facts,” the university said.
The gatherings took place outside “and are not known to have resulted in any cases” of COVID-19, MIT said, but the business school’s dean “nevertheless has made clear to students that this behavior is unacceptable. Out of an abundance of caution, all MIT Sloan classes will be fully remote through Tuesday, Sept. 22.”
Most MIT students are already studying online, most staff are working from home, and campus access is limited, the university said. MIT announced in July that the majority of undergraduates would not be invited to campus this fall.
The university also limits gatherings to 10 people, though the state’s maximum is 50.
Shifting to online study through Tuesday will allow all students to get tested for COVID-19 twice before returning to classrooms, MIT said.
“MIT Sloan senior faculty deans have also arranged virtual conversations with their students to reinforce expected behaviors and discuss how to move forward, together,” the university said.
MIT officials said they are reminding students of the importance of complying with the school’s coronavirus protocols and those of the surrounding municipalities.
“Even with negative test results, it is critical that all members of our community wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and limit the size of gatherings,” MIT officials said. “Community-wide and targeted communications continue on all of these points.”