As the COVID-19 virus spreads, the American Federation of Teachers believes a national closing of colleges and universities is inevitable, and is calling on all higher education leaders and members to prepare for it. Already many colleges and universities have been shut down through the end of the semester; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended against gatherings of more than 50 people; and the president has said to avoid groups of more than 10 people.
The AFT is working constantly to help our members and the people they serve navigate this virus, and buffer against the economic impacts. We have been focusing on the health and safety of our higher education faculty and staff and fighting to make sure adequate supports are in place for the continuity of education and specific guidance for online learning. See the side panel for a joint statement from AFT and AAUP entitled “AFT and AAUP Principles for Higher Education Response to COVID-19” for more information.
These are unique and challenging times, and information on the COVID-19 virus is constantly evolving. Please check back for updates as we learn more about national, state and local responses to this pandemic.