Howard University Cancels Graduation After Someone Tests Positive For Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to disrupt our daily lives, Howard University announced that the school is canceling its graduation ceremony after a guest tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to a written statement from the university, a visiting guest of the Howard University Charter Day Dinner has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). They have asked all who attended the dinner to monitor their health and report to their doctor if they exhibit flu-like symptoms. The DC Department of Health has been contacted and is investigating the case, locating and counseling relevant contacts in accordance with the latest national guidance and protocols. The school has been advised that the chances of contracting the virus are low. 

The administrators at the school sent a letter that details their course of action regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • We will not return to face-to-face instruction of courses at Howard University for the remainder of the Spring, 2020 semester and courses will continue to transition to remote and online instruction following the scheduled Spring Break. This is an evolution from our earlier statement.
  • We will close the residence halls on Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. This is an evolution from our earlier statement. We are working with our various institutional partners in consideration of any pro-rated refunds of room and board charges. Any potential refund amounts will vary based on application of Federal Aid and Title IV guidelines, current unpaid balances and the specific original room and board charges applicable to each student.  
  • Students who left for destinations other than home for spring break should not return to campus, but instead reach out to the Office of Resident Life to schedule a move out of your room at a later time.
  • Commencement and All-Class Reunions are canceled. On Sunday, the CDC issued recommendations that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States. Although the CDC states that this does not apply to the day to day operations of institutions of higher education, we do not consider commencement a day-to-day operation. Given that Howard’s Commencement activities garner crowds of thousands, and the numerous elders and children regularly in attendance, we will cancel the event to avoid the potential for additional virus spread which would be problematic.