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Columbia University's Low Memorial Library in New York City. Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images


Columbia University announced Sunday night it canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday and plans to hold remote lessons for the rest of the week after a member of its community was quarantined following exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: The Ivy League school is the latest educational institution to suspend in-person classes and move studying online in response to the outbreak as the virus continues to spread across the U.S., which now has more than 500 cases, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.

What they're saying: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CNN earlier Sunday that it was time to think about canceling large gatherings and closing schools "to prevent more deaths" as the U.S. moves into a "mitigation phase."

The big picture: Schools across Washington state, one of the areas worst hit by the virus, began to close at the start of this month. The University of Washington announced Friday it was moving classes online in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Seattle University and Northeastern's Seattle campus have also moved to remote classes.

  • In New York, Barnard College, which is affiliated with Columbia University, followed Columbia's measures and announced it was switching to remote classes.
    • In Westchester County, New York, Scarsdale Public Schools said Sunday after a middle school faculty member tested positive for the virus it was closing all district schools March 9–18 for "cleaning, progress monitoring, and social-distancing."
  • In California, Stanford University canceled in-person classes for two weeks starting Monday after a faculty member tested positive for the virus and two students self-isolated over possible exposures, though they displayed no symptoms.
  • In Texas, Rice University in Houston announced Sunday it had canceled in-person classes for the week after an employee tested positive.

Elsewhere in the U.S., schools and colleges including Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the University of California, Los Angeles have stepped up measures to combat the threat of the virus.

Go deeper:

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
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First blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer's goes public

Photo: Jerry Naunheim Jr./C2N Diagnostics via AP

A non-COVID medical breakthrough: People over 60 now have access to a blood test for Alzheimer's disease.

Why it matters: The existing PET brain scan test costs some people about $5,000 and often isn't covered by insurance, AP reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost.