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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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:

Go deeper

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

2 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.