Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largest four-year public university in the U.S. will primarily teach classes online this fall, California State University Chancellor Timothy White said Tuesday in a statement.

Why it matters: The decision, which affects almost half a million students, could precede a wider pivot to online learning as American universities figure out how to safely open for the new semester.

  • Cal State is the first major university to keep the majority of its students from returning to campus and in-person classes in the fall, the New York Times reports.
  • Some exceptions will be made for nursing students, art students or those who need to work in labs, White said Tuesday.

The big picture: Colleges around the U.S. are afraid they'll be headed for financial ruin if they remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Axios' Erica Pandey reported earlier this month.

What they're saying: "This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast," White said.

Go deeper: How the coronavirus pandemic will transform teaching

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

An uptick in coronavirus cases in Europe is stoking fears that some countries, including France and Germany, could see a second wave, The New York Times reports.

The big picture: Both Germany and France have reported their highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases in months this past week. Some coronavirus mitigation efforts, like social distancing, aren't being enforced as strongly as they previously were.

Updated Aug 5, 2020 - Health

N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 35 states to quarantine

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Travelers from 35 states are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, per New York state's health department.

What's new: New York City will set up bridge and tunnel checkpoints to enforce the quarantine order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, per the Wall Street Journal.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread

A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.