About the only people out there working right now are health-care workers, grocery store employees, truckers, gas station attendants and fast-food workers.
Schools around the state have closed, including universities and colleges. But that doesn't mean the students have stopped learning. Almost all classes and services are being conducted remotely, said Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly.
“Nothing is ever 100 percent smooth and clean. I’m not suggesting that at some places it might be a bit messy but our students and our faculty moved to remote instruction. The disruption has been minimal,” he said.
Reilly credits the resiliency of the faculty, staff and students of the colleges and universities under the NSHE umbrella for the smooth transition.
Besides moving to remote learning, colleges and universities have extended the window to drop out without getting a penalty and will allow students to take a pass/fail or a letter grade for their classes.
Perhaps the biggest change has been in the area of tuition.
“For those students that are struggling or their families are struggling, we’re also going to defer delinquent payments to allow them to register either for summer classes or the fall semester," Reilly said.
This means even if someone is delinquent in his or her tuition payments she or he will still be allowed to register for summer and fall classes.
In addition, Nevada's higher ed system will be getting about $60 million through the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress last week. A majority of the money must go directly to helping students, Reilly said.
“The money that was passed here will greatly assist our institutions as we try to navigate through what the impact of this is going to be,” he said.
Many universities around the country have been criticized for forcing students to move out of the dorms when their campuses closed. UNLV and UNR have allowed students who have no place to go to stay on campus.
Reilly defended the decision because he said some students like those who are homeless or who are from a different country can't go home.
He said the system has a "moral responsibility" to help those students out, but he said all precautions are being made to keep students safe and healthy
For students who are set to graduate this spring, Reilly said the ceremony isn't going to happen as originally planned.
“Unfortunately, we do not see any situation that we’re going to be able to have 5,000 people in the Thomas & Mack, for example, graduating in May,” he said.
Reilly said the Board of Regents would look at alternatives to graduation, including delaying the ceremony, but he noted that students will get their diplomas.
Thom Reilly, Chancellor, Nevada System of Higher Education
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