By Jim Smith

FITCHBURG (CBS) – It has been tough times at Fitchburg State University this week.

On Friday, the school said it will shift most classes to remote learning by Nov. 21 after a spike of coronavirus cases in the city. Meanwhile, dorms will close for the semester by Nov. 22.

Students are now scrambling to make plans.

“Everyone’s kind of uneasy. Everyone wishes it was better, wishes COVID numbers would go down,” one student said.

Student Logan Perez says the shutdown is tough for him because he is from the west coast.

“I’m from California, so I don’t even know what I’m gonna do with my stuff,” Perez said. “So I’ll have to just to grab it and go and wait until like two months to see it again.”

Student Maddie Mantegani says she feels it is probably the right decision to shut things down based on the surge. But, she does feel the move is impacting the college experience.

“It’s really unfortunate, because we got sent home early in the spring. And I play softball here, so I didn’t get my season. It’s not looking too good for the spring, so they’ve already canceled fall and winter sports. So it’s kind of unfortunate with the way the numbers are going.”

Of course, Fitchburg State University is not alone. Because of the recent COVID-19 spike in Massachusetts, a number of other colleges and universities are being forced to make difficult decisions.

Babson College in Wellesley also moved classes online effective Friday, after a spike in cases there.

“I kind of saw it coming,” said student Cooper Howell. “I didn’t want to accept it, but I saw it coming. Because all the other schools are doing it.”

The spring semester at Fitchburg State University will now start on Jan. 25, a week later than originally planned. Students, like Michelle Gunton-Lamothe, are doing their best to cope.

“I believe that this is probably the best idea,” said Gunton-Lamothe. “Just to try and like stop it so maybe we can have a summer.”

Jim Smith

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