KITCHENER -- The University of Waterloo will deliver its spring term online in response to COVID-19.

That's according to a news release issued Friday, expanding on a previous move to suspend person-to-person learning for the rest of the winter semester.

"We have made the decision to continue with an alternative delivery system for Spring Term, meaning that regrettably we are not going to deliver in-person course activity," said President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur in a news release.

"While there is nothing like learning in person, this allows us to make sure that we can continue to deliver a great academic experience for our students during this extraordinary time."

The spring term will begin on May 11. The news release says that all students will learn in a way that does not require them to come to campus.

The university also says it will work to accommodate co-op students who may be on work terms and have to work remotely.

"We have delivered online courses since the late 1990s, so the University of Waterloo has a great deal of expertise in online learning," Hamdullahpur is quoted in the release.

"We believe we can apply this experience to provide a range of courses and programs in new ways while we cannot plan to learn in person."

The school says it will give more details on changes to course offerings, dates and enrolment by March 27.

In the meantime, the university says that most of its campus buildings will be locked as of 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Student Life Centre will stay open.

The school is also asking researchers to stay off campus unless their research has been deemed critical.

Most non-essential staff members are also being instructed to work from home.