ST. PAUL -- The University of Minnesota Extension announced Thursday it will cancel its in-person programs statewide beginning Monday, March 16, to help reduce the number of Minnesota settings in which potential spread of COVID-19 could occur.

The cancellation is effective through March 31 and Extension leaders will re-evaluate plans for future programs at that time, a release said. The Extension announcement applies to all in-person programs and meetings, whether they are offered on a county, regional or statewide basis. Extension’s online programs will take place as scheduled and some in-person events may be moved online.

Extension is the research, outreach and education arm of the university. Earlier this week, the university announced that for-credit coursework on all five University of Minnesota campuses will be delivered through alternative instruction beginning next week.

The Extension cancellation includes a variety of areas including:

  • Minnesota 4-H and related youth development programs
  • Extension Master Gardeners and Extension Master Naturalists
  • Nutrition programs offered via SNAP-Ed, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and Cooking Matters.
  • Educational workshops and programs in agriculture, natural resources, food safety and community vitality and development
  • Programs conducted through the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Extension’s county, regional and statewide offices remain open and employees will be at work.

Updates will be provided at extension.umn.edu, as well as Extension’s Facebook and Twitter pages, www.facebook.com/UofMExt and @umnext.