WEST LONG BRANCH —  Monmouth University classes will go all online after the Thanksgiving break because of the recent increase in novel coronavirus cases in New Jersey and around the country.

Dr. Patrick Lahey said in a message on the school website that when classes resume on Monday, Nov. 30, they will be all online except in the case of in-person or hybrid courses that require in-person instruction like clinical and field-based experiences. The fall semester ends on Monday, Dec. 14.

Residence halls will remain open for students who want to return to campus after the holiday. Students who leave and spend Thanksgiving in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut or Pennsylvania will be required to take a COVID-19 test within three days of their return to campus.

Those who choose not to return will receive prorated refunds or credits on unused room contracts, meal plans, and parking fees. Students must notify the school of their plans by Nov. 13.

Gov. Phil Murphy is urging residents to keep their Thanksgiving dinners to immediate family and those who have been in their households during the pandemic. Murphy said that the recent spike in cases is because of indoor parties and gatherings in private homes.

Activities for the school's winter season athletics will continue including competition, formal practices and and individual and small group training.

It won't be the first time Monmouth has gone to mostly remote learning during the semester.

Cases at the school spiked in October, with nearly 200 reported cases emerging from what the school said was an off campus "super-spreader event" in September, pushing the school to a temporary online schedule. A hybrid schedule resumed after the school's fall break after Columbus Day, despite a lack of cooperation by students with Monmouth County Regional Health contact tracers trying to find the location of the party.

The school has 25 active cases as of Tuesday, according to its website.

Lahey said he will announce the school's plan for the spring semester in the coming weeks but did not offer a specific date.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ