University Suspends Operations Amid Possible Exposure to Confirmed Case of Coronavirus


Photo Courtesy of Hunter Lang

Students leave campus following the university’s decision to suspend classes and vacate residence halls.

Jennifer Korn, Student Life Editor

Late afternoon Monday, university Pres. Steven Kaplan announced that all classes and university events will be canceled through March 24. Students must vacate the residence halls by 5 p.m.Tuesday.

There are currently no confirmed cases of the virus on campus, but there are two confirmed cases in Conn., according to WFSB Eyewitness News

“These decisions were made after learning that individuals on our campus may have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus after attending an out-of-state conference.” said Kaplan.

According to the email, “All non-essential employees should expect to work from home beginning on Wednesday, March 11.” Faculty members are also being asked to “develop alternative means of instruction delivery and will reschedule exams.”

Sacred Heart University also suspended classes and plans to move them online by Wednesday, according to that university’s website. The university is taking these measures “out of an abundance of caution in response to the rapidly changing global health situation.” said Sacred Heart university officials.

According to the CDC, the virus “is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.” The CDC also reported that the spread of the disease may be possible before people show symptoms, but that may not bethe main way the virus spreads.

The CDC also reports that some people are at higher risk from the illness. High-risk individuals include “older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.” according to the CDC.

As of today, 19 states have reported cases of COVID-19, according to the CDC.

The World Health Organization recommends that frequent hand-washing, maintaining social distance and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth can help people protect themselves from the virus. Coughing or sneezing into the elbow and the immediate disposal of tissues also help prevent the virus from spreading.

The World Health Organization advises people to seek medical attention if they have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Kaplan suggested that if students feel sick, they “should self-isolate and seek medical care ASAP for evaluation and testing.” Kaplan instructed students to call their primary care doctor before going to their office and notify the university’s human resources department at 203-932-7297 or 203-610-1889.

“Individuals who do seek medical care must also contact the University’s Health Services Office at 203-932-7079.” said Kaplan.