Universities in L.A. prepare for coronavirus

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Brian Delgado

At the start of week 8, hand sanitizer stations arrive all over campus for precautions against Coronavirus.

Marisa Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

A virus has brought forth a public health crisis and the most tumultuous economic period since the financial crisis of 2008. Universities are responding.

Some Cal State LA administrators have asked professors to begin transferring their curriculum to Canvas, an application that allows students and professors to access their classes online, in case the campus were to temporarily close as other campuses have.  

Additionally, Cal State LA placed hand sanitizers in overpopulated areas of the university, according to a campus-wide email sent out last week. This precaution is part of the administration’s attempt to lower the chances of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from reaching and spreading on campus grounds.

The email states that the cleaning facilities on campus recently added “four new crews” that are dedicated to sanitizing surface areas that receive the most contact from students such as “desktops, keyboards, push bars, light switches and doorknobs.”

According to the university’s Health Watch website, no students, faculty or staff have been diagnosed with coronavirus. The site is designed to keep students informed on the university’s status regarding the virus. 

On March 4, Los Angeles County declared a “local and public state of emergency” due to, then, six known cases of coronavirus. As of Monday, there are 16 known cases, according to the L.A. County Department of Health.

Because of the recent outbreak, universities throughout L.A. are making attempts to consider campus health and safety. There are no confirmed cases in any of the universities in L.A., though other schools have been impacted in some form.

Cal State Long Beach has 10 students under “self quarantine” after returning from a trip in Washington where confirmed cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed, according ABC 7 Eyewitness News. The university itself has an Academic Continuity Plan that is set in place in case the school needs to take on emergency measures.

Cal State Northridge officials have asked their students who attended an event in New York, where confirmed cases surfaced, to monitor their health carefully and to “report to their health care provider if they exhibit any symptoms.”

According to their coronavirus website, the University of Southern California will be conducting an emergency preparedness test of online-only classes from Wednesday, March 11, to Friday, March 13, in case there were to be an outbreak on their campus.

The University of California, Los Angeles conducted information sessions for students to attend and stream online. Three of its students were tested for the virus but results came back negative.

All schools have asked students to be mindful when traveling and to avoid non-essential travel to continents such as Asia and Europe, and to wash their hands frequently.