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Miami University moving classes online amid COVID-19 outbreak

School suspends in-person instruction, restricts travel
Miami University Oxford has postponed their 2020 graduation ceremony set to take place on May 16, according to an email from university president Gregory Crawford.
Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 17:05:56-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

OXFORD, Ohio — Starting Wednesday, Miami University will suspend all face-to-face instruction in the wake of three confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio.

"Beginning tomorrow, March 11, 2020, Miami University’s U.S. campuses are suspending all face-to-face instruction in lectures, discussion sections, seminars and other similar classroom settings. Courses will be delivered by remote instruction through at least April 12, 2020," a university update read.

Miami is also suspending "non-essential large gatherings, including University-related social gatherings" to curb the spread of COVID-19.

All non-essential events planned for over 150 attendees are being canceled or postponed.

Residence halls, dining halls and all campus services will remain open.

All university-sponsored international travel to Italy, Iran, South Korea and China is being suspended for faculty, staff and students. University-sponsored domestic travel will be limited to essential travel and must be approved by the divisional vice-president.

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 at Miami University or in Butler County.

Students and staff can find updates and more information here. You can also call (513) 529-9000 between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tuesday or 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday for more information.

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:

Ohio

  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.

Kentucky

  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.

Indiana

  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail epiresource@isdh.in.gov
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 45 countries across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.