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.
CINCINNATI — Starting Monday, March 16, Xavier University will suspend in-person classes and move to remote learning due to the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, officials announced Tuesday night.
"We hope to resume in-person instruction on Tuesday, April 14, after the Easter holiday, but we will continue to evaluate the situation," read an online update from university president Michael Graham Tuesday.
Xavier, currently on its spring break , advises both on-campus and off-campus residents "return to and remain at their permanent address."
Meanwhile, Xavier University "remains open and our other operations continue as classroom learning shifts to remote options."
"Staff and those faculty with operational responsibilities are expected to report to campus," Graham wrote. "For the short term, work-at-home options will be utilized on a case by case basis, at the approval of each employee’s division leader.
So far, no university events have been canceled.
"We will assess whether it is appropriate to hold University events in an ongoing manner," Graham wrote.
Graham also advised students and faculty check school email accounts regularly for updates and visit this website to submit questions and find more information.
Both Miami University and University of Cincinnati also announced they would go digital to prevent the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine suggested schools consider remote learning options as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19.
As of Tuesday night, no cases have been confirmed in the Cincinnati area.
Find coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:
- Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
- See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.
- State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
- See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.
- SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.