On Friday, March 6, the VSU President’s Office sent out an email addressing the coronavirus and the adjustments VSU is making to deal with the virus. Additionally, VSU has a working task force monitoring the situation.
As of now, no changes to class schedules have been made. The university remains steadfast in recommending students who have flu-like symptoms to remain at home to stop the spread of illness. Faculty has been asked to modify class attendance policies and deadlines for students with medical absences.
Per the email, the same goes for employees, and managers should consider telework as a possible option for employees that are recovering from illness but are capable of doing work.
A major focus that VSU is emphasizing is to use increased amounts of disinfectant on shared surfaces such as tabletops and door handles and other common areas such as classrooms and computer labs.
The university is directing custodians to focus on these areas the most. Additionally, the university has placed supplemental orders on personal protective equipment, disinfectant cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer in order to have secure reserves of these resources.
In terms of travel, students and faculty are permitted to travel to Level 1 and Level 2 countries (after careful review of the study abroad proposal or travel to conference/performance location for Level 2 countries), but no university-sponsored travel of any kind to Level 3 or Level 4 countries.
For prevention purposes, the university asks that everyone navigate their daily activities with cleanliness and proper hygiene in mind as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Avoid touching any part of your face, wash your hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes with tissue and stay home if you are ill or feel ill.
Because ofthe precautions taking place, there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus in the South Health District (Lowndes) according to District Epidemiologist Kenneth Lowery. However, there have been 2 reported cases of coronavirus in the state of Georgia coming from the Atlanta area that are believed to have been related from travel.
While there have only been 2 confirmed cases, nearly 200 Georgia residents returning from travel to China have been quarantined in their homes, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
So far, the CDC, Lowndes County Health Department and other respective health departments are using the flu as a guide to combat the coronavirus.
Dr. Keith Warburg, Assistant Director of Creative Services, offered reassurances regarding the virus.
“The health and well-being of our students, staff and faculty is our number one priority,” Dr. Warburg said.
Written by Grant Palmer, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of The Spectator.