All facts are from the World Health Organization (WHO) unless stated otherwise.

 

When students adjourned to their spring break destinations, they did not know that break would turn into isolation.

The newly discovered coronavirus, or COVID-19, brought not only a halt to IUP’s operations for the remainder of the spring, but to the rest of the world as well.

Many countries are currently experimenting to find a cure, but little results have yielded from this.

 

COVID-19: An Overview

 

The disease first broke out in China and is an infection in the respiratory system that contains different levels of infection.

According to healthline.com, the incubation period for this ranges from two to 14 days after initial exposure. In comparison, patients who have SARS-CoV-2 will experience symptoms after 11.5 days.

COVID-19 is transmitted when exposure to one’s saliva or nasal discharge is present. It travels airborne via coughing or sneezing from an infected person.

One who is infected will experience symptoms such as fever, fatigue and dry cough. Some may experience general aches and pains, congestion in the nasal passages, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea.

While these symptoms are common, some infections yield no symptoms and about one of every six people will develop serious illnesses from COVID-19.

Older citizens and those with immunodeficiencies are more at risk to contract severe cases of COVID-19.

 

A VIEW OF COVID-19

IN PENNSYLVANIA

 

Currently, there are 644 reported cases of the coronavirus in 34 Pennsylvania counties and only three deaths have come from it; 6,595 tests were negative.

In Pennsylvania, Montgomery County has the most number of cases at 129 with Philadelphia following at 128. 

As of Monday, there were no reported cases in Indiana County.

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-essential businesses to cease operations for an undisclosed amount of time, as well as a stay-at-home order for seven counties including Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.

 

What precautions should 

be taken?

 

Similar to if one contracts the flu, washing hands thoroughly and regularly along with refraining from touching your face are the main promoted precautions.

As for businesses, employees are to work from home, if able. Schools have suspended classes or moved to an online platform to ensure the safety of students while also sanitizing equipment.

If one experiences symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately and self-quarantine. 

 

IUP’s Response

 

IUP has moved all face-to-face classes to online for the remainder of the semester with graduation still to be determined. It was announced in an email by university President Michael Driscoll on March 12.

The decision of how faculty grades coursework is up for discussion as the university is considering pass/fail or remaining with letter grades.

Students who lived on campus were given until March 21 to check out of their residence halls, while off-campus students were either given approval or denial if they were able to stay in their apartments.

While the university is not closed, many offices will remain open during normal hours. Some offices, such as Payroll Services and Human Resources, will close their office and work from remote locations.

“I want to reassure you that [Gov. Wolf’s closure of non-life-sustaining businesses] will NOT affect IUP’s current operations,” Thomas Segar, vice president of student affairs, said in a March 19 email. “Residence hall move-out will continue as scheduled, dining operations will continue as scheduled for students remaining on campus, online classes will continue as scheduled, faculty are continuing to work on transitioning classes online which will begin on March 23, the Health Services office remains open and the Counseling Center will continue providing remote services.”

Advising for the upcoming fall semester, as well as various classes, are being held via Zoom video conferencing or other remote communication.

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