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Steadfast decision-making by IUP was to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

The coronavirus has been all over the media and affected a lot of people.

Recently, many major places where a large number of people gather either have closed or postponed their events or establishments. Many states have issued nonessential businesses and nonessential restaurants to shut down. 

Disney World announced its closure and also closed its Disney Cruise Line, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) canceled its widely popular March Madness and many TV shows with live audiences are taping without a live studio audience. 

Many colleges and universities have closed their campuses and moved to online classes for the remainder of the semester. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019 but has been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including the U.S. The source of the disease is said to have come from a larger family of viruses, but ultimately have origins from bats. 

On CDC’s website on Jan. 30, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. 

People across the world, including Americans, are worried about the virus spreading and affecting them. 

According to the CDC on March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the virus as a pandemic, or a global outbreak of disease, and on March 13, Donald Trump declared the outbreak a national emergency. 

Many places like schools, daycares, airports and other places are staying attentive and are being cautious to the news of the virus daily. 

According to CNN, Donald Trump said he was restricting and suspending travel to the U.S. from more than two dozen European countries in order to attempt to contain the coronavirus, but noting that the ban would apply to people, not goods. 

IUP had gotten several emails from Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Thomas Segar throughout the weeks before spring break, ensuring IUP did not have any known cases of the virus. 

“I don’t think it will reach IUP or not, but if it does, it’s not affecting people who are our age,” Andrew Muth (sophomore, music education) said. “It’s killing people who are older and those who have pre-existing medical conditions that are already at risk. 

“I think people are overreacting to the virus. I went to Walmart today to look for hand sanitizer, but they were all out. 

“I read articles where stores are running out of things like that, where shelves are out of stock. More people have died from the flu in the U.S. than the coronavirus.” 

Many people are stocking up on items like hand sanitizers, cleaning products and, for some reason, toilet paper. However, many people are also continuing to go to work, shop and live their daily lives, being cautious about the virus and trying to stay healthy by washing their hands and not spreading germs. 

“I am buying into it cautiously, but I’m also not as paranoid as everyone else,” Tyler Menichiello (junior, biology) said. “I am pretty much worried about it as much as I am about getting the flu or pneumonia. 

“I think if we did come back from spring break, coming from gosh knows where, we would have been more likely to get the virus because students would have been coming back from different places.”

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