Covid-19: Trump declares national emergency, SWOSU shifts to online classes
Updated: Jun 21
First Oklahoma universities have announced campus closings, SWOSU just announced a shift to online classes while campus itself remains open.
By Chief Kendra Brown, updated by Johannes Becht
The Coronavirus is spreading more and more around the world and also across the United States. There are now far more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and many more cases pending.
So far, cases have been registered especially in New York, Washington state, and California, and 38 people have died from the virus in the U.S. In Oklahoma, there are two cases so far.
President Donald Trump announced a national emergency on Friday, March 13.
The number of outbreak in the U.S. is likely to skyrocket within the next two weeks, among others due to the upcoming Spring Break.
Online classes at SWOSU
"As a precautionary and protective measure, SWOSU is transitioning all in-person classes to an online learning environment for the two-week period following Spring Break, beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3.
Though our campus classes will not meet in person, the university will remain open. SWOSU employees will report to work as usual. University housing, computer labs, food service, health clinics, counseling services, research labs and all other aspects of the university will remain open during the two-week period from March 23-April 3."
Most major Oklahoma universities such as University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Oklahoma City University had already announced to hold classes online after Spring Break for at least two weeks, according to KFOR. The University of Central Oklahoma has extended its Spring Break for one week.
What is the worst case?
It is not unlikely that there will be cases of the virus on campus after Spring Break. In the event of a public health threat with significant impact on public safety, the Custer County Public Health and Medical System Emergency Response Plan will be activated. This plan coordinates state and local resources to partner on the incident.
What can I do?
First - don't panic. The virus is not dangerous in most cases. The highest morality rate is among people who are 80 years and older (21.9%). If you are young, you'll probably be fine, even if you get the virus.
Second - wash your hands regularly, 20 seconds minimum. If no soap is available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose and having close contact with people who appear to be sick.
Symptoms include fever and lower respiratory illness. If you exhibit signs within 14 days of travel to a country with a global health emergency, please reach out. If you have health concerns related to flu-like symptoms, contact University Health Services at 580-774-3776 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.
Masks are available upon request from the SWSOU Health and Wellness Center to avoid spread of illness.
Can I track the virus?
Johns Hopkins University has created a map that is tracking the virus around the world (mobile version below):
SWOSU is continuously monitoring this outbreak. Please let SWOSU PD know if you have any questions or concerns, at 580-774-3111.