SVSU expected to give coronavirus update later today

After a meeting with Gov. Whitmer later today, SVSU will decide if they will move to online classes, as other Michigan universites have in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The meeting is a result of the March 10 state of emergency Gov. Whitmer announced after Michigan saw its first two reported cases of COVID-19 , or the coronavirus, in Metro Detroit.

J.J. Boehm, interim executive director of University Communications, said Saginaw remains at “low risk” for the virus.

“We had a conference call with the Saginaw County Public Health Department this morning, as we have for the past few days,” he said. “They reiterated that our area remains at a low risk for the virus as of today. Classes and university operations are continuing as normal, while we also work to minimize the risk of exposure for our campus community.”

Boehm said SVSU will wait to give further public comment until after meeting with the governor’s office to avoid spreading misinformation.

“We are expecting to receive updated guidance from the governor’s office later this afternoon,” he said. “To avoid conflicting information or confusion, we are waiting on public comment until after that briefing. We will share more information and respond to media inquiries later today.”

According to the CDC, the current strain of coronavirus is a previously unknown one that can cause serious illness or even death. It is a respiratory infection that is most dangerous to certain demographics, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions or the elderly.

Symptoms of the virus include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. The CDC states it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to first appear. Hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, as well as avoiding unnecessary social interactions will help avoid contracting coronavirus.

As of now, the following universities have switched to online classes or have closed for at least some period of time: Central Michigan University, Michigan Tech, Michigan State University Wayne State, University of Michigan and Oakland University.

SVSU is expected to clarify whether or not they will follow suit later today. Earlier this semester, SVSU had canceled Study Abroad trips for the spring and summer.

The Vanguard will post updates as we receive them.

Kaitlyn Farley

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