UC San Diego announces all Spring Quarter classes will be online, UC Berkeley suspends in-person instruction citing coronavirus concerns

UC San Diego announces all Spring Quarter classes will be online, UC Berkeley suspends in-person instruction citing coronavirus concerns

Photo Credits: SHEREEN LEE / AGGIE FILE

UC Davis’ operational status remains unchanged, university advises “maximum flexibility”

UC Davis officials announced on Saturday, March 7, that the university is advising “maximum flexibility” regarding instruction for the remainder of the quarter due to concerns regarding the coronavirus. The operational status of the university remains unchanged. In an online message explaining the decision, university officials said there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the UC Davis campus, although they acknowledged that there is a confirmed case of the virus in Yolo County.

“Effective immediately, for the balance of Winter Quarter, instructors can move part or all of their remaining course content online,” reads the online message, signed by top UC Davis officials, including Chancellor Gary May. 

Other UC campuses, however, have recently made more drastic decisions to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. UC San Diego officials announced on Monday that all of the university’s Spring Quarter classes will be held remotely via online access. At UC Berkeley, all in-person classes have been canceled until March 29. Neither UCSD nor UC Berkeley have reported any cases of the virus on their campus; however, the first case of COVID-19 in Berkeley was reported on March 3 and the first case of COVID-19 in San Diego County was reported on Monday. 

With over 100 countries reporting cases of the coronavirus and an estimated 110,000 people affected by the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reportedly nearly ready to declare the coronavirus outbreak a “pandemic.” The word, however, strictly indicates the global spread of the disease, with the WHO’s director general reportedly saying, “We are not at the mercy of this virus.”

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, and experts have classified it as zoonotic, meaning it is spread by contact between people and animals — this specific strain is thought to have been contracted through human contact with bats. Now spread from person-to-person contact, a complete understanding of COVID-19, a respiratory illness, is not fully known.

“Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. “While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases.”

Older individuals and individuals with health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes are at a higher risk of developing a more serious form of the illness, according to the CDC.

As universities across the globe make internal decisions in an effort to mitigate the spread of the disease, UC Davis officials emphasize the importance of preventive care: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds; avoid touching your face; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects; stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick and cover all your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
Written by: Hannah Holzer — campus@theaggie.org