In response to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus within the U.S., CSUN has announced plans to transition to online and alternative course delivery for all classes following next week’s spring break. The move follows epidemiological recommendations to avoid large gatherings of people, which can slow the transmission of the virus and reduce the risk of overburdening medical facilities.
The new virus, designated SARS-CoV-2, causes mild flulike symptoms in most healthy individuals; but severe cases can be life-threatening, and are more common than in seasonal flu. Older people and those with existing health conditions or compromised immune systems are at substantially greater risk of severe illness if infected, and if the virus spreads unchecked, severe cases could arrive in hospitals faster than they can be treated. CSUN therefore joined other universities, and a growing list of institutions and organizations around the country, in cancelling or rescheduling events to reduce opportunities for rapid transmission of the virus within larger groups of people.
Faculty will spend the break retooling to deliver classes via online platforms including Canvas and the Zoom videoconference system. In the Department of Biology, professors are also focusing on alternatives to in-person laboratory activities and field trips. CSUN President Dianne Harrison also cancelled classes on Thursday and Friday to reduce person-to-person contact as soon as possible and permit more time for the transition. Students should expect updates from professors as to new course plans, but expect to meet (virtually) on their usual class schedule unless otherwise informed.
Apart from the transition away from in-person classes, campus will remain open as normal at this time. Students, faculty, and staff are advised to follow recommended measures for reducing the risk of viral transmission, as listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Wash your hands often, ideally with soap and water for at least 20 seconds of scrubbing, but with alcohol-based sanitizer when this is not possible;
- Minimize close contact with others, especially strangers;
- Cover coughs and sneezes, and sneeze into your elbow rather than your hand;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
If you develop flu-like symptoms such as a dry cough and a fever above 100.4°F, call your doctor or the Klotz Student Health Center at 818-677-3666, and stay at home except to seek medical help.
Updates will be posted to the CSUN coronavirus news page.