In response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the University of Washington has become the first United States college to close its classrooms. The university will be switching to online classes for the duration of the winter quarter.
“Our goal is to complete this academic quarter with as little disruption to our students and their educational progress as possible,” university president Ana Mari Cauce said in a statement.
The University of Washington has a student body of approximately 50,000.
The move to online classes will begin on Monday, March 9 and end on Friday, March 20. The plan is for classes to resume as normal when the university begins its spring quarter, according to the New York Times.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Washington has been the state hit hardest in the United States. More than 70 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Washington and the state has accounted for 11 of the 12 confirmed deaths linked to the virus in the country.
— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) March 6, 2020
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.
That is all the information that is available at this time. This article will be updated with new and relevant information should it become available at any time. If there is anything that we missed, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible.