Coronavirus [liveblog]

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2013

The latest

Updated: 8:30 p.m. 3/28

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  • Face-to-face instruction has been canceled. All courses will resume online on March 30.
  • President Trump has declared a national state of emergency
  • All 50 states have reported cases according to the New York Times
  • Rowan strongly suggests that all members of the Rowan community – faculty, staff and students – reconsider any upcoming domestic travel, especially to areas where there has been a significant occurrence of COVID-19. 
  • The university will remain open and continue with routine operations so we can accommodate students who choose to remain on campus and need dining and other resources or support for their educational needs.
  • On March 11, the CDC has declared the coronavirus to be a pandemic.
  • Rowan has extended spring break to March 27
  • All NCAA activities have been canceled.
  • The closest case to Rowan has been reported in Cherry Hill
  • Six Rowan students who were studying abroad have returned home
  • Neighboring schools have also closed or taken action
  • Rowan’s Virus info page rowan.edu/virusinfo
  • The National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer have suspended their seasons, while Major League Baseball has suspended spring training
  • The United States Capitol has ended all public tours through at least March
  • Broadway is closing, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday
  • Disney World and Disney Land have closed


What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause illness. The new novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, began catching attention after it spread in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China at the end of last year; according to the CDC, the COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.

Governor Phil Murphy Press Conference 3/16

  • Gov. Murphy has ordered the NJ National Guard to help assist communities
  • All non-essential businesses will close by 8 p.m. daily
  • All non-essential businesses remaining open during the day will be limited to 50 individuals
  • Any non-essential business in violation will be handled on a discretionary basis by local police departments and prosecutors
  • Restaurants can continue to serve patrons through delivery and take-out after 8 p.m.
  • Casinos, racetracks, gyms, performing arts centers, movie theaters and night clubs close beginning at 8 p.m. tonight
  • Non-essential travel is strongly discouraged, especially during the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Gov. Phil Murphy. Editor-in-Cheif / Miguel Martinez

VIDEO: Coronavirus Shuts Down Rowan

By Kristin Guglietti


Rowan EMS prepares for pandemic

By Tara Lonsdorf

Rowan EMS. File Photo / Mackenzie Fitchett.

Even as Rowan University has moved to online classesRowan’s student-staffed Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team will continue serving the Rowan community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Scott Woodside, director for Student Health Services at Rowan University, the Wellness Center and EMS have been collaboratively preparing to respond to COVID-19-related emergencies as a resource against the spread of the disease.

“All students are encouraged to call the Wellness Center or their doctor if they feel they’re ill and have been in contact with a confirmed case of someone with COVID-19. If students do come to the Wellness Center we have procedures in place to isolate and protect the patient and our staff. We will offer guidance on testing if appropriate and self-care if the patient needs to be isolated.”

Woodside assures that there are ample supplies available to Rowan EMS.

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Coronavirus dangers lead to cancellation of engineering trip to China

By Dmitri Torpey

A planned trip to China for the “Engineering in a Global Context” class has been cancelled after the country has been battered by the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19, a disease spread by a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2, originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The disease quickly spread through the entire country. At the time of publication, the disease had claimed the lives of 3,162 people in China, while infecting 80,955, according to the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Rowan University cancelled all university-sponsored travel earlier this month.

The trip, scheduled for spring break, was meant to “provide [students] with an introduction and opportunity to understand cultural nuances of engineering in China, gain insights into business innovation and the chance to expand your career development,” according to the online description of the class.

The 10 day trip was scheduled to include stops in Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai.

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Rowan announced new restrictions

Rowan University said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that new restrictions have been implemented for the college campus. 

The university said that events where external groups would rent Rowan facilities are cancelled. In addition, internal Rowan events are restricted to only students and faculty. Groups or visitors are not allowed to participate in any internal event, according to the statement. Rowan also addressed athletics events and said that “All intercollegiate athletics and sport club contests will proceed as scheduled.” The student attendance policywas also revised and advised students to stay home if they are feeling sick or think that they might have been exposed to the virus. If students have questions they can visit Rowan’s Coronavirus information page or contact the dean of students Kevin Koett at koett@rowan.edu or 856-256-4283.

NJ declared a state of emergency

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a “public health state of emergency” Monday evening after the number of presumed positive coronavirus cases raised to 11 in the state of New Jersey. Twenty-four additional cases are under investigation in the state, according to NJ.com.

The declaration of emergency will allow the state to ask for funding for resources such as testing.

Rowan announces new registration dates

Rowan extends spring break, begins preparation for online courses

Editor-in-Chief / Miguel Martinez

By Christopher Connors

In light of recent developments regarding the spread of COVID-19, Rowan University has extended spring break an extra week and alerted professors to begin preparing to teach courses online if needed, according to an email sent to faculty and staff on Monday, March 9.

While no one in the Rowan community has tested positive for the disease, the administration is now forming a contingency plan if a case does arrive. Students should plan to return to class on Monday, March 30.

While no one in the Rowan community has tested positive for the disease, the administration is now forming a contingency plan if a case does arrive. Students should plan to return to class on Monday, March 30.

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Rowan sends email to professors


Studying abroad halted as coronavirus spreads to Italy

By Christopher Connors

Photo courtesy of Marlee Chesler

Marlee Chesler’s Italian experience as of late was not what she anticipated when she was admitted into a study abroad program. Arriving on Jan. 29, she studied at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Italy’s Tuscany region, and continued her education in psychology while experiencing everything the city had to offer.

An average day involved attending courses such as Cross-Cultural Psychology, Culture and Society in Italy and Intro to the Italian Family. After class, she might attend a local cafe, head to a museum or look out over the picturesque city. For the first month, it was everything she could have imagined. 

But that slowly began to change. Information trickled in about the burgeoning coronavirus or COVID-19, as it is officially known, but Chesler didn’t worry. The virus had been contained to China, a world away from the beautiful landscape and rolling hills of Florence, Italy. As the virus spread outside of China, it remained a blip on the radar.

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Editorial: What happens in a worst-case scenario?

Online classes? With thisWi-Fi?

Well, that seems to be the plan that Rowan has in case of a widespread coronavirus outbreak: stay inside and move classes to the internet. While this may not be the final outcome that Rowan chooses, it is still worth exploring as an option.

However, as anyone who has ever tried to access Citrix Receiver on a Monday afternoon knows too well, Rowan’s Wi-Fi would probably not be able to handle the influx of users.

This begs the question: what else can be planned in the event of widespread illness?

For example, would Rowan require employees of Gourmet Dining to show up on campus in the middle of a public health crisis? If Gourmet Dining and on-campus meals aren’t available, will students living in traditional dorms without kitchens be able to access food? Will students be reimbursed for their meal plans? What about RAs? Would rations be given every day?

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University-related travel to areas of concern cancelled due to coronavirus

By Christopher Connors

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, Rowan University will suspend planned university-related travel through May 31 to any location designated as an area of concern by the Centers for Disease Control effective immediately, according to a university-wide email sent on Feb. 27.

While the university had takenextra precautionsover the last month, this move represents an escalation of Rowan’s policy following new developments within the United States and internationally. This will affect students, staff and faculty. 

Student groups scheduled to take a university-related trip to a destination designated as Level 1 or higher will be cancelled. Students should reach out to their dean of students to cancel tickets or any arrangements that have already been made. The university will provide financial assistance to students who may suffer financial losses as a result of this temporary suspension.

“Over the past few days, there has been a surge of new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases reported across the globe,” the email read. The university concedes the immediate risk within the United States is currently low, however this move has been made out of an abundance of caution.

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