Long Beach State officials have said they are preparing to pause face-to-face classes as early as next week in response to the growing number of cases of coronavirus locally.
President Jane Close Conoley said at this time she does not have a confirmation as to when on-campus instruction will be halted or when, if so, face-to-face will be resumed.
Conoley also said that all California State University campuses are making the same considerations.
“We’ll probably give a pause to face-to-face classes for a few days to give professors a chance to figure out how you will deliver your classes remotely and then from a period of two to four weeks after that we will be delivering remotely,” Conoley said. “We might take a few days off to prepare and then we might come back.”
This development comes as Long Beach health officials announced that the city has its first confirmed cases of the novel-coronavirus.
“Preliminary test results indicate that two men and one woman have tested positive for COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus disease 2019. Cases are considered presumptive until the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the results,” City of Long Beach Joint Information Center said in a press release. “Two had traveled to an international area of community transmission and one traveled domestically to an area of community transmission.”
One patient is currently being treated at MemorialCare Hospital and the other two are self-quarantined at home.
“These preliminary test results, and our response and coordination with public health and safety officials are being taken extremely seriously. We strongly believe that COVID-19 is a threat to public health here in Long Beach and throughout the United States,” Mayor Robert Garcia said.
As the discussion across the California State University on how to move forward with face-to-face classroom instruction, the Long Beach Health Department has not recommended to close down instruction.
“At this time, Health officials are not recommending the closures of schools or other public facilities,” it read. “If in the future that changes, the City will provide further instruction.”
Update March, 9 at 8:28 p.m.
Long Beach State Athletics is working on a team travel policy in response to the coronavirus and is willing to forfeit away-games held in states where the virus is more prevalent.
Officials will weigh the importance of the game versus the potential risks CSULB teams may face.
“I wouldn’t approve travel to the state of Washington now,” President Jane Close Conoley said. “Or maybe to Santa Clara County now that there’s been a death.”
For the upcoming women’s basketball Big West Tournament, which is held at the Walter Pyramid, fans will be seated in every-other seat to help minimize person-to-person contact.
According to Conoley, the CSULB janitorial team sanitized the locker rooms and seating in the Pyramid.
She added that discussions are being held for the future of home games pertaining to fans.
“The decision to go fan-less is out there,” she said. “But if we do that it’ll be pretty last minute.”
All events held at games have been canceled. Events include booster clubs and alumni gatherings.
“Many of the people that come to [game events] are in the age range that are more likely to be [affected],” Conoley said.
Commencement may also be moved from face-to-face as talks of virtual ceremonies are being had between coordinators and officials.
“We started planning today if we’ll have a virtual commencement,” Conoley said.
Conoley added that since the commencement is still over two months away, the hope is the spread of the virus will be contained by then.
Austin Brumblay, Editor in chief, contributed to this article.
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