FAIRBORN — Greene County universities are joining the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College in canceling in-person classes and moving lessons to an online format after four confirmed cases of the coronavirus were made in Ohio.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency March 9 and on March 10 called on Ohio colleges and universities to move all classes online or teach them remotely. The request came one day after Ohio State University announced it would cancel in-person classes at least through March 30.
Wright State President Dr. Sue Edwards issued a campus-wide email statement March 10 in response to the coronavirus. She highlighted that although no confirmed cases of the coronavirus have taken place in the Wright State University Dayton and Lake Campus neighborhoods, the institution is taking a proactive approach to preventing the spread of the illness to protect the health of students and employees.
“I understand that the changes that we have to impose will cause measurable disruption, but, according to public health officials, the risk of not acting outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures,” Edwards wrote. “The safety of our campus community is always our number one priority.”
She highlighted that an impactful measure to preventing the spread of the illness is to minimize conditions in which individuals will interact and possibly spread the viral ailment. Therefore, Wright State has canceled as of midnight March 10 in-person and partial in-person classes. Faculty members have been tasked with creating lesson plans that can be delivered remotely in an online format beginning Monday, March 16 through at least Monday, March 30.
Online classes will continue as normal.
All university events are suspended until further notice, and Wright State will follow NCAA and Horizon League standards concerning athletic events. Campus operations, such as administration, research laboratories, housing, dining, libraries and computer labs, will remain open and employees are still expected to report to work unless they feel ill.
In-state travel will be permitted, but university-funded domestic and foreign air travel has been suspended until further notice.
“Anyone remaining on campus is encouraged to actively practice preventive measures, including appropriate social distancing and good hygiene practices,” Edwards wrote.
She asked individuals to practice property hand washing techniques and/or utilize at least 60-percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as well as avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
“If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, consult a medical professional, particularly if you have traveled to a region with a high incidence of COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who has traveled to those regions and has respiratory symptoms,” she said.
Edwards also suggested avoiding contact with sick individuals, staying home if feeling under-the-weather, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the garbage, cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces, using good judgment and reducing group work and social distancing when possible.
“These steps are being taken based upon state recommendation with special guidance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. In addition … university leaders have been consulted with respect to preparing the aforementioned plan,” Edwards said.
Information will be shared via www.wright.edu/coronavirus — the university’s COVID-19 website.
She concluded her statement by asking individuals to look out for an support each other, and ask for assistance if needed.
“I know disruptions and contingency planning can be difficult and stressful,” Edwards said. “I sincerely appreciate your efforts and cooperation to keep our students, employees, and communities safe as we take these measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.”
Cedarville University and Central State University are also following similar procedures.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507. Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.