Editor’s Note: This article is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.
UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla sent an email this evening with new recommendations regarding upcoming campus-wide events and classes due to concerns surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. There are currently no reported cases at UCSD.
For the rest of Winter Quarter 2020, Khosla recommends the cancellation of campus tours and events with more than 100 people. Additionally, sports events will continue, but they will be not open to the public. The Triton reached out to UCSD to ask how this will affect Sun God Festival 2020.
Professors will not grade based on attendance for the remainder of Winter Quarter 2020.
Khosla’s email specifies: “… all lecture and discussion courses [in Spring Quarter 2020] will be delivered remotely. In the context of our campus, this will mainly involve offering conventional courses via online teaching and learning tools.”
Classes that require in-person instruction such as laboratory and studio courses will continue to meet for now. The email recommends professors use Zoom, an online video conference application, to interact with students in real time and Canvas to upload course materials.
COVID-19, a novel strain of the coronavirus that is new to humans, is a respiratory illness that is communicable and targets those who are older and immunocompromised. Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and other flu-like symptoms.
While there have been several cases confirmed in cities with UC campuses, no UC school has had a confirmed case of COVID-19. Though three students at UCLA were tested for COVID-19 after self-isolation, all were found to be negative.
On February 3, UC President Janet Napolitano issued a cessation of all non-essential travel to China, following the Level 4 travel advisory by the U.S. State Department. An update to this notice was sent on February 26, to include South Korea’s classification as Level 3. While the UC San Diego Health system is currently not treating any patients with or suspected to have the coronavirus disease, caution has been emphasized.
At the end of February, University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) Programs in South Korea and Italy were suspended until further notice. UCSD has released information regarding Study Abroad programs and their current status.
Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH) also sent out an email on Friday regarding increased preventative measures that will be taken for all shared spaces and how those living on campus may reside in their residences over break, should their plans change.
HDH commented, “University leadership and health care experts are in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health and San Diego County’s Public Health Services to monitor recommendations for how to prevent and respond to any cases of COVID-19.” A survey has also been sent out in order to determine the demand for residential services over Spring Break 2020.
All university updates regarding COVID-19 can be found here, including archived webinars, all notices from President Napolitano, and other relevant directives and information.
Sahana Narayan is a staff writer for The Triton. Editor-in-Chief Ella Chen, Managing Editor Ethan Edward Coston, Incoming Managing Editor Kate Zegans, Assistant News Editor Samir Nomani, and Copy Editor Melissa Posada contributed to this article.