By Elizabeth Scalzo
Students at FDU are wondering what the university is doing to address the threat of the coronavirus as it continues to spread to more countries throughout the world. One big concern is how students should prepare to prevent the disease and what they should do if they are planning to travel for spring break.
In late February, the FDU hospitality program canceled a trip to southern Switzerland over spring break due to the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. The students were assured that missing their European seminar will not hinder their ability to graduate on time and that the university’s main concern is the safety of the students.
“It is expected that many study abroad opportunities will be impacted over spring break and in the near future due to the coronavirus, and information will be sent to the students,” Angelo Carfagna, associate vice president for university communications, told The Equinox.
The offices of President Christopher Capuano and Student Health Services were contacted for comment, and The Equinox will share when a reply is received.
The coronavirus started in Wuhan, China, and has now spread to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. It is in a total of 56 countries with case numbers continuing to rise across the world, according to The New York Times. The Times also reported that The World Health Organization raised the risk for global spread of the coronavirus, from high to very high, which is the highest of the four-stage system.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for prevention of the coronavirus are similar to those of any disease that can spread quickly through contact. The most important being to stay home when sick and avoid contact with those who are sick.
For students, it is important to disinfect commonly used surfaces, which could mean carrying Clorox wipes to class to disinfect desks, doorknobs and handles, keyboards and phones. Students traveling for spring break should take wipes with them to sanitize everything they touch in the airports. In addition, it is important to frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer.
As far as plans from other universities such as Rutgers, the school has already restricted travel to China for teaching, study abroad, conferences and research, according to USA Today.
The coronavirus spreads through person-to-person within a six-foot contact distance, according to the CDC, and is mostly spread through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. The CDC also states that the disease spreads through surface contact, which is why it is important to disinfect.
Cases confirmed of CIVID-19 as of 11:00 a.m. ET February 28, 2020, via CDC.
Coronavirus: What Is It and How to Prevent It (FEBRUARY 11, 2020)