Saint Martin’s administration prepares community amidst Coronavirus outbreak

Emma Dobbs, Managing Editor


As the United States prepares against the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Saint Martin’s administration has prepared faculty, staff, and students, to recognize and prevent the infection, travel safely, and be prepared for the possibility of a campus closure. 

Saint Martin’s President Roy Heynderickx addressed the Saint Martin’s community through an email, stating “Saint Martin’s is an inclusive and global university, and times like this call for an extra measure of understanding and awareness…sharing accurate information, and new information as it emerges, can prevent misinformation from spreading.”

Heynderickx shared the development of a web page on the Saint Martin’s website, to share and update community members on the changing state of the Coronavirus. The website link will be shared with the Saint Martin’s community sometime during the week of Mar. 1 via an email. 

As shared by the Thurston County Health Department, “The immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States from Coronavirus (COVID-19) is considered to be low.” However, Heynderickx shared the university’s intent to “continue to monitor reports and stay in close contact with government officials, educational partners abroad and colleagues at other institutions.”

As encouraged by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, Saint Martin’s and other universities have prepared to move face-to-face classes online in the case of spread of the Coronavirus. Faculty and staff have been instructed to prepare to move classes online in case of closure, and to share plans with students before Spring break. As reported by Heynderickx, “Faculty and instructors will be sharing these plans with students during classes held next week, Mar. 2-6.”

The symptoms of Coronavirus include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, or a general feeling of unwellness. Coronavirus is commonly spread through the air, personal contact, or contact with an object or surface contaminated by the virus. 

To protect against the Coronavirus, frequently wash hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and wash your hands afterwards. Do not share personal use items, including drink containers or utensils, and avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

Individuals exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus are encouraged to call the Thurston County Health Department at (360) 867-2500 during business hours, or 1 (800) 986-9050 after business hours. 

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