The World Health Organization just declared the novel coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. “This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus, with cases passing 115,000 worldwide,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.
With the outbreak of Coronavirus taking hold in the United States, colleges from coast to coast are scrambling to ramp up remote learning alternatives for their students. It’s not only time to react, it’s smart to react.
Spread of COVID-19 coronavirus is in the U.S. with over 750 cases and 31 deaths as of Tuesday, March 10th. The Department of Education issued guidance for colleges to implement distance learning, while the Centers for Disease Control released an outline for schools to prevent the spread of disease.
You don’t have to look far to see the impact this outbreak is having. Educational and professional associations are calling off major conferences, students studying abroad have been instructed to return home, and importantly, classes are being canceled for an indeterminate amount of time. Therefore, the need for a virtual replacement to that learning is immediate. Those colleges that have yet to put a process in place will feel enormous disruptions in learning.
If school is still in session, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the spread of the virus. “We can really mitigate the impact of the disease,” Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told Reporters on Monday. “There are personal responsibilities that we are asking everyone in the United States to take.”
Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, Lysol wipe surfaces and avoid large group events. Seattle Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on large gatherings of 250 people or more in at least three counties Wednesday. “We need to look at what is coming, not just what is here today,” he detailed.
Washington is one of the first states to face the virus with large scale restrictions such as school closings and bans on public events, but it won’t be the last state to do so.
St. Patrick’s Day parades in Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia have been postponed indefinitely. The highly anticipated Coachella music festival has been pushed to October. Pearl Jam has canceled the North American portion of its “Gigation” tour, and the list goes on.
At least 130 American colleges and universities have canceled in-person classes so far over Coronavirus fears. Harvard University, UCLA, Stanford, 13 in Washington State alone, as well as New York University, Syracuse, Rutgers, Duke, Loyola, Johns Hopkins University of Florida, Ohio State,and Harvard University.
In fact, Harvard asked students to physically move out of dorms on Tuesday, prompting on-line requests for local parents and community residents to possibly host international students during the closure.
So big picture – this is not a drill. 16 countries around the globe have closed all schools due to the outbreak, according to the United Nations. We are poised to do the same here in the United States. Let’s get ahead of the problem.
If your programs are not equipped with an online solution for students or professionals, 4MedPlus has several courses that would benefit your allied health programs during this health crisis. Our self-paced, online courses are a great substitute for classroom learning.
4MedPlus is a leading provider of online learning curriculum for allied health programs as well as course content for continuing medical education for physicians, nurses and healthcare executives.