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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, California Campus Shutdowns Pose Challenges for Students


With the national spread of the Coronavirus ( COVID-19), the majority of California universities and colleges are canceling in-person classes and converting to online classes to take precautions and prevent their students from contracting the virus.

CBS updates the list of schools that have canceled in-person classes. Among those are the University of California Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and California State University Long Beach, Northridge, Fullerton, Dominguez Hills, and San Diego State. Click here for a full list. 

“It does suck because everything is up in the air in terms of how my classes are going to be graded,” said Juan Gonzalez, a mechanical engineering student at CSU Long Beach.

“I feel bad for the students who don’t have the resources like a computer to be able to take the online classes. For me, it isn’t as bad because I don’t have to commute anymore and I could work from home and use my computer.”

On Thursday, March 12, California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency and the California Department of Public Health declared that all public gatherings should be canceled or postponed. Non-essential gatherings (concerts, colleges, etc.) should be limited to 250 people.

On Sunday, Newsom asked restaurants and bars to close down and urged elderly residents to stay at home.

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering travel restrictions to California and Washington “if an area gets too hot.” 

“With this shutdown, it makes me realize that online classes are great but not for all subjects,” said Amanda Vincent, an elementary education major at Mt. San Jacinto Community College.

“Some students learn better hands-on like science and math classes. The thing about online is you basically teach yourself and not everybody can do that. Personally, I need someone to teach me hands-on and face to face.”

According to the California Department of Public Health, as of March 13, 8 a.m., Pacific Daylight time, there have been 247 positive cases and five deaths. Twenty-four are from repatriation flights, 65 are travel-related, 52 are person-to-person contamination, 56 are community-acquired (Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Riverside), and 50 are under investigation. Four cases are from the ages 0-17, 143 cases are from the ages 18-64, 98 cases are ages 65+, and 2 unknown cases.

Only 18 labs test for coronavirus in the U.S., including the California Department of Public Health’s Laboratory in Richmond, Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Monterey, Napa-Solano-Yolo-Marin (located in Solano), Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Tulare and Ventura County public health laboratories, according to the California Department of Public Health

You can reduce your risk of infection if you:

  • Clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover your hands and mouth when you sneeze and cough 
  • Practice social distancing and avoid close contact with anyone who has cold and flu-like symptoms

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