Cal State Long Beach will suspend in-person classes because of fears about the new coronavirus, the university announced Wednesday, March 11.
Face-to-face classes are canceled from today, Thursday, March 12, to Tuesday, March 17, to allow instructors to prepare for a switch to online-only classes, which will begin Wednesday, March 18. The campus will remain open.
Some courses in which online instruction isn’t appropriate — like laboratory or performing arts classes — will continue, but “accommodations associated with social distancing will be implemented in these courses,” according to a statement from the university.
CSULB expects in-person classes to resume Monday, April 20, “but we need to assess conditions at that time and guidance from public-health officials,” Jeff Cook, a spokesman for the university, said in an email.
No cases of the virus have been confirmed or suspected at the university; officials decided to move from in-person instruction as a preventative measure.
The decision comes as 10 students and two community-member club advisors are self-quarantined after possible exposure to the new coronavirus at a conference in Washington, D.C., where three other individuals subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Cook said Wednesday there is no new information to share regarding those in self-quarantine.
COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms associated with the respiratory disease, which appear two-to-14 days after exposure, include fever, a cough and shortness of breath. While most people — including healthy young adults — will experience mild symptoms, the disease can be severe and possibly fatal for at-risk groups, such as the elderly and those with other health problems.
Three people in Long Beach, unaffiliated with CSULB, have tested positive for the virus. One is being treated at Long Beach Medical Center, while the other two are isolated at home.
City officials said Tuesday, March 10, they did not recommend cancellations or school closures at the moment because there is no known community transmission in Long Beach. But, Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy said, they are in constant communication with leaders at local schools should the situation change.
“Recommendations for closures, cancellations, different HR policies — things like that may change,” Colopy said. “What we’re reporting today is the status today, and we will be in constant communication with you and with our community as our teams prepare for the situations as they arise.”