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Coronavirus Hits Close to Home

By Jennifer Roback, News Editor

COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday. And the President of the United States declared a national emergency that has not only started to affect the students at LIU, but at many universities all over the country.

On Thursday, March 11th, LIU announced that all classes would be taught online through the end of the semester. And that comes on the heels of LIU’s original announcement, just a day prior on Wednesday March 11th, that classes would be switched to online only through March 27th.

In a text alert sent from the LIU emergency alert system, it said: “To ensure all students have time to prepare during this week of spring break, the university has decided that all online instruction will now extend until the end of the spring semester.”

Also on March 11th, faculty and staff were informed that a member of the LIU community, whose office is located on the Post campus’ Pell hall, has tested positive for the novel virus.

The school announced that they were in consultation with the Nassau County Health Department, they were closing down Pell Hall, as well as Khan Hall for proper cleaning and sanitation.

“This whole situation kind of just sucks, this isn’t how I expected my freshman year to end,” said Brittany Lucci, a freshman student-athlete on LIU’s Brooklyn campus.

As of now, the dorms remain open, many students struggle with the option of remaining on campus or going home for the rest of the semester. There is also no answer on if any room and board will be reimbursed.

“I didn’t even get to say by to most of my friends,” said Kyleigh Barao, a Senior swimmer at LIU. “It was a really hard decision, but after talking with my family we decided that moving home would be the best option. It sucks because I had to figure out new living arrangements as well as finding a place to work to make up for not being able to work at my job on campus in a short time period.”

Other area universities and throughout New York State have taken similar actions because of COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on March 4th that all SUNY and CUNY schools will move to have classes online, and students must leave campus for the remainder of the semester.

“As we continue to see a rise in cases of novel coronavirus around the world, we are taking every precaution necessary and mobilizing our public health system to protect New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in a press conference regarding the situation.

Other schools including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Yale and Cornell University, have all implemented action plans similar to everyone else’s regarding the rest of the spring semester.

“I’m unfortunately losing out on the experience of being with my friends and teammates in NYC for my last semester at LIU. Now all I can hope for is that my graduation ceremony isn’t cancelled as well,” said Barao.

It is unknown if the University will shut down campus completely, but Seawanhaka will continue keeping everyone up to date in the latest developments on #COVID19. #Coronavirus

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