Montclair State University Alerts Student Body About Coronavirus

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Published March 4, 2020
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The Montclarion
The university is making extra efforts to remind students to practice healthy habits. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

Update: Wednesday night New Jersey has its first presumptive positive case of coronavirus, according to the Associated Press. The man who tested positive is undergoing treatment at the Hackensack Medical Center.

Montclair State University President Susan Cole sent out an email Tuesday morning to notify students and faculty about updates on the coronavirus and the precautions Montclair State is taking to help keep it at bay.

The email stated that members of the university are encouraged to follow these precautions to prevent contracting or spreading the flu. The precautions included frequently washing one’s hands, avoiding handshakes, avoiding the sharing food and drinks, staying home if sick and covering up during coughs and sneezes.

Nicole Latini, a senior biology major, appreciates the effort that Cole put in the email.

“I think it was right of [Cole] to send out an email about the coronavirus because if students are concerned, it’s definitely something to address,” Latini said. “In addition, she is making sure that students are feeling comfortable at the university. She cited valuable websites such as the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] so you can tell that she’s done the research and that she has a plan moving forth regarding our safety.”

Montclair State has canceled all travels related to the university by employees and students to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. In regard to students and employees who are already overseas, the university has been in contact with them to make sure that they have all the information and help that they need.

A flyer about the coronavirus on campus.
Ben Caplan | The Montclarion

Lexi Miller, a freshman psychology major, currently has family overseas where the coronavirus had spread.

“I do know that the coronavirus is a big thing because I have family overseas in Thailand currently,” Miller said. “That is where the virus is also really [prevalent] so I guess the email was a good precautionary thing.”

The university has already developed an emergency response plan and trained a team of staff to follow the plan accordingly. If action is required, the university is prepared to respond. A website has also been created by the University Health Center where members of the campus can find more information.

Niama Khalil, a junior medical humanities major, believes that the university should place more hand sanitizers and disinfectants around campus.

“If [the coronavirus] gonna go around, it’s gonna go around,” Khalil said. “Not many people can stop it but I do feel like there should be more hand sanitizer placed around the campus.”

Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Karen Pennington sent out a follow-up email Wednesday afternoon to clarify that there are no reported cases about the coronavirus in New Jersey. Because of this, the university will not be switching from face-to-face meetings to conducting full online instruction.

If students or employees have any other questions or concerns, university officials will be available to provide assistance. For immediate assistance however, reach out to Keith Barrack, at barrackk@montclair.edu or at 973-655-4213.

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