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CORONAVIRUS Declared As A Pandemic

The Coronavirus is a PANDEMIC, according to the World Health Organization, on March 11, 2020. 

The W.H.O defines a pandemic as “the worldwide spread of a new disease” that affects large numbers of people. That is precisely the case of the Coronavirus, which has now infected more than 120,000 people and killed more than 4,300 across the six continents. 

“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” said Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization at the media briefing on COVID-19 on March 11, 2020. 

The university system of Georgia is currently considering shutting down several schools, including The University of West Georgia. 

If it is the case, classes will transfer online, and several on-campus events and activities would be canceled.

According to UWG’s Interim President Stuart Rayfield, “Students with spring or summer academic-related travel plans (i.e., study abroad, research, conferences, etc.) to countries impacted by COVID-19 should begin proactive conversations with their faculty and academic departments to determine appropriate planning.

If you are planning to travel during Spring Break, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • For all students, faculty, and staff, if you are traveling in any capacity (either internationally or domestically) – through UWG or on personal travel – we encourage you to register your travel through the UWG Spring 2020 Travel Registry so that we can keep you up-to-date on the evolving public health situation in regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Check for information on your travel destination on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Department of State websites, and talk with your family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans.
    • The CDC strongly advises that you should not travel to a location with a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice. UWG has canceled a study abroad program to Italy – listed as a Level 3 country by the CDC and State Department – that was scheduled for Spring Break.

As of March 9, 2020, the following countries are listed as Level 3 or higher:

  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • China
  • Iran

For more information on the spread of the Coronavirus, you can visit the CDC and the World Health Organization’s s official webpages.

Photo credit: CDC

Photo credit: World Health Organization

Alma Beauvais is The WOLF's News Director and current junior of Mass Communications at the University of West Georgia.