Coronavirus Update: More University Cancellations, St. Patrick’s Day Parade & More
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include Ohio Dominican University among higher education institutions to transition to online instruction.
Steps to prevent community spread of the coronavirus are taking place throughout the city, including the cancelation of classes at local universities and colleges, as well as the cancelation of parades and city-sanctioned events, after a Tuesday press conference in which Governor Mike DeWine recommended large gatherings be canceled or postponed. This comes after three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state.
“After consulting with experts, we know that the decisions we make in the next few days and weeks will determine how many lives are lost in Ohio and how long this pandemic will last,” said Governor DeWine.
The recommendation comes after consulting with several physicians and health care professionals from the Governor’s Health Advisory Group.
In addition to Ohio State University, other universities and colleges are taking heed to the governor’s recommendation to consider offering online/remote learning for students.
Columbus College of Art & Design will extend their spring break until Monday, March 23, then transition to online instruction for two weeks, before reassessing the evolving situation.
Columbus State Community College will also extend their spring break another week. Classes are cancelled the week of Monday, March 16 and beginning Monday, March 23 the college plans to move to online instructions.
Capital University is canceling classes throughout the rest of the week. Starting Monday, March 16 classes will begin online until at least March 31. Residence halls and dining facilities will remain open. Campus events are canceled until at least March 31, and indoor sporting events will not allow spectators.
Ohio Dominican University is also canceling classes the remainder of the week. Starting Wednesday, March 18, all on-campus classes will take place online through at least March 31.
Ohio University is also modifying its scheduled. In-person instruction on campus is suspend and classes are moving to virtual instruction through at least Monday, March 30. The university has also asked students who went home or traveled over spring break to stay at home and not to return to campus. Students living in residence halls are asked not to return to campus unless they received prior authorization.
The City of Dublin announced its own cancelations, citing the governor’s recommendation that event organizers of any large gatherings of individuals in close proximity cancel or postpone their events — of which he specifically gave parades as an example.
Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel said: “We feel it necessary to be a leader in the region to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus. We will be canceling our events this week, including the State of the City event at The Exchange at Bridge Park, the Dublin Link opening and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
Dublin’s State of the City address will be videotaped and published on the City of Dublin’s website and platforms. Additionally, the Dublin Link Bridge opening scheduled for Friday, March 13, will be postponed to a later date.
Governor DeWine also gave recommendations for religious institutions and adult and juvenile correctional facilities, saying religious institutions should consider limiting practices that could spread germs such as handshaking, as well as to consider “appropriate” outreach to those who may not be able to attend regular services. He has also ordered the suspension of visitation at adult and juvenile corrections facilities.
For more information on COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Alternatively, Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus call center is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and is staffed with health care experts to answer questions. It can be reached by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.