Protect the ACU Community from the COVID-19 Stop Face to Face classes!

Protect the ACU Community from the COVID-19 Stop Face to Face classes!

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Acu Community started this petition to Abilene Christian Univetsity

There are currently 1312 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, with 22 cases in Texas (1, 2). This number is expected to rise exponentially in the coming weeks.
 
According to the World Health Organization, the current case fatality rate of COVID-19 is 3.4%. While the majority of fatalities are above the age of 60, many younger people with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or autoimmune diseases are also at risk of severe illness (5). Additionally, young students who may not develop severe symptoms themselves can still bring the virus home to older family members who are at greater risk of severe illness.

Cases of COVID-19 on Abilene Christian university campus are increasingly likely as students return from Spring break. Seattle and New York City have recently become epicenters of the US outbreak with sustained community transmission and over 200 confirmed cases each. It is very likely that at least one student will travel domestically to one of these high-risk communities and contract the virus, bringing it back

Additionally, the CDC’s updated interim guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) actually recommends suspending face-to-face classes once the virus is present in the community (10). “Temporarily suspending classes is a strategy to stop or slow the further spread of COVID-19 in communities. When classes are suspended, the IHE may stay open for staff or faculty (unless ill) while students temporarily stop attending in-person classes. Keeping the IHE facilities open a) allows faculty to develop and deliver lessons and materials electronically, thus maintaining continuity of teaching and learning; and b) allows other staff members to continue to provide services and help with additional response efforts."

Canceling face-to-face classes may seem like a drastic measure to take before we discover community spread of the virus in Abilene. However, many universities have already made this transition, several in states with only a handful a confirmed cases.

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