Close UW Seattle Campus Due to COVID-19 Death in Washington and New Cases

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The novel coronavirus(COVID-19) has now spread to over 91,000 people around the globe and has caused almost 3,000 deaths, both totals higher than the SARS and MERS epidemics of the past.

Nine people have died and at least 27 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 in the Greater Seattle area. Though there are currently no reported cases within the immediate UW community, it is impossible to know the extent of the threat. The virus may lay dormant in the body for two weeks or even more before symptoms emerge. The close proximity in classrooms, dining halls and other crowded areas will inevitably increase infection rates.

As the biggest university in Washington State, many students commute throughout King County everyday. Once the virus spreads, it will have many unforeseen consequences, direct and indirect. As students, we place great priority on our academics, but right now this event must take precedence.

We are asking Ana Mari Cauce, the president of the University of Washington Seattle to take the initiative and close the campus in order to stop the spread of this virus. Take advantage of technology, start online classes. We all already know the risks COVID-19 poses to the public, particularly those who are immunocompromised or elderly, and we must act now to keep students, their families, and the community safe.