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UPeditorial: Coronavirus: practice vigilance without panic

UPeditorialTuesday, the first case of coronavirus in East Texas was confirmed. Rice University moved classes online and called for students to self-quarantine. The University of Texas announced they are considering moving classes online after spring break. Lamar University and other universities across the country are cancelling study abroad trips.

How should students respond to COVID-19 when many have plans to travel for spring break?

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. This can be accomplished by:

- Washing hands throughoughly and often.

- Using sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

- Putting distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important to keep in mind as students might be traveling to areas where there are cases of COVID-19.

- Stay home if you are sick.

- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and immediately throw used tissues in the trash.

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly.

There are more than 115,000 COVID-19 cases currently. Most cases are in China, Italy, Iran and South Korea. The mortality rate of the virus is about 3.4 percent, affecting mostly older or immunocompromised populations.

Healthy, young college students do not have much to worry about if we can avoid being in contact with the virus.

Enjoy your spring break. Don’t panic-buy toilet paper, but take plenty of care to wash your hands and avoid affected communities.

Category: Staff