COVID-19 has reached Weatherford – Online classes for rest of the semester



The virus is spreading around the globe.

Johannes Becht, News Reporter

The Coronavirus pandemic is spreading more and more around the world and also across the United States. There are now far more than 60,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and many more cases pending. Almost 900 people have died in the U.S., compared to 20,000 worldwide.

What’s the latest news?

In Oklahoma, more than 100 cases have been confirmed, and 3 people died from the virus. Custer County has experienced 3 cases, among them an elderly woman from Weatherford. After President Donald Trump announced a national emergency on Friday, March 13, Governor Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency for Oklahoma. Weatherford mayor Mike Brown has declared a state of emergency for the city of Weatherford.

Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt has ordered all nonessential business in counties with cases of COVID-19 to close. Also, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Oklahoma City has closed its playgrounds.

California and New York are among the most hit states. Their Governors announced stay-at-home orders. Throughout the country, people are strongly advised to stay at home.

The number of outbreak in the U.S. is likely to skyrocket within the next weeks. Experts warn that up to or even more than 70% of the population could get the virus.

Online classes at SWOSU

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is moving to fully virtual course delivery for the remainder of Spring Semester 2020. This decision was made to further our efforts to reduce the number of individuals on campus.”

Furthermore, there will be limited access to buildings on the SWOSU campus and the administration encourages all students to stay away from the campus. Housing residents are encouraged to vacate. Students who will move out will get a refund.

SWOSU students who want to stay in the dorms need to apply for permission. Food will be available at the Grill from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering grab-and-go meals, and the convenience store will also be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.. You can order meals in advance at the Grill by calling 580-774-3784 in order to limit personal contact.

Al Harris Library is closed. In Stafford 128, a computer lab will be open for student use only between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you need the lab between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., please call Karen Klein at 580-330-0008.

All in-person activities and events are cancelled on campus through May 10. SWOSUpalooza was postponed to August 20.

What can I do?

First – don’t panic. The virus is not dangerous in most cases. The highest mortality rate is among people who are 80 years and older (21.9%). If you are young, you’ll probably be fine, even if you get the virus. In this case, avoid having contact with people around you in order to prevent the virus from being passed on and on.

Second – wash your hands regularly, 20 seconds minimum. If no soap is available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose and stay away from people who appear to be sick.

Third – social distancing. Try to avoid having direct face-to-face contact with people. If you talk to people, try to stay away 6 feet and avoid body contact such as shaking hands.

Symptoms include fever and lower respiratory illness. If you exhibit signs, please reach out. If you have health concerns related to flu-like symptoms, contact University Health Services at 580-774-3776 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

>>>Johannes Becht

>>>Morning News Tonight