Live Blog: Coronavirus — Edinboro & Erie County

Category:  News
Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 at 3:22 PM
Live Blog: Coronavirus — Edinboro & Erie County by Shayma Musa
Graphic: Shayma Musa

This page will be updated as news about Coronavirus in and around the region is released by local organizations.  

Top Story

EU to go online for the remainder of the Spring Semester 

Edinboro University, which had previously moved to transition to online classes until April 6, decided to extend that decision and move online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. In an e-mail sent out to students Angela Burrows, Vice President for Marketing and Communications said, "University officials decided a short time ago to continue online-only delivery of classes through the end of the spring semester." She continued by saying that there will be an e-mail with more information released later today.


March 3

Edinboro University announces all spring university travel has been canceled 

In a March 3 email to all Edinboro faculty, staff and students, University President Dr. Guiyou Huang said that because of the spread of coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) asked colleges to consider the cancellation of international travel programs. The email read, in part: “Based on this recommendation and after careful consideration regarding the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, University officials have decided to cancel ALL university-affiliated travel programs through the end of May 2020. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution."

Read More: Edinboro University cancels all university travel and study abroad trips 

March 4

General McLane School District announces flexible instruction day to prepare for coronavirus (COVID-19) 

General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta announced that the school district will be preparing for possible shutdown due to coronavirus by undergoing a flexible instruction day. That day, according to Erie News Now, will be this Friday, March 13. 

Read More: General McLane school district announces preperations for possible closing of school district due to Coronavirus

March 6

Edinboro University communicates via email that they are working with APSCUF in order to plan temporary transition to online course delivery 

In an email to students, Edinboro University President Dr. Guiyou Huang said that the university is working with the Pennsylvania faculty and staff union APSCUF in order to plan a temporary transition to online course delivery should the need arise. 

— Shayma Musa + Nathan Brennan

March 7 

PASSHE Chancellor releases statement regarding oronavirus (COVID-19) 

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education chancellor Dr. Daniel Greenstein said in a statement, “Our university presidents meet weekly with the chancelor, and our universities are assessing study abroad programs, international travel, international student recruitment, campus housing/dining, health services, and other operational areas that may be impacted in the short- or long-term.” 

Read More: PASSHE Chancellor makes statement regarding Coronavirus

9 Gannon students studying abroad in Rome, Italy evacuate, will be held in quarantine

Your Erie reported on March 7 that nine Gannon University students who were studying abroad in Rome, Italy, evacuated the country as it declared a national state of emergency. These students will be quarantined for 14 days at U.S. military bases as soon as they land in the U.S. 

Read More: Nine Gannon Study Abrod students evacuate from Rome Italy

March 9

West Chester Becomes the first PASSHE school to announce move to remote learning due to COVID-19

West Chester University, one of 14 PASSHE schools, announced Tuesday that they will be moving to remote learning solutions for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. In a statement to CBS 3 in Philadelphia, President Christopher Fiorentino said: “Out of an abundance of concern for the continued good health of our community, the University has made the decision to move to alternate modes of instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. To expedite, faculty will use the next two weeks to prepare their courses for remote delivery and remote advising and registering for the summer and fall terms. As such, in-person, face-to-face instruction will not occur on campus and these courses will resume by alternate means on March 30.” 

Staff and administration will still be expected to report to work. It was not clear if student workers were included in this. 

Read More: West Chester moves to remote classes for the rest of the Spring semester

Local Assisted Living Facilities begin to impose bans on visitors 

LECOM announced yesterday that they will temporarily ban visitors at their three skilled nursing facilities (LECOM Senior Living center, LECOM Nursing and Rehabilitation and LECOM Village Square). These restrictions do not apply to the family members of patients who are in end of life care. The ban is not being extended to their independent living facilities or personal care facilities. Other regional assisted living facilities and nursing homes are instituting policies that request sick family members and visitors who have recently been overseas to not visit. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the coronavirus impacts older individuals and those with pre-existing conditions at a greater rate.  

Read More: Coronavirus spurs vistors bans at some Erie skilled nursing centers 

March 10

-3:37 P.M.-

Mercyhurst Women's Hockey will not have spectators at Cornell game

Cornell, a member of the Ivy League association, instituted coronavirus related policies today that among other things include a ban on spectators attending sports events. This means that the Mercyhurst University women’s hockey team, which is in Division 1, will not have spectators to watch them compete in their match against Cornell on Sunday, March 14 at 2 p.m.

Read More: Fans not Permitted at Mercyhurst Hockey Game

-6:50 P.M.-

Edinboro planning for announcement regarding coronavirus on Wednesday

Today, the Edinboro University marketing and communications office sent an email to the student body announcing that they are currently making decisions about the university’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. In the email, Angela Burrows, vice president for marketing and communications, said, “You are probably aware that a number of colleges across the country have announced plans to adjust their operations.  We, too, are making plans to respond.” She continued, saying that Edinboro University President Dr. Guiyou Huang will be addressing students via email tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. 

— Shayma Musa

March 11

-8:42 A.M.-

Indiana University (IUP), announced that they will not be closing, however, they will be closely monitoring the situation. 

-9:30 A.M.- 

Face-to-face classes moving online until April 6 at Edinboro

In an email sent out to students, faculty, staff and parents, EUP President Dr. Guiyou Huang detailed the university’s plan to adjust operations due to the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.

Citing that the university is taking “every possible precaution to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus,” Edinboro’s plan involves, at the moment, temporary changes to the status quo.

For students enrolled in face-to-face classes, their spring break has been extended to go into the week of March 16. This extra time has been allotted to allow instructors to come up with plans to convert their courses into an online format.

Classes will be delivered online for the weeks of March 23 and March 30.

As of now, it is the university’s expectation that face-to-face classes will go back to their original format the week of April 6, but Huang added that they will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates when necessary in this regard. Regular online classes will resume on March 16 as scheduled.

Read More: Edinboro announces extended spring break; online classes until April 6

-12:15 P.M.- 

Graduate assistants to not report to work, but will get paid

In a follow-up email later in the day, Edinboro issued further clarifications, stating that student workers and graduate assistants will recieve paid leave. These students will input their regularly scheduled hours on the university's payroll system and their supervisors will approve that time. 

Admitted Students Day, which was supposed to take place on Saturday, March 28 was cancelled. Admissions said that students have been contacted and will be encouraged to visit on Friday, April 10 or at a later date. 

-4:22 P.M.-

Shippensburg, Millersville extending spring break

Shippensburg University and Millersville University became the third and fourth PASSHE schools to announce modifications to their schedules due to the Coronavirus. 

Read More: Millersville adjusts academic schedule due to Coronavirus

-4:40 P.M-

Penn State University, Cheyney, Cal U going online for teaching

Penn State University main campus announced that starting March 16 all classes will be offered online. Cheyney, and California University follow the lead of other PASSHE schools and announce online classes for the foreseable future, as well. 

-10:17 P.M.-

Mansfield University, a member of the PASSHE system announced that they will be proceeding with classes as scheduled. President Charles Patterson said in a statement, "There are no known cases of COVID-19 on our campus or in our immediate region, and we continue to believe the risk of transmission on the Mansfield University campus is low." 

-10:26 P.M.-

Edinboro University confirms that this years Spring Concert featuring Fetty Wap has been cancelled. 

March 12

-12:34 P.M.- 

The NBA-G league also announced that they will be suspending the 2019-2020 season following the NBA's announcment last night. The suspension will go into affect after tonight's games. The Erie Bayhawks are a member of this league.

-2:04 P.M.-

IUP announced via Twitter that face-to-face classes will be delayed until March 23.

-2:40 P.M.-

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine answered questions in a press conference regarding coronavirus. 

-3:00 P.M.-

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Mayor Joe Schember, health official Charlotte Berringer and others give a press conference on the state of affairs in Erie County regarding COVID-19.

They confirm that no cases, as of now, have been reported in the county.

In addition, while they follow the recommendation of Governor Tom Wolf that gatherings of 250 or more be cancelled, they will leave it to the discretion of the event organizers. One event cancelled for certain is the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

-7:58 P.M.-

Edinboro SGA President Nick Helfer addressed how SGA operations will be impacted by the changes at Edinboro

EUSGA president Nick Helfer addressed how the university's move to online classes until April 6 will impact SGA operations. He noted that events such as Dodge the Dark, and Pizza with the president are canclled. He also gave information regarding how organizations should go about cancelling planned travel, and any events or speakers that they have booked. Helfer noted the following as well:

  • Club and organization budgets for the 20-21 school year are still due March 20th. We apologize for any inconveniences, but SGA needs time to review budgets and adjust percentages of the Student Activity Fee. 


Read more: SGA Responds to EU Coronavirus Changes 

March 13 

-11:47 A.M.-

PSAC cancels all athletic competition for the rest of the year 

In an announcement this morning, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced that all athletic competition for the rest of the Spring semester is canceled. Non-conference competition is being left to institutional discretion. 

Article coming soon on Edinboronow. 

-3:28 P.M.-

A day after Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all schools in Montgomery County closed, he extended that request to all school districts in the state. Schools will be closed effective Monday, March 17. They will remain closed for two weeks. Mercyhurst and Gannon also announced that they will be moving to online instruction.

March 16 

-11:40 P.M- 

EU to go online for the remainder of the Spring Semester 

Edinboro University, which had previously moved to transition to online classes until April 6, decided to extend that decision and move online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. In an e-mail sent out to students Angela Burrows, Vice President for Marketing and Communications said, "University officials decided a short time ago to continue online-only delivery of classes through the end of the spring semester." She continued by saying that there will be an e-mail with more information released later today.

March 17

-3:32 P.M.-

EU Vice President for Marketing and Communications Angela Burrows sent an email to students to provide a schedule for those moving out on campus.

The email said:

"In light of new direction regarding limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, we have refined our residence hall move-out plan for the weekend (March 21 and 22) as follows.

Saturday:

Highlands

10am-2pm- Floors 1 and 3

3pm-7pm- Floor 2

8pm-12am- Floor 4

Towers

10am-2pm- Floors 2 and 4

3pm-7pm- Floors 1 and 3

8pm-12am- Floors 5 and 6

Sunday

Highlands

10am-2pm- Floor 4

3pm-7pm- Floor 2

8pm-12am- Floors 1 and 3

Towers

10am-2pm- Floors 5 and 6

3pm-7pm- Floors 1 and 3

8pm-12am- Floors 2 and 4

Move-out hours Tuesday-Friday (March 17-20) – 10 a.m. to midnight.

 Requests:

 ·For students living in suites, we ask that you coordinate your move with your suitemates, as much as possible, to avoid larger groups of people in your living space.

· Limit the number of people in elevators to allow space between individuals.

·  Please leave your residence hall as soon as you’ve removed your things.  Only those students who have been granted exceptions to remain in campus housing will be permitted to stay.

·  Practice social distancing when saying goodbye to friends."

March 18 

-3:23 P.M.-

The first positive case of COVID-19 is recorded in Erie County.

Here is a current map of the outbreak across Pennsylvania from the PA government website.

-4:23 P.M.-

The first death related to COVID-19 is recorded in PA.

-4:58 P.M.-

Housing and Dining Refund Updates

EU Communcations provided an update to students regarding refunds for dining and housing on campus.

While details are in the works, the email said, "Prorated housing and dining refunds are forthcoming."

They also gave updates from the Student Accounts Office:  

· If you are on a payment plan and your estimated balance is below $500, automatic withdrawals will be canceled for the final two spring 2020 payments. 

· There will be no late payment plan fees posted to your account.

· If your estimated balance is below $500, financial holds will be removed from your account.

They also provided an update on commencement. Monitoring the COVID-19 situation, they have not yet made a determination on whether to cancel it. The email said, "If/when the situation is significantly improved and safe, there will be an in-person commencement. Otherwise, the commencement committee will explore options for a virtual ceremony. Again, a decision has not yet been made."

Tags: news, coronavirus

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