Prepare for a long Spring Break because of coronavirus

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, how will this affect students spring break?

By Justice Brannon
News Producer

With spring break approaching, many UA students are waiting to see how the university will react to the recent outbreak of coronavirus.

Throughout the past few days, Harvard, Syracuse, Florida, and other universities and colleges are preparing to shift all classes online in hopes to minimize the spread of the outbreak. Alabama has communicated to its faculty members the potential to transition toward online classes following the break.

The Centers for Disease Control has documented 1,267 cases of COVID-19 in the United States. About 1,197 cases occurred on soil while 70 cases have been documented from travelers returning from overseas.

While some Alabama students are canceling their spring break plans, others are not. The university has urged students to exercise caution during the break.

“My plans for spring break are still set,” says Rachel Nau, a sophomore at UA. “I might be traveling now with a little less confidence then I would usually do when I head to the Melbourne Beach this Saturday. The virus really came at an awkward time. Spring break is just around the corner, students have already booked and paid for their trips. So now it’s hard to cancel those original plans.”

Expect major changes to occur in sports as well. 

March Madness was originally scheduled to be played in front of an empty audience due to the virus. However, the Big Ten,, SEC and American Conference have all canceled their basketball tournaments.

Last night, the NBA postponed both the Jazz vs Thunder and Pelicans vs Kings games.

Shortly after, the league issued a statement suspending the rest of the season after Jazz center Rudy Golbert tested positive for the virus.

The following morning, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell became the second player in the NBA to become diagnosed with COVID-19. 

All of this came as a surprise as many students and fans were preparing to travel and support their favorite teams over the break.

“I was planning to travel to Miami for spring break,” says Diondre Taylor, junior at UA. “I had tickets to a Miami Heat game. However, once I got the news through the ESPN app that the NBA suspended the rest of the season due the COVID-19 [coronavirus], I now have to find a way to get my money back and try to find a back up plan. That was going to be a huge highlight of my trip.”

In a recent email by UANews, the university informed everyone on campus that there will be accommodations for “students who live on campus and prefer to stay on campus during spring break.”

“I’m curious as to see how the move-out procedure would be because they would be closing campus and canceling classes,” says Rachel Garrett. “If everyone has to come back and get their stuff then people’s germs are still going to mix. So what’s the point in closing down classes?”

As of Thursday afternoon, classes had not been canceled or moved online.

If you develop respiratory symptoms, are exposed to an induvial with or suspected to have COVID-19 or has traveled to a CDC COVID-19 level 2 or 3 country, the university recommends that you not return to campus. 

“The outbreak has definitely made me a little more self-conscious and aware of my surroundings as I’m now being extra careful and watching my hands every chance I get,” says Catie Wallace, a senior at UA. “In my honest opinion, I think it is kind of inevitable for there not to be a case when we get back from spring break. I think the smart thing to do would be to have online classes for the remaining being, until things settle, and a cure is made.”