Coronavirus Roundup: What Canisius students need to know as the school switches to online classes

Canisius officials announced Thursday that the school would switch to online classes. Here is what students should know about the plan and what has changed on campus and in the community:

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Canisius officials announced Thursday afternoon that the college will transition to its Academic Continuance Plan beginning March 23 in reaction to the global COVID-19 pandemic

All classes will be taught remotely online until at least April 13. During this time, the campus will be open and staff will report to campus. The situation will be reevaluated on April 6 when officials will determine whether or not to resume face-to-face classes. 

The residence halls on campus will close on March 19 and will remain closed until at least April 13. The college is instituting a plan for those who cannot leave campus to remain. 

Group activities involving 50 people or more are banned whether they are taking place on or off campus. Furthermore, all those who plan to travel internationally or domestically should report their plans to Canisius officials. 

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference also announced Thursday in a press release that all spring sports are cancelled for the upcoming season. This includes baseball, softball, outdoor track and field and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

“I know this is a great disappointment to our student-athletes and coaches, whose hard work and dedication to their sports and Canisius College is appreciated by so many, but this decision was made with best interests of the MAAC, our campuses and broader community in mind,” said Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher in a press release. 

Here is more information that Canisius students should know about the pandemic’s effects on campus and in the community. 

Latest Virus Information

According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, as of Thursday night, there is evidence of community transmission in Washington, New York, California and Oregon. Based upon early China data, 80% of cases show symptoms and 15-20% of those are severe. Fatality rate is 3.6%, but this number is likely lower as it does not take into account those who were infected but showed no symptoms and were not tested. 

The Center for Disease Control reported that as of 4 p.m. Thursday, 1,215 Americans tested positive for coronavirus in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 36 have died. 

Campus effects

A lecture from philosopher Paul Taylor scheduled for Thursday night was cancelled. According to an email sent Tuesday from the philosophy department, Taylor, a professor at Vanderbilt University, elected to cancel the meeting after a student at Vanderbilt tested positive for coronavirus.  

Tim Horton’s is no longer allowing customers to bring in reusable cups to minimize risk of exposure. The company also announced the annual Roll Up the Rim promotion is cancelled. 

Canisius is currently maintaining a coronavirus information website accessed from the main canisius.edu site. Students feeling sick should contact the Health Center immediately at 716-888-2610. 

Community effects

Buffalo and Erie County officials, including Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced at a press conference on Thursday that the annual St. Patrick’s Day parades have been cancelled. Local businesses are still open. 

WGRZ Channel 2 reported Thursday that all events at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center have been cancelled until March 26.

Pegula Sports and Entertainment announced via press release that it was increasing sanitation at KeyBank Center and the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The Buffalo Sabres, Rochester Americans, Rochester Knighthawks and Buffalo Bandits have all suspended play along with the rest of their respective leagues. 

The Buffalo Bisons announced that spring training and Opening Day have both been suspended. 

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Mid-American Conference both cancelled the remainder of their regular seasons in all sports this spring. Practices and recruiting are also suspended. 

National Effects

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night that Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris will close for the rest of the month beginning Sunday. Disney Cruise Line will also suspend all cruise departures beginning Saturday. 

According to CNBC, the Dow Jones has dropped by approximentely 10%, which has been it’s worst drop since “Black Monday” in 1987.

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