SNU classes move online during outbreak


Emily Tessmer, Editor

Schools across the country are virtualizing classes in an effort to limit the spread of Covid 19 and Sierra Nevada University has also followed suit. After an initial plan to offer an online option to students, the university refined that decision, extended spring break by a week and will move to online-only for the foreseeable future.

According to Will Hoida, dean of students at SNU, there are a few new protocols and developments the school has rolled out to not only contain the spread of the virus but also educate and protect students.

When speaking to what students should do if they feel sick Hoida states, “Stay home, or in your dorm and call the Washoe County health line for next steps.”

Despite the discontinuation of classes, the college will allow students to back into the dorms after spring break.

According to the Washoe County health line, people who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should isolate themselves, contact their health provider and request a flu test to rule out the possibility that it might be the flu.

If the flu test comes back negative, a phone screening is available to determine one’s eligibility to test for the coronavirus.

In Washoe County, there are 14 confirmed cases.

According to Scott Oxarart, communications manager for Washoe County, “There is certainly, a possibility that people can spread the virus and not know they are spreading it, which could mean greater numbers  confirmed than we are seeing now.”

Because Covid 19 has similar symptoms as the flu, people may not know they have the virus.

“People should try not to panic but should be prepared,” Oxarart said. “The risk in Washoe County is relatively low if you look at the numbers that have been confirmed.”

“The CDC has said that the older population is the most vulnerable and that people who live in mixed households with both a young population and older population need to exercise extreme caution,” Oxarart said. “Make sure you are aware of the risk you are bringing to those around you if you are sick.”

Hoida also spoke to the fact that school is ramping up its daily cleaning services, providing hand sanitizer, and wipes in all of classrooms and lobbies, and is also prepared to quarantine student dormitory residents who are sick in rooms that are being reserved for isolation in the event that the outbreak reaches campus.

“We all need to take preventative measures and help contain the spread,” Hoida said. “We can also reach out to those who seem sick and encourage them to get tested or self-quarantine to help stop transmission of the virus.”


January 21, 2014“January 21, 2014” by osseous is licensed under CC BY 2.0