Coronavirus: All the updates you need to know


Cade Spencer

Junior Liam Spencer sanitizes his workspace to ensure that the space is safe for him to use. As the Coronavirus progresses, the CDC recommends that all individuals follow basic sanitation protocols to reduce the spread of the virus.

Cade Spencer, Managing Editor

As the Austin community and nation continue to take action to contain and treat the Coronavirus, a variety of changes and policies have been implemented to halt its spread. In the past 24 hours, there have been new actions taken across the nation; here are the updates you need to know.

Action in Education:

Colleges and universities across America are locations with dense populations and student bodies. In order to prevent the spread of the virus in the dense college settings, many universities have either extended Spring Break and/or transitioned to online class. Cianna Chairez, a Bowie alumni attends Cornell, explained that the university is working to move to all online classes once the students’ Spring Break ends on April 6.

Honestly, it’s really disappointing. I understand that the university has to take these precautions against [the] Corona[virus] but it’s really devastating for students,” Chairez said. “I know there’s also a lot of questions about whether or not students will be reimbursed for their housing and dining plans, and the entire thing is so unprecedented and chaotic.”

In addition to universities out of state, Texas colleges have also taken measures to prevent possible contamination. As of March 12, Texas State declared that the university will extend the normal student vacation by a week, and on March 30, Texas State students will transition to online classes until April 12. In addition to Texas State, the University of Texas at Austin has extended its Spring Break by a week, and Texas A&M has closed its campus on March 16 and March 17, increasing the students’ Spring Break. 

I’m excited about the extended break because I love being home, but it is a little inconvenient now having to prepare for online classes, Bowie alumni and Texas State student Shelby Pabst said. “While I’m mostly happy, a lot of money we put into college is going to waste.”

Action in Entertainment:

In an effort to reduce large crowds and gatherings, events and shows have been postponed or cancelled across the nation. Junior Dee Dee Poole is a member of the Bowie color guard who was supposed to attend the now cancelled Color Guard Worlds in April.

“I feel sad that the season is over although we still have state at the moment, but it most likely will be canceled,” Poole said. “We’ve worked really hard to have an amazing show and I’m just devastated that the world won’t see it.”

In addition to school related cancelations, SXSW and the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show are events in the regionthat were cancelled to reduce dense crowds.

“I am very mad that the rodeo was cancelled,” Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show Board Member Taylor Gray said. “The rodeo has been around for 90 years, and it has never been cancelled.”

Action in Sports:

In an effort to protect the health of their athletes and large audiences, national sports organizations have postponed their seasons until it is declared safe to resume. In addition to the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer (MLS), and the U.S. Soccer Federation have moved future athletic events to later dates. 

“I think that it’s a shame that the season’s over because it takes away a huge opportunity towards the contending teams this year,” junior Keaton Johnson said. “This should be a lesson to us that [Coronavirus] should not be taken as a joke and we should do all we can to keep society safe.”

Action in Travel:

In the Presidential Address to the nation March 11, President Trump declared a new policy on travel to Europe that will go into effect as of midnight Friday, March 13. The new policy, which does not apply to the UK, blocks travel and naval exchange between Europe and America. However, American citizens will be allowed to travel to America from Europe and will be tested upon their return for a potential quarantine. All international travellers are being encouraged to self-quarantine upon return.

Although travel of foreign citizens has been restricted between America and Europe, increased sanitation procedures have occurred in airports and mass-travel settings. As sophomore Emma Ablekis flew to Los Angeles the morning of March 12, she observed the new sanitation policies in place.

“The airport was very empty, even the security guard said we were lucky that we were able to get through security so fast,” Ablekis said. “I’m honestly not that worried about traveling, I feel safe.”

To read the latests information from the CDC, use the link here.

Additional reporting by Lauren Joy, Anna Holme, Peter Dang, Kateri Jaquette, and Rae Gray.

*The story will be updated by Dispatch staff as more information is available.