Western, Fanshawe stay open as Sudbury university shuts down due to coronavirus

Students attending post-secondary school in London, Ont., are expected to attend classes as usual despite climbing numbers of COVID-19 cases across the province.

Sudbury confirmed its first case of the novel-coronavirus Wednesday, and by noon, Laurentian University announced it would be suspending in-person classes.

In an official statement released by Western University on Wednesday, president Alan Shepard said there has been no indication from the Middlesex-London Health Unit that classes should be cancelled.

But, he said, planning is “well underway to provide flexible options should Western need to move to online-only learning.”

READ MORE: WHO declares novel coronavirus disease a pandemic

However, Western has cancelled future university-sanctioned international travel for all students until June 1, and recommends its staff and students avoid travel to regions with active health notices for COVID-19.

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Fanshawe College indicated “[all] classes and events are proceeding as scheduled” as of Wednesday afternoon on its website designated for COVID-19 updates.

The school briefly told 980 CFPL “discussions are ongoing.”

Both schools state they take direction and shares information from “federal, provincial and local health authorities.”

But the Middlesex-London Health Unit told 980 CFPL Wednesday evening there are no set guidelines to be followed when determining whether schools should close down in this situation.

READ MORE: Coronavirus concerns prompt King’s University College to cancel trips abroad

Western University have expressed the possibility of cancelling a March Break Open House scheduled for Saturday.

The statement said the school is “also receiving inquiries related to Congress 2020 and Convocation and, at this time, it is premature to make decisions as these events are months away.”

It adds planning is underway to provide students with online learning options if in-person classes were to close, which is how some students at Laurentian University are keeping up in their courses.

Other courses are already delivered through remote means.

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Here are some things you should know about COVID-19:

Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians, but they caution against travel to affected areas (a list can be found here). If you do travel to these places, they recommend you self-monitor to see whether you develop symptoms and if you do, to contact public health authorities.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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