BGSU announced a pause on all in-person classes from March 23 to April 6.
This decision was informed by guidance from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the Centers for Disease Control and the Wood County Health Department, which first connected with the university in January, Alex Aspacher said.
Aspacher, the department’s public information officer and community outreach coordinator, said initially WCHD was providing BGSU with screening questions and information as students returned from locations where novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, was beginning to emerge.
Since January, WCHD has maintained contact with the university and students who were called back to Bowling Green from education abroad programs. Communication with these students allowed WCHD to monitor for the appearance of symptoms, Aspacher said.
Communication with partners in several BGSU offices will continue during BGSU’s spring break, which begins March 16, and the period of online work. While no COVID-19 cases are confirmed in Wood County, three confirmed cases were reported in Cuyahoga County — just over 100 miles east of Bowling Green.
“The expectation is that we will see more cases in our communities,” Aspacher said.
Aspacher wants students to take the risk of COVID-19 coming to Bowling Green seriously and be mindful of contact with those who can get sick more easily like people who are elderly or have conditions that make them susceptible.
However, he said healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and washing hands well can often help prevent disease in “young, healthy people.”
“It’s a balancing act,” he said.
He also emphasized the importance of paying attention to local updates from the health department and recommendations from BGSU. WCHD will continue to work with the university to provide information about the disease.
Students can use online resources to research destinations before traveling for spring break. While an area might not be currently affected by COVID-19, sudden changes can impact a student’s ability to return home, Aspacher said.
Currently, all BGSU supported travel, both in and outside of the U.S., are suspended until the end of spring semester.