The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

WSU Follows Suit in COVID-19 ‘Pandemic’


On Tuesday March 10, Governor Baker declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts due to an increase in cases that tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The number of cases more than doubled in numbers from 41 to 92. The majority of cases stem from a meeting held in Boston by Biogen, a Cambridge Biotech firm. 

This outbreak has become a major global issue. As the numbers continue to rise, the World Health Organization has declared that the outbreak is now a pandemic. China and Italy have the largest outbreaks, but cases in the U.S. continue to rise as well. 

Harvard, Northeastern, and Boston Universities were among the initial decision-makers to initiate virtual instruction for their students in order to minimize the risks of the coronavirus.

As surrounding Colleges and Universities struggled with dealing with the virus, Smith, Amherst, and Mount Holyoke Colleges decided to cancel all in-person classes and transition to online classes for the rest of the semester. 

It didn’t take long for Westfield State University to follow suit amidst the concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. In lieu of the current circumstances, President Torrecilha sent out an email notifying the campus community that all on-ground academic classes are cancelled for the week of March 16-20. The following week, March 23-27, all classes will be conducted exclusively online.

However, over the next two weeks, all other University operations will continue. A determination about athletics and other events will be forthcoming. 

Currently, there are no reported cases of the coronavirus on the WSU campus, and no students, nor employees have been tested or are awaiting test results that the University is aware of. 

The number of events cancelled around the world continues to grow. The Holyoke and Boston St Patrick’s parades were cancelled. The NBA has suspended the season due to the coronavirus. The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals are postponed until October. Other concerts, tours, and movie releases have also been cancelled or postponed. These measures are for public health and safety and in hopes of halting the spread of the virus. 

People are rushing to stores for supplies. Face masks and Lysol disinfectant wipes are hard to come by, and hand sanitizer is practically sold out everywhere.

However, it’s important not to panic. Taking necessary precautions are advisable right now. For example, washing hands frequently, avoiding large crowds, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and restricting travel. These are some of the steps that you can take to prevent and/or reduce the risks of catching or spreading the virus. 

All updates and current information will be available on Westfield State’s Coronavirus Update page. Protective measures can also be found on the World Health Organization website.

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