A state of emergency was declared by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 to help the state prepare for a broader spread of COVID-19, more colloquially known as coronavirus.
The declaration will make additional resources available and formalize emergency actions across state agencies and departments, according to a press release from the governor’s office. It adds that the declaration is a result of the rising number of positive cases in California and one official COVID-19 death.
“The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” Newsom said in the press release. “This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.”
The emergency proclamation will help protect consumers from price gouging, allow health care workers to come from out of the state to assist at health care facilities and give facilities more flexibility to accommodate incoming patients, according to the press release.
In a campuswide email sent March 2, other developments concerning COVID-19 include an expansion of countries that now have travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The CDC advises against nonessential travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
“We encourage everyone to view the continually updated information on travel which is posted on the campus Global Engagement website,” the email reads.
The campus Global Engagement website details special instructions from UC President Janet Napolitano and other international travel resources.
In another campuswide email sent March 4, instructors were asked to accommodate students who feel unwell by providing lectures and examinations online. The message was sent out in light of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the city of Berkeley.
“Instructors should accommodate students who are ill,” the email reads.
The message states that classes should be held in person until advised otherwise but adds that instructors should offer online options for course lecture material, including Course Capture and audio recordings whenever possible.
Additionally, the message asks instructors to consider suspending attendance requirements, offering office hours by video conferencing and providing take-home exams for all those scheduled in March.
“Thanking you for your efforts in support, patience, and wisdom as we collectively navigate this challenging time,” the email reads.