As of March 12th, College of DuPage is taking precautionary measures to limit as much face-to-face contact as possible.
The school released a statement on the COD website, informing all staff, faculty, students and parents of the most recent actions. The week of March 16-22, all class sessions will be canceled, excluding online courses, hybrid courses, and laboratory sessions. Starting March 17, in-person courses will transition online and be back in session. Classes with laboratory sessions will still physically meet. Spring break will continue as previously scheduled, on March 30th through April 5th. On April 6th, classes will be back in session, but they will continue through face-to-face alternatives.
Community transmission is quickly taking a toll on the country, as President Donald Trump announced a travel ban taking effect on March 13th, schools are shutting down, and public events are being canceled.
Dr. Linda Rae Murray, epidemiologist and University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health professor, denies the common misconception that the flu and coronavirus are similar in terms of impact. Murray said COVID-19 is more infectious than almost all influenza strains. As of this past week, the rate of case fatality has continued to evolve, starting at 1.4-3.4%, but cannot be correctly compared to the flu until testing is broadly distributed and accessible to all. The total prevalence of COVID-19 cases is unknown at this point.
Vaccines are currently in development, but nothing has been distinguished just yet. There are, however, nonpharmacological interventions that can be taken, according to the American Public Health Association. These measures include social distancing, travel restrictions—both international and national, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Because the virus is airborne, surgical masks are not proven to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the public should continue taking precautionary measures to prevent any spread of or receiving of the virus.
The effects of the coronavirus have gone beyond just the classroom setting. All events at the college are canceled for the rest of the year, but school officials still anticipate holding the commencement ceremony on May 15th.
The athletic teams predict an abrupt and devastating end to their spring 2020 seasons. Not all teams have officially announced information regarding the following months. It is currently unknown where the COD baseball team, which is currently in Florida, stands at this point in their season. COD coaches are not releasing any information at this time and have blocked players from commenting.
As of now, Waubonsee Community College and Elgin Community College have put an end to their baseball seasons. It started when Ivy Leauge schools canceled their entire conference for Spring 2020. Following that, shortly after, NCAA Division I college baseball world series canceled their season. Most headlined, Major League Baseball canceled spring training today, March 12th, and moved their season back two full weeks, with the original opening day of March 26th being postponed.
In the specific case of student-athletes, the shortened season may make it more difficult for those who planned on transferring out to a 4-year university to continue their sport. Since the cancellations are all fairly new, talk about multiple alternatives has spread, according to the second-baseman for the Oakton Community College baseball team, Alex Rakas.
One option is for the player to accept a lower offer that had been previously standing going into the academic year, this past fall. The more hopeful alternative that has been discussed, though, is that the NJCAA are petitioning to give another year of eligibility to every junior college baseball player. This way, they have another season to get recruited out. The issue, however, is that students at a community college may run out of classes to take at their local community college if they were to stay another year and maintain eligibility to remain a student-athlete.