Petition calls on UO to close campus amid coronavirus concerns

The petition, which was created a week ago, cites recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in Washington State and Oregon as a cause for concern.

Posted: Mar 11, 2020 7:44 AM
Updated: Mar 11, 2020 11:01 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- An online petition calling on University of Oregon President Michael Schill to close the Eugene campus surpassed 4,000 signatures on Wednesday. 

The petition, which was created a week ago, cites recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in Washington State and Oregon as a cause for concern.

"Many infected individuals may spread the virus without their knowledge. Many students may be infected and may transmit this virus into school and other public spaces," the petition says. 

Universities from California to New York have closed their doors because of the coronavirus. 

While the petition has reached more than 4,000 of the 5,000 requested signatures, not everyone thinks the school should close campus. 

"Right now we are getting ready for finals. I dont think that closing the campus is the best idea. I think that it's a big deal, the coronavirus, but right now there's no cases in Eugene," said Zachary Barrows, a freshman at the university.

UO officials said any decisions about closures would come from Oregon Health Authority and county health departments. 

According to the UO website, school leaders are trying to make it easier for students to avoid campus. Leaders have asked professors to relax attendance policies in case students decide to miss class as well as make it easier for students to complete assignments remotely. 

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