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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. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156673

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31987550
Washington21345216
Marion18579287
Clackamas13449190
Lane10343129
Jackson8525116
Umatilla769682
Deschutes600163
Yamhill379669
Linn360957
Malheur335458
Polk307744
Klamath280555
Douglas255055
Josephine238755
Benton235617
Jefferson197630
Coos154521
Union130319
Columbia127721
Wasco122126
Lincoln113720
Hood River107029
Morrow105014
Crook78018
Clatsop7786
Baker6669
Curry4316
Tillamook4222
Lake3826
Harney2776
Grant2271
Wallowa1435
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
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