'We have to be careful’: CCU extends spring break to help prevent coronavirus spread

CCU extends spring break amid coronavirus fears

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Coastal Carolina University announced Wednesday the campus will extend its spring break through March 20 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

According to information from CCU, classes will resume on March 23. Students have been on spring break since March 9.

Campus operations, including residence halls and dining services, are open, CCU officials said.

All faculty and staff should report for their regular work schedule. Faculty will receive direction from the Office of the Provost regarding next week’s activities. But some CCU professors said they are prepared to make the switch to online learning if needed.

“This is usually what happens when we have the hurricanes, the school will move things online or professors may be given the option of teaching on Saturdays or Sundays,” said professor Brandon Palmer.

Additionally, CCU officials announced that all non-essential university-sponsored travel is suspended, both domestic and international. Employee requests for exceptions should be made to the vice president of their particular area for consideration.

ADVISORY: CCU updates on coronavirus

“This does not include personal activity, but we urge you to reconsider travel plans to areas that have been impacted by COVID-19,” according to CCU staff.

In addition to the CCU’s ongoing cleaning program in academic, administrative, athletic, dining, and residential areas, custodial staff will increase cleaning frequency in high-touch public areas, according to campus officials.

“It’s good we’re preventing it now because it can be a serious virus and we have to be careful,” said CCU student Nicolas Planchard.

CCU’s announcement follows the University of South Carolina announcing spring break would also be extended through next week in an effort to keep the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, from spreading.

With a majority of students gone from campus for more than two weeks, some businesses like ACE University Bookstore are adjusting business hours, which could impact some employees’ paychecks.

“It’s definitely going to have an impact on the area and hopefully things get better soon,” said employee Taylor Bowen.

RELATED COVERAGE: LIST: S.C. universities, colleges watching coronavirus, deciding on schedule changes

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

“When they push school back it always gets more hectic later in the year and that sucks, but at the same time I understand precautions they’re taking,” said Wes Matthews.

CDC Director Robert Redfield reports that U.S. virus deaths now up to 31 and confirmed cases are over 1,000.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.