Article by: Suzanne Elliot, The Dominion Post
West Virginia University has launched an informational COVID-19 coronavirus website for students and the community, after fielding numerous questions from both about the virus.
The website, coronavirus.wvu.edu, went live Thursday. It contains general information as well as links to more in-depth information for specific groups such as students, faculty and the greater Morgantown community.
“There was no specific demand for the website,” said WVU spokesman John Bolt. “But, we were getting a lot of questions.”
While no one in West Virginia has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the state Department of Health and Human Resources said three people have been tested for the virus.
The first possible coronavirus case sent from West Virginia to the Centers for Disease Control came back negative, said state Chief Health Officer Cathy Slump during a radio appearance Thursday. Two other cases will be tested by the CDC, and the state should have the results in a few days, she also said.
Gov. Jim Justice gathered medical experts and key members of his administration to continue preparations and planning for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The state also put up a COVID-19 website; the state has also established an information portal at coronavirus.wv.gov.
COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, originated late last year in Wuhan, Hubei Province, a city in China of 11 million. Since that time, the virus can now be found in
78 countries and is responsible for 3,300 deaths and infected nearly 97,000 people worldwide. In Italy, Europe’s COVID-19 epicenter, 148 people have died and 3,858 people have been infected.
South Africa became the seventh African country to have a COVID-19 case and both Great Britain and Switzerland reported death caused by the virus.
The novel coronavirus has been responsible for 11 deaths in the U.S., all but one from a Seattle-area nursing home, according to news reports. Seventeen states have reported COVID-19 cases, which now include New Jersey and Tennessee.
The WVU website, which will remain up as long as needed, explains COVID-19 and gives telephone numbers to call for more information, travel tips and news.
“The website will be updated multiple times a day,” Bolt said.
The university’s Office of Global Affairs canceled all university-sponsored trips abroad, a move affecting 217 students. A China trip by the WVU Wind Symphony was previously postponed.
WVU is on spring break March 14-22. Classes resume March 23.