Corona

Image courtesy of Stanislaus State University

UPDATES:

Final Update: 

As Stanislaus State nears the end of the Spring 2020 semester, the Signal's coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic will be slightly shifting.

Effective immediately, this article will no longer be updated. Instead, our staff will publish individual stories and Coronavirus stories that concern the Stanislaus State campus community the most.

For those who remain interested in the daily updates of new Coronavirus cases and virus-related deaths, the most up-to-date sources that were used for this article remain readily accessible to the public.

For the latest COVID-19 numbers in Stanislaus County, head over to http://www.schsa.org/publichealth/pages/corona-virus/.

For the latest statewide statistics, head over to https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/california-coronavirus-cases.html.

The New York Times also has a nationwide case counter, which can be accessed at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?referringSource=articleShare.

Everybody here at the Signal greatly appreciates all of those who kept up with these daily updates. As mentioned before, our coverage will continue on our site, but it will just look a little different. We hope we can continue to inform you as best as we possibly can during these times of uncertainty.

May 4 Update: 

There have now been 411 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. Of that number, there have been 14 deaths and 254 full recoveries.

In California, there have now been over 55,800 confirmed cases of the virus. There have been 2,287 virus-related deaths in the state. 

In his daily press briefings, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would begin easing restrictions on businesses. Newsom and members of the state's public health agency outlined the steps in great detail during the conference, which can be watched in its entirety here.

In the United States as a whole, there have been over 1,183,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The country has suffered 68,672 virus-related deaths.

May 3 Update: 

There have now been exactly 400 confirmed cased of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. Of that milestone number, there have been 252 full recoveries and 14 virus-related deaths.

In California, there have now been a little over 54,000 confirmed cases of the infamous virus. There have been 2,215 virus-related deaths in the state.

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in California contributed to the over 1,153,300 total cases in the United States. The U.S. has now seen 67,365 virus-related deaths.

May 2 Update:

A day after Stanislaus County Health Services Agency reported the highest daily rise in new Coronavirus cases, the county only reported eight in the past 24 hours. Even better news in Stanislaus County is that there have now been 248 full recoveries from the virus. Also, there hasn't been any additional virus-related death in the county in the past day.

In California, the past day saw another near 2,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The total number of confirmed cases in the state is now over 52,600. There have been 2,171 virus-related deaths in the state.

The United States has now seen over 1,127,400 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. 65,897 people have died from the virus in the country.

May 1 Update: 

In the past day, Stanislaus County has seen the biggest daily rise in new Coronavirus cases. The 35 case increase in a single day has pushed the county's total to 374.

On top of the new confirmed cases, two more people have died from the virus in the county.

California as a whole has officially surpassed the 50,000 confirmed case milestone. There have now been over 50,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. The state has seen 2,079 virus-related deaths.

In the United States, over 1,094,800 people have contracted the Coronavirus. Of that number, 64,184 cases were fatal.

April 30 Update: 

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases and the number of recoveries from the virus in Stanislaus County have both risen in the past day. There have now been 339 cases of COVID-19 in the county. Of those cases, 230 people have made full recoveries. 

Sadly, there was also another virus-related death in the county. This latest casualty brings the county's total to 11. 

California saw another sharp rise in new cases in the past day with nearly 2,400 cases. As of Thursday afternoon, there have been over 49,400 cases of Coronavirus in the state. There have been exactly 2,000 deaths in the state, as well.

As numbers in all categories continue to rise, California Governor Gavin Newsom expressed his concern and worry of some parts of the state reopening and not enforcing social distancing guidelines. Because of this, Newsom ordered many state beaches and parks, mostly those in Southern California, to close

In the United States, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases has risen to over 1,068,500. The number of virus-related deaths in the country is now 62,708.

April 29 Update:

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases and the number of virus-related deaths in Stanislaus County have both risen noticeably in the past day. There have now been 324 confirmed cases of the virus with 10 virus-related deaths in the county.

94 cases and the five new deaths have all stemmed from Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where an outbreak of the virus has occurred. 

There have been more recoveries from the virus, though. 224 people have recovered in the county as of Wednesday afternoon.

California is continuing to see many new cases per day, but we are seeing the rate lower once again. In the past day, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases has risen to over 47,000. The number of virus-related deaths in the state is now 1,897.

The nation as a whole is continuing to see high rates of new cases of the virus. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States is now over 1,038,500. The country has seen 60,407 people lose their lives to the infamous virus.

April 28 Update:

There was another rise in the rate of new cases of COVID-19 per day in Stanislaus County. In the past 24 hours, the total number of Coronavirus cases in the county has risen to 312.

The number of virus-related deaths in Stanislaus County has also risen. Yesterday, the virus claimed the lives of two more Stanislaus County residents, bringing the death toll to seven. It was reported that these two latest victims both had underlying health conditions.

On a brighter note, one more person in the county has fully recovered from the virus, bringing that total to 215.

In an attempt to keep members of the campus community safe and socially distant from one another, there will be another drive-thru paycheck pickup on April 30th from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for campus employees who are not enrolled in direct deposit.

In California, there have now been over 46,100 cases of the Coronavirus. The state has seen 1,878 virus-related deaths.

The United States as a whole reached another unfortunate milestone in the past 24 hours. There are now over 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country. There have been 52,188 virus-related deaths in the country.

April 27 Update:

There are now 294 cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. The large increase in cases in the county is a combination of increased testing and an unfortunate outbreak in a Turlock nursing home.

As new cases emerge in the county, so do the recoveries. So far, 214 people have recovered after contracting the Coronavirus in Stanislaus County.

The state of California has seen a high, steady number of new cases of COVID-19 in the past week or so. The state has seen over 43,700 cases of the virus and 1,717 virus-related deaths.

With the rate of new cases per day remaining high, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California would be joining the Western States Pact.

The Western States Pact is described as "an agreement [between western states] of a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future."

This agreement comes after some mayors have began relaxing restrictions and slowly reopening public places without meeting the necessary health improvement requirements administered by the White House's reopening guidelines.

With this agreement, states will only take actions towards reopening local economies based on health outcomes.

The same high and steady trends in new cases per day is seen across the entire country. In the United States, there have been over 977,200 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and 50,134 virus-related deaths.

As the number of nationwide cases continue to grow, President Trump announced during his daily press briefings that pharmacies would now be allowed to perform Coronavirus testing.

If you feel as if you or someone close to you may have the Coronavirus, call your local health department and they will guide you on the next steps.

April 26 Update:

Stanislaus County has seen a large spike in new COVID-19 cases in the past day. There have now been 286 cases of the virus, an increase of 22 in the past 24 hours. 

The number of recoveries in the county has also increases immensely as the there are now 202. There has also been no additional virus-related deaths.

In California, there has been over 42,200 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. The state has seen 1,677 virus-related deaths.

Across the United States, over 955,400 cases of the Coronavirus have been confirmed. There have been 48,973 virus-related deaths in the country.

April 25 Update:

There are six new cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. These latest cases bring the county's total to 264. There have also now been 187 full recoveries. The virus-related death toll in the county remains at five.

Of the 77 current cases in the county, 60 require hospitalization.

With new cases continuing to come to light everyday, the city of Turlock announced that the annual Stanislaus County Fair has been cancelled. The StanCo Fair is an event that is very popular amongst valley residents, including members of the Stan State campus community, but the health risks remain too high to let the event go on.

The rate of new Coronavirus cases across California remains high, as well. The state has now seen over 41,400 cases of the virus. Of those cases, 1,619 have been fatal.

As portions of the country slowly begin to reopen and as there has been increased testing, a sharp rise in new cases was seen. 

Across the United States, there have now been over 926,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The country has seen 47,590 virus-related deaths.

April 24 Update:

Once again, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County in a day hit double digits. There have now been 258 confirmed cases of the virus in the county.

The county saw more recoveries from the virus, though. As of Friday afternoon, there have been 170 full recoveries from the virus. There have also not been any additional virus-related deaths in the county, leaving the total at five.

As part of the CARES Act that was passed by Congress last month, Stanislaus County will be receiving $96 million in assistance. Although it is not yet know how every single one of those dollars will be used, the county has explained how some of it will be made us of.

1 million of the $96 million will be provided to struggling and/or temporarily closed small business in the county. The county is also planning to give a fiver percent raise for those who are deemed as essential workers during this pandemic. The assistance money will also be used to pay for the hotel rooms that will be temporary housing the homeless. Finally, a large portion of the money will be going towards county utility bills.

The $96 million is a part of the total $15.3 billion that the state of California will receive from the federal government.

In California, there have now been over 39,900 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus with 1,571 virus-related deaths. Once again, the daily rate of new cases slightly increased. 

There was a slight increase in the number of new cases across the nation, as well. In the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases in the United States is now over 885,200. The virus-related death toll in the country is now 45,409.

April 23 Update:

Consistency is something that is hard to come by when it comes to the Coronavirus.

As it was reported in yesterday's update, Stanislaus County was seeing great improvement in terms of new daily cases. Unfortunately, the county saw a another sharp rise in that category.

Stanislaus County saw a double-digit rise of 15 cases in the past day. In the last 24 hours, the county also saw it's fifth virus-related death. All five in the county are said to have over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions.

It is unclear as to whether the county's major increase in testing is contributing to this number.

Amid the continuous uncovering of new cases and as testing continue to ramp up, Stanislaus County is also continuing to see recoveries from those who have contracted the virus. The number of full recoveries in the county is now 157.

Amid some of this good news, Stanislaus County parks, playgrounds, and restrooms will reopen to the public starting tomorrow. The state of California as a whole is being careful in terms of taking steps to reopen businesses and services.

In California, there have been 37,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,469 virus-related deaths. 

In the United States, there have been over 852,200 cases of the Coronavirus with 43,587 virus-related deaths.

April 22 Update:

There have only been four additional cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County in the past 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 236. Of those 236 confirmed cases, 133 people have had full recoveries. Even better news is that there have still not been a virus-related death in the county in almost two weeks.

The fact that Stanislaus County has seen only four to six new cases per day in the past couple of days is impressive considering that the county has increased testing.

Along with the new drive-thru testing site in Salida, county officials announced that they are looking to add similar testing sites across the county where cases are high.

The increase in testing is something that is constant across the state of California. In a press briefing on Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that there will be 86 new testing sites across the state.

The governor's announcement comes after the state saw another day of almost 2,000 new cases. After the second consecutive day of high case confirmations, the total number of cases in California is now over 35,900. The total number of virus-related deaths in the state is now 133.

The nation as a whole is no longer seeing extremely high rates of new cases, though. The number of new cases is remaining steady and is showing that mitigation efforts are keeping the curve in check.

The United States has seen over 822,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, there have been 41,683 virus-related deaths.

April 21 Update:

Stanislaus County is beginning to see some consistency in terms of daily new Coronavirus cases. In the past 24 hours, there have been only six new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of cases to 232.

Of the 232 confirmed cases in the county, there have been 118 full recoveries. The virus-related death toll has not risen, as well.

The same can no longer be said about California as a whole. After seeing a few consecutive says of decreasing daily rates of new cases, there was a troubling soar.

In the past day, there have been over 2,300 new cases of the virus in California, marking the highest one-day increase that the state has seen so far. Deaths keep rising, as well, but those numbers are remaining at a consistent rate.

In total, there are now over 34,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state with 1,237 virus-related deaths.

The country's statistics as a whole are much better, though. The national curve is continuing to bend in the right direction. In total, there have been 793,300 confirmed Coronavirus cases with 39,252 virus-related deaths in the United States.

April 20 Update:

If you've been keeping up with these daily updates, you are well aware of the up and down trends that the county, state, and country have seen in the past couple of days. Fortunately, in the past day we have seen another downward trend. This time around, though, the rate of new cases have dropped noticeably.

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County is now 226. This five case increase is great considering that the county has seen daily increases of almost 20 cases in the previous weeks. Even better news is that 11 more people have fully recovered from the virus and there have been no additional deaths.

Similar news can be said about the state of California. In the state, there have  now been 31,906 confirmed cases of the virus. The less than 1,000 new cases is still plenty, but it is still 400 to 500 less daily cases than what the state was seeing earlier in the week. Virus-related deaths are also continuing to rise as there have now been 1,183 in the state.

The United States as a whole is also seeing rates of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases drop, but the number of deaths are continuing to rise with very little improvement. The country has seen over 776,300 confirmed cases of the virus with 37,532 virus-related deaths.

April 19 Update:

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the county and state have begun to increase at much higher rates than the ones we saw in the last couple of days.

In Stanislaus County, there was a 15 case increase in the past 24 hours, bringing the grand total to 221.

On the bright side, there have been 16 more recoveries since yesterday, bringing that total to 98. There have also been no additional deaths.

In California, confirmed cases of the virus has surpassed 30,900. This is an approximately 1,400 cases increase in the past 24 hours. This increase also puts a small upward curve in California's confirmed case trends.

In addition to the new positive cases, there have been more deaths in the state. There have no been 1,147 virus-related deaths in California.

Although these upward trends are being seen in the county and in the state, the country as a whole is continuing to see lower rates of new cases.

National Curve Continues to Bend

Unlike what we are seeing in Stanislaus County and in the state of California as a whole, the national curve continues to bend downwards. (Graph courtesy of the New York Times)

Nevertheless, new cases and virus-related deaths are continuing to come to be reported. In the United States, there are now over 746,300 cases of COVID-19. The country has seen 35,676 virus-related deaths.

As the spread of the virus is being slowed down, we are beginning to see some state parks and beaches across the nation open up. The opening of beaches and parks in certain states does not technically go against the White House's four phase plan to reopening the economy, as these places are not essential businesses.

California still has not seen enough improvement to begin even considering entering the first phase of reopening. Even though parks and beaches can technically be opened, California Governor Gavin Newsom has made no indication of wanting to reopen these specific places under the current conditions.

April 18 Update:

There is both good and bad news coming out of Stanislaus County in regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The good news is that, since yesterday, there have been 11 more recoveries, bringing the total number of Coronavirus recoveries to 82. There have also been no additional virus-related deaths.

On the contrary, there have now been 206 positive cases of COVID-19 of the virus in the county. Of the 124 ongoing positive cases of the virus in the county, 49 require hospitalization.

In California, the number of confirmed cases is now over 29,500. This is still a large daily increase, but it remains lower than last weeks suspected peak of cases. In addition to the confirmed case count, the number of deaths in the state has now surpassed the 1,000 mark. In total, there have been 1,050 virus-related deaths in California.

In the United States, the number of new cases is also continuing to rise by the day, but as it is in California, the number is still lower than the nation's suspected peak that came earlier in the week.

With that being said, the total number of Coronavirus cases in the country currently stands at 717,825. The total number of virus-related deaths in the country is now 34,022.

As our school, community, state, and country continues to deal with these unforeseen circumstances, more actions are being considered and taken.

It was announced in the past weeks that the CSU has cancelled the Writing Proficiency Screening Test (WPST).

Also, as it was previously announced that 2020 commencement ceremonies would be postponed, Stanislaus State has contacted all seniors expecting to graduate through email in an attempt to gather thoughts, opinions, ideas, and recommendations as to what the next steps regarding should be when it comes to commencement ceremonies and celebrations.

April 17 Update:

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Stanislaus County has risen 187. The good news is that, of those 187 confirmed cases, there have now been 81 recoveries. There have also been no additional virus-related deaths in the county, leaving that number at four.

There is also good news for the state of California as a whole. After seeing a sharp rise in confirmed cases, Thursday and Friday saw a much lower rate of increase. As of Friday afternoon, California has had over 28,300 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. The state has seen 980 virus-related deaths.

In the United States, the curve hasn't really lowered, yet, but rather it is staying constant. There are now over 681,700 confirmed cases of the virus with over 31,600 virus-related deaths in the country.

April 16 Update:

In the past 24 hours, the total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County has risen to 177. The number of virus-related deaths remains at four.

After seeing signs of improvement in the past couple of days, California saw a sharp rise of almost 1,500 new cases of Coronavirus in the past 24 hours. There were also about 80 new virus-related death in the past day. These latest statistics and rates are lower than what the state was seeing last week, but it is still a step backwards.

In total, there are now 27,250 confirmed cases and 893 virus-related deaths in the state.

Overall, in the United States, we are continuing to see a lowering of the curve in terms of daily confirmed cases. There are now over 662,400 cases of the Coronavirus across the country along with over 30,300 virus-related deaths.

It is clear that no one place is the same, and that has not changed in regards to the spread of the Coronavirus.

Because of this, President Donald Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus task force team announced a three step process for states to gradually reopen.

President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci both assured that this process will be slow and watched closely.

The entire three step process is listed and explained in detail here.

As of today, California does not meet the requirements to even meet the requirements to begin the first phase of reopening.

Dr. Fauci also added that the introduction of this three phase process does not dismiss or replace the current White House and CDC safety guidelines and recommendations.

April 15 Update:

There is some good news to be reported in Stanislaus County regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been no additional cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, leaving the total at 163.

On top of that, there have been no additional virus-related deaths, leaving the total at four.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California is now over 26,200. There are now 813 virus-related deaths in the state.

There is better news being reported across the country, as well, as there seems to be a "flattening of the curve," as health experts and political leaders tend to say.

The total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the United States is now over 633,200. In addition, the total number of virus-related deaths in the country is now over 28,200.

Although both statistics continue to see rises by the day, the numbers are not growing as much as they were earlier in the week.

Flattening of the Curve

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases is beginning to flatten and lower. (Graph provided by the New York Times)

As the country begins to see some improvement, President Donald Trump once again mentioned during his daily meetings with the press that his administration and task force would begin to take cautious steps to reopen parts of the country.

"Tomorrow will be a big day," the president said.

April 14 Update:

Stanislaus County now has 163 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of that number, 77 people have had a full recovery while 37 people remain hospitalized. There have also been two additional virus-related deaths since last week, pushing the total to four.

In California, there are now a little under 24,800 confirmed cases of the virus and 729 virus-related deaths.

After President Donald Trump has constantly expressed his desire to reopen portions of the country, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that California would go through a six step process before the state can open.

First, the state would need to expand testing. Second, the more vulnerable groups would have to be better protected. Third, the state would need to ensure that hospitals have enough supplies and resources to combat any additional waves of the virus. When these three things happen, then certain areas could reopen, the governor explained.

When these areas reopen, schools would be next to continue operations, but only if they have proper social distancing guidelines in place.

Governor Newsom continued by saying that other areas of the state could follow those steps and gradually reopen, but strict stay-at-home orders could be instituted at any time if the risk of the virus reemerges. 

Governor Newsom's entire Tuesday press briefing including the six step process can be viewed in its entirety here.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the United States is over 597,800. The death toll in the country has now surpassed 25,000.

April 13 Update: 

In the United States, the number of confirmed Coronavirus is now almost at 571,700 cases. The national death toll is now 23,026.

As part of these numbers, California is continuing to see rises in both confirmed cases and virus-related deaths. There are now over 23,600 confirmed cases of the virus in the state. There have also been 680 virus-related deaths in the state.

There are now 131 cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. The county's death toll remains at two.

As the virus continues to effect our state, our communities, and the way we learn, Stanislaus State is taking action to ensure that the transition to online instruction continues to be smooth and effective. Monday afternoon, it was announced that, beginning April 20, students will have the option to change the grading option for undergraduate, Spring 2020 courses. Students have until May 22 to make this change. Further details about this change and more information on how to change your grading option can be found here.

Additionally, students will also have the option to withdraw from any course for the Spring 2020 semester without having any negative impact on ones transcripts.

"This will result in a grade of W for the course on your transcript; this grade does not count in the calculation of your GPA, nor does a grade of NC," an official announcement from the university said.

The deadline to withdraw from a course is also May 22.

April 12 Update:

California's number of confirmed Coronavirus continues to rise, as it does in every other state. Although this is taking place, other states are having a harder time controlling the spread of the virus.

Sunday morning, it was reported that Massachusetts had passed California in total number of confirmed cases. California now stands as the sixth most infected state with over 22,400 confirmed cases of the virus and 633 virus-related deaths.

In Stanislaus County, there have been 121 confirmed cases of the virus. There have been no additional deaths in the county since Saturday morning.

Of the 121 cases in the county, it has been announced that there have been 77 full recoveries.

Overall, the United States has seen over 546,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 21,698 virus-related deaths. 

April 11 Update:

The past 24 hours turned out to be one filled with very grim news, especially here in Stanislaus County.

Not only did the numbers of confirmed cases in the county rise to 116, but the county finally saw activity in the dreaded death counter.

After having weeks of no virus-related deaths in the county since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was reported that the first virus-related death occurred Friday afternoon.

Saturday morning, it was announced that there was a second virus-related death in the county.

The only information released to the public regarding the two victims is that one was a male and the other was a female, both with underlying health conditions.

The two deaths in Stanislaus County come as the state of California nears 600 total virus-related deaths. The current tally stands at 598.

Confirmed cases in California continue to rise, as well. There are now over 21,500 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the state.

Although the number of cases rises by the day in the state, other states are seeing much more rapid rises in numbers.

In the past 24 hours, Pennsylvania passed California for the fourth place in the country for most confirmed cases of COVID-19. Pennsylvania now has approximately 200 more confirmed cases than California. California has almost 100 more deaths, though.

In the United States, the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus is almost 519,000. The country has seen the virus claim the lives of over 20,100 people. There have now been more deaths in the United States than what has been reported in Italy.

Members of the White House's Coronavirus task force warned that this week could be the virus' peak and that there would be grim moments, and recent statistics are proving their predictions right.

During these odd and sorrowful times, Stan State's Psychological Counseling Services remains available via phone. More information and resources can be found on the campus psychological counseling webpage.

April 10 Update:

New, unfortunate milestones regarding the Coronavirus were reached in the last 24 hours across all spectrums.

In Stanislaus County, the number of confirmed cases has officially surpassed 100. Of the 103 cases of Coronavirus in the county, 34 cases require hospitalization.

On a brighter note, it was announced that 59 of the 103 cases have had a full recovery. There has also yet to have been any virus-related deaths in the county.

Stanislaus County's current statistics contribute to the unfortunate milestone that California accomplished.

In the past 24 hours, California surpassed 20 thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have also been 548 virus-related deaths in the state.

Numbers are continuing to increase across the nation, as well. In the United States, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases stands at 483,600. The number of virus-related deaths has risen to 17,947.

April 9 Update:

Stanislaus County now has 95 cases of COVID-19, a five case increase since yesterday. There are still no virus-related deaths.

California now has over 19,000 confirmed cases of the virus. The state also surpassed an unfortunate milestone in terms of virus-related deaths, as the state has officially surpassed 500.

On the national level, over 455,000 cases of the Coronavirus have been confirmed. Additionally, there have been over 16,300 virus-related deaths in the country.

During this pandemic, the United States has seen over 17 million people file for unemployment over the course of the last three weeks. Specifically, the youth unemployment rate stands at 10.3 percent.

With so many young people losing their jobs and having their hours slashed immensely, President Trump announced during his daily press briefings at the White House that students loans will be waived for six months. More details on this announcement will be reported on as soon as more information is released.

For those who are continuing be employed by Stanislaus State or have not picked up a paycheck from a previous pay period, it was announced that checks will be distributed in a drive-thru pickup format on April 15th. It is unclear as if campus Human Resources will continue this format of check distribution for future pay days.

For student employees and assistants who are unable to work during the pandemic, paid administrative leave may be available. 

For more details about check distribution and possible paid leave, the official announcement in it's entirety is available to read here

April 8 Update:

The United States is now home to over 418,000 cases of the Coronavirus and over 14,000 virus-related deaths. Over 17,600 of those cases and 448 of those virus-related deaths in the country are here in California.

Furthermore, of the over 17,600 cases in the state, 90 are in Stanislaus County. Fortunately, Stanislaus County has not had any deaths to contribute to the state's and country's already troubling statistics. 

Nevertheless, there are still some positive takeaways. Of the 90 current confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, only 29 cases are requiring hospitalization. Although 29 is still a significant number, it is a manageable number for local hospitals.

"We are not overwhelmed," a Modesto hospital staff worker told the Modesto Bee. The Modesto Bee article says that the same hospital staffer assured residents in the county that they will have hospital care if they become seriously ill.

April 7 Update:

There are now 81 confirmed Coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County, a ten case increase since yesterday. There have yet to have been any virus-related deaths in the county.

In the state of California, there are now a little over 17,000 confirmed cases of the deadly virus. There have been 420 virus-related deaths in the state.

In terms of California, mitigation is proving to be effective in the fight against the virus.

On March 27, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projected that the peak number of California's cases would surpass 15,000 on April 24. On Monday, the institute released new projections showing that California's peak could come a week earlier than what the initial projections showed. Additionally, the new projections show that a little under five thousand cases would be the state's peak number.

In terms of the country as a whole, there are now over 395,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and almost 12,800 virus-related deaths.

April 6 Update:

As we begin another week, another troubling milestone has been reached in the United States. In the last 24 hours, the country officially surpassed 10,000 Coronavirus-related deaths. There are now over 357,000 cases of the virus in the country, as well.

The state of California has seen a rise of almost two thousand confirmed cases of the virus in the last 24 hours. Of the over 15,200 cases in the state, there have been 351 deaths.

Stanislaus County is continuing to see the number of cases rise, as there are now 71 cases of COVID-19 in the county, a six case increase since yesterday.

The large rises of cases that we are seeing across the nation comes after several members of the White House's Coronavirus task force warned that this week could bring the virus' peak.

United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in a television interview that the public should be prepared for one of the worst weeks of the pandemic yet.

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment," Adams warned.

In more positive news, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he would be donating medical supplies and resources to other states in need

Governor Newsom's decision to donate resources can be viewed as a sign of optimism that California has sufficient supplies, for the time being, and that the national stockpile of supplies can assist the state when needed.

April 5 Update:

Stanislaus County now has 65 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Stanislaus County with related deaths. This number is a seven case increase in the past 24 hours.

In California, there are nearly 13,900 confirmed cases of the virus with 323 related deaths.

There are now over 328,800 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States. Of that number, 9,368 people have died.

April 4 Update:

There are currently 58 cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County, a seven case increase in the past 24 hours. There are still no deaths in the county.

In terms of the state, California is no longer the state with the third most confirmed cases in the nation. In the past 24 hours, Michigan passed California and now has nearly 100 more cases than our state. There has also been almost 200 more deaths in Michigan than in California.

California has over 12,500 cases with 282 virus-related deaths.

In the United States, there has now been over 300,600 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus with 8,164 related deaths as of Saturday afternoon.

April 3 Update:

Stanislaus County now has a total of 51 cases of the Coronavirus. There are still no virus-related deaths.

The state of California now has over 11,200 confirmed cases of the virus with 240 virus-related deaths. 

Cases are also continuing to rise across the nation, as there are now over 258,600 confirmed cases of the virus. Even more troubling, there have been almost one thousand virus-related deaths in the United States over the past 24 hours. The deadly virus has claimed the lives of 6,660 people.

To further help contain the virus and flatten the curve of cases in the area, Stanislaus County public health officer Dr. Julie Vaishampayan ordered that all individuals living in the county to stay home unless they are engaging in certain essential activities.

This order will allow residents to continue essential outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, bicycling, etc., as long as those participating continue to practice the White House's and CDC's social distancing guidelines.

What is different about this order from any of the local government's previous recommendations and announcements is that this order will be enforced by law enforcement.

The official order says that those who fail to comply with the public health officer's directions will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

The public health order in its entirety can be found here.

During Friday's Coronavirus press briefing at the White House, President Trump announced that the CDC is officially recommending that the public wears face masks when they leave their homes. This is only a recommendation and wearing a mask is not mandatory.

April 2 Update:

There are now 44 confirmed Coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County with no virus-related deaths.

California now has over 9,800 cases of the virus with 212 virus-related deaths.

The country as a whole has seen over 234,000 people test positive for the virus with over 5,700 lost lives.

Amid the continuing wrath of this deadly virus and after the institution's spring recess, Stanislaus State officially continued the Spring 2020 semester, digitally.

As there are many members of the Stan State campus community who will be working from home for the very first time, OIT is offering technology training sessions over the next two weeks to assist those who may be struggling with using digital tools and resources.

To also reassure members of the campus community and to better help guide those who may be concerned with how the Coronavirus is affecting Stan State operations, President Ellen Junn will be holding virtual office hours every Thursday from 10:00- 11:00 a.m.

April 1 Update: 

Stanislaus County now has 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The public is now receiving more clarity on the specifics of these cases from the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

On the County Health Agency's Coronavirus information page, confirmed cases are now being broken down by city, age range, gender, and the number of cases that require hospitalization. The names and exact location of those who have tested positive for the virus will remain confidential, as that information is protected by federal law.

In terms of the state, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in California is slightly under 8,800 cases with 188 deaths.

In the United States, over 206 thousand people have been tested positive for COVID-19. There have been over 4,500 virus-related deaths across the country.

As the virus continues to spread and fails to show significant signs of slowing, Stanislaus State has responded by closing all computer labs on campus. To continue assisting those without internet access at home, the school explained that there is still working wifi on campus and on several campus parking lots.

Stan State is also continuing to loan Chromebooks and internet hotspots to those without at-home access.

Additional information on computer lab closures, campus wifi access, and resource loaning can be found here.

March 31 Update: 

There have been a total of 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County, an increase of four since yesterday. There have yet to have been any deaths relating to the virus.

The total number of cases California has surpassed 7,500 cases with 155 deaths.

In the United States, there have been over 183,500 confirmed cases of the virus with over 3,700 deaths.

During their daily press briefings, the White House Coronavirus Taskforce team revealed a graph that predicted the virus' spread and death toll for the next two weeks.

Taskforce member Dr. Deborah Birx explained that the peak of virus-related deaths in the country could range between 100,000 and 200,000 in the next two weeks if there is complete mitigation.

Fellow taskforce member Dr. Anthony Fauci elaborated more on the models and the troubling statistics they are predicting.

Dr. Fauci noted that it may be relieving for many to see a drop off in cases and deaths in the coming months, but explained that this drastic containment of the virus can only be possible if we don't "take our foot off of the accelerator."

Dr. Fauci addressed concerns about losing a projected 100,000 to 200,000 people in our country, saying that these numbers can be decreased the more research doctors do on the virus.

You can watch Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci present and elaborate on the models and projections below.

March 30 Update:

After having days where the number of confirmed cases was rising by extremely concerning amounts, Stanislaus County only confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Although more cases being confirmed is not ideal, considering the virus' massive spread and the amount of testing being performed (almost 200 tests in the county per day), two cases is a number that can provide some hope and optimism that this virus is being better contained in the area.

Other areas of the state, on the other hand, are not containing the virus as well. So far, the Bay Area and Southern California are being affected the most in the state. Large populations are playing a big roll in these hotspot areas.

In total, there have been over 6,800 confirmed cases of the virus in the state. Of that total, there have been 142 Coronavirus related deaths. There have been no virus-related deaths in Stanislaus County.

During Monday's press briefing at the White House, President Trump and members of the Coronavirus Taskforce team announced that they have teamed up with Abbott Laboratories to provide testing kits that could provide results within only five minutes

With the number of testing continuing to increase and more types of testing being created, more cases of the Coronavirus can be uncovered.

Stanislaus County Board Supervisor Kristin Olsen told the Turlock Journal that the amount of positive cases in the county could double by next week.

This doesn't necessarily mean the virus is uncontrollably spreading, it just means that the more testing can identify individuals that already have the virus.

March 29 Update: 

Six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Stanislaus County, bringing the total to 29. There have been no virus-related deaths in the county as of Sunday afternoon.

The state of California is quickly approaching six thousand confirmed cases of the virus. There have been 124 virus-related deaths across the state.

There have been almost 136 thousand confirmed cases across the Unites States. The country has seen over 2,300 people die from the virus.

Because on the daily spike in cases, President Trump announced that the White House's and CDC's public guidelines and recommendations would be extended by to April 30th. It was originally only supposed to be in effect for 15 days.

Essential businesses and their employees have obviously faced the Coronavirus threat from a much closer standpoint. Grocery stores and supermarkets have been deemed as essential by the governor and have been ordered to stay open.

It has been reported that three employees at three different grocery stores in Southern California have tested positive for the virus.

Those stores temporarily closed for a deep, professional sanitization and cleaning.

It's clear that the risk of contracting the virus is higher with the more contact you have with people, so essential businesses are continuing to take the necessary precautions to keep workers and consumers safe to, ultimately, prevent essential businesses from closing.

As more resources and aid arrive to Coronavirus hotspots across the country, it will be interesting to see how effectful that aide will be and how the economy will continue to be impacted.

March 28 Update:

There are now 23 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Stanislaus County. Cases continue to rise at a fast pace in not only in the county, but in the state and country as a whole.

California is quickly approaching five thousand confirmed cases of the virus as the state has reported a little over 4,900 cases as of this afternoon.

Another troubling milestone was reached in the past 24 hours, as well. Hours after taking the lead as the country with the most confirmed cases in the world, the United States officially surpassed 100,000 cases.

In some of his recent public remarks, President Trump stated that the huge increase in testing is the reason why the number of confirmed cases is increasing by huge amounts each day.

There was no press briefing at the White House today, as President Trump traveled to Virginia to watch the U.S. Naval hospital ship Comfort embark with medical supplies to New York, the area of the country being impacted by the pandemic the most. You can watch his short speech and media availability here.

U.S Naval Ship Mercy arrived in Los Angeles yesterday to help bring much needed medical supplies to the state, which is also being hit hard by the virus. You can watch the ship's arrival below.

March 27 Update:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County, the state of California, and the entire country has skyrocketed over the last day.

In Stanislaus County, the number of confirmed cases rose to 19, an increase of six cases in the last 24 hours. In California, the number of cases has risen to over four thousand, an increase of about 600 cases in the past 24 hours. 

A troubling milestone was also accomplished by the United States, yesterday. With over 93 thousand confirmed cases of the virus across the county, the U.S. has surpassed Italy and mainland China as the country with the most confirmed cases. Of those 93 thousand cases in the U.S., there have been over 1,400 deaths, which is only the sixth most in the world. Italy, on the other hand, has had the most Coronavirus-related deaths, with over nine thousand.

During Friday's Coronavirus press briefing, President Trump announced that a new Apple application has been created to provide safety guidelines and help people identify any possible symptoms. The app can be downloaded in the iOS App Store.

Thursday was also a monumental day in American politics. As mentioned in yesterday's update, the Senate has unanimously passed the nearly 2 trillion dollar stimulus relief plan for laid off workers and temporarily closed businesses. On Friday, President Trump officially signed the bill after the House of Representatives passed it with almost full bipartisan support.

With the passage of this historic deal, the stock markets were successful for yet another day. Since confirmed cases across the country are continuing to rise, Friday's market success did not match Thursday's performance, but it remained strong enough to give Americans confidence that the economy will not crash and shut down.

March 26 Update:

A 13th case of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County was reported Thursday morning. The last 24 hours revealed that the state of California has surpassed three thousand confirmed cases. The virus has claimed the lives of 65 people in the state, so far.

The virus' continued spread has further delayed the reopening of local schools. Stanislaus County school districts had originally planned on beginning to bring students back to school on April 6, but as the pandemic hasn't deescalated and as Governor Newsom's state-at-home order remains in place, those plans have been altered.

The new plan is to have schools reopen in early May. Any sort of plan to reopen schools may come as a surprise to many, especially after Governor Newsom said that he doesn't expect schools to start up operations until after summer. Stanislaus State also doesn't expect this issue to be resolved anytime soon, as countless events, including commencement, have been postponed.

With children staying home and thousands of people continuing to be left without work, the Senate has finally passed the near 2 trillion dollar stimulus relief bill in a historic, unanimous vote. The details of the official, finalized deal can be found here.

As this major bill is expected to provide much-needed financial help to millions of struggling Americans, the stock markets have made a huge recovery. On Wednesday, all three of the markets surged by more than five percent.

March 25 Update: 

Wednesday morning, Stanislaus County reported a 12th case of COVID-19 in the county. As the number of confirmed cases continues its steady growth, county officials are urging residents to take this pandemic seriously.

As California beaches and parks have been seen to have gathering of large groups, California Governor Gavin Newsroom ordered several of these locations to close their parking lots immediately. A full list of California's closed beach and park parking lots can be found here.

During a video announcement on Facebook, Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse urged parents to talk with their children about the severity of the virus, as young people are the ones who are seen outside not practicing social distancing the most. 

Sheriff Dirkse also addressed local businesses in the video announcement. After numerous reports of non-essential businesses continuing their operations during Governor Newsom's state-at-home order, Dirkse warned non-essential business owners that they will face consequences if they continue their operations and unsafe practices.

"We are moving more towards an active enforcement role with those businesses," Dirkse explained.

Dirkse encouraged all residents to report non-essential businesses who continue to stay open during the order to the email address HSA-COVID-19info@schsa.org.

Dirkse also introduced a new COVID-19 text notifier. By texting STANCOVID19 to 888777, you will be alerted with any breaking news or developments regarding the virus in Stanislaus County.

While Stanislaus County, the state of California, and many other states continue to close schools and businesses, Congress is continuing to work out the nearly 2 trillion dollar stimulus relief bill. It was reported that an agreement between Democrats and Republicans was reached early Wednesday morning, but discussion and debate has continued Wednesday morning without a Senate vote being held.

Members of the Trump administration, members of the Senate both said that they expect the bill to be voted on and passed by the end of the day.

The details of the current draft of the bill can be found here.

March 24 Update:

The past 24 hours has revealed that two more people in Stanislaus County have been confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 11 in the county. There have still been no reported virus related deaths.

In a Facebook Live broadcast yesterday, Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, a top health official in Stanislaus County, explained that respiratory complaints have began to flood local hospitals and medical offices. With the number of confirmed cases rising almost by the day, Dr. Vaishampayan gave a serious warning to viewers and all Stanislaus County residents:

"... the COVID-19 is starting to spread in our community," Vaishampayan stated.

Local doctors and health experts are continuing to urge residents to stay indoors and practice social distancing for the coming weeks. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, is hoping to lift restrictions and many safety precautions in the coming weeks.

During Monday afternoon's press briefing, President Trump floated the idea of having people return to work in the near future. During a live television town hall on Tuesday morning, he revealed that he would like the country reopened and running by Easter. This announcement comes just days after many health experts expressed their fears that the virus pandemic could worsen this week.

President Trump attempted to reassure the public in a tweet that reopening the country while fighting off the virus can still be possible.

Trump tweet

In the tweet, he urged Congress to pass the nearly 2 trillion dollar stimulus relief plan. Discussion and debate surrounding the bill continued throughout Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says that they are "on the 2-yard line" on an agreement and bill passage. A vote is expected to take place in the coming hours.

As hope for the passing of the stimulus package grows, the stock market rose immensely, with each market growing by about ten percent. These are the highest gains the markets have posted since 1993.

March 23 Update:

Late Sunday night and Monday morning was filled with concerning news over the Coronavirus' presence in Stanislaus County. In the last 24 hours, three cases have been confirmed in the county, bringing the total number of confirmed positive cases to nine. There have been no COVID-19 related deaths.

In California, confirmed cases has surpassed 1,700. Although there has been a spike in cases, there have been no additional COVID-19 related deaths in the state since yesterday.

As the number of cases rises by the day, businesses are remaining closed, leaving many in a financial struggle. Last week, the Trump administration announced that Congress was working on a nearly 1 trillion dollar stimulus relief plan to assist those who have been laid off because of the pandemic.

This week, the stimulus bill has been altered and updated to make it worth approximately 2 trillion dollars. The bill was discussed, debated, and eventually voted on on the Senate floor. The bill did not get enough votes to pass, so debates and discussions continued throughout Monday.

There were three main reasons why Democrats claim they voted against the bill. The first reason was that there is 500 billion dollars on the bill stashed aside for corporations. Democrats said that there isn't enough transparency as to what exactly this money will be used for.

Democrats also claimed that the bill doesn't provide enough funding for medical needs.

The third main concern for Democrats was student loans. Democrats want up to 10 thousand dollars in student loans to be forgiven, but Republicans only want loan payments to be postponed.

President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other Republican figures are insisting that this bill get passed immediately and Democrats need to stop practicing partisan politics.

"Congress needs to get together and stop with the partisan politics. This shouldn't be a time for political agendas, but focussing on the needs of the American people," Trump said during Monday's Coronavirus press briefing.

Congress will meet to discuss the bill again tomorrow.

U.S Attorney General William Barr was present at Monday's press briefing, as well. Barr explained that the President Trump has signed an executive order to label essential needs as 'scarce.' This order will prevent consumers from hoarding these essentials and will further prevent and punish price gouging practices.

March 22 Update:

After a few days without any additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County, a sixth case was reported on Sunday. In California, cases have surpassed 1,400. Deaths in California have also risen to 27, an increase of three since yesterday. 

The large number of confirmed cases includes four prison workers. In such a confined space, many family members of inmates are expressing their concerns and fears of a potential prison outbreak of the virus. No inmates have tested positive for the virus at this time.

In Sunday's news briefing, President Trump announced that he has approved for the National Guard to be deployed to California, New York, and Washington.

President Trump's approval of the National Guard's deployment to California will enable the governor to provide "robust support to the state." This robust support will include eight large federal medical stations with over 2,000 beds, all free of charge to the states. President Trump added that these states have already received many supplies, but "hundreds of thousands" more are expected to arrive within the next 48 hours.

Vice President Pence mentioned in the briefing that a new Coronavirus testing kit would soon be made available to the public. Pence explained that this test could provide results as fast as 45 minutes.

President Trump added that he expects the new testing kits to work effectively and to be distributed very soon.

Vice President Pence concluded his media availability by calling on all Americans to keep following the protective measures recommended by federal, state and community officials.

"We can do this America... We can slow the spread, we can protect the most vulnerable, and we can heal our land," Pence assured.

As mentioned in previous updates and reports, the most vulnerable group of people are those aged 65 or older. To help assist these people, many stores have designated times for seniors to shop while helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Identification may be required at many of these locations.

March 21 Update:

There is optimism in Stanislaus County as there have been no additional cases of COVID-19 in three days. Although the number is staying stable in the county, for the time being, the state is still seeing a rise in cases and deaths.

The rise in cases and deaths in California has slowed down, though. The number of cases doubled between Thursday and Friday, but since then, cases only rose by about 150. 150 cases is still a troubling number, but compared to the rapid rise we saw during the week, this is progress, and any progress is good. The death toll rose to 24. It is unclear as to whether Governor Newsom's statewide stay-at-home order is the main factor of this small progress.

Stanislaus State is continuing their efforts to limit social interaction. In a statement on Friday, a list of all cancelled or postponed events was revealed, which included the postponement of the 2020 commencement ceremony.

As more Californians begin to face financial struggles every day, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the National Guard to assist food banks across the state. This order is pending the president's approval.

In their daily press briefings, members of the Trump administration and the Coronavirus task force acknowledged that progress was being made on mass production of medical supplies. Vice President Mike Pence stated that masks are currently being produced by "the hundred of millions."

In an attempt to limit the shortage of supplies and resources, retailers like Costco will not be accepting returns on essential needs like toilet paper, sanitizer, water, and other essential supplies. This limit was put in place in hopes of preventing hoarders.

No Returns

Photo courtesy of Costco Insider on Instagram.

President Trump had a short and clear message for the public during Saturday's press briefing: "Stay at home, save lives."

March 20 Update:

There have been no additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County. Confirmed cases in the state have doubled to over 1,000 since yesterday, though. This major spike in positive cases is a result of more testing becoming available. In addition, the number of COVID-19 related deaths in California has risen to 19.

As non-essential businesses are set to close in more states around the country, Coronavirus task force member and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci has been continuing to plead with the public, especially young people, to stay indoors and stop participating in group activities.

Dr. Fauci's pleas come after videos of young people swarming to Florida beaches for spring break became viral on social media and news outlets. City leaders in Florida have taken it upon themselves to close beaches and public gathering places to help reduce the number of large social events.

In regards to the international spread of the virus, the Trump administration has come to an agreement with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to temporarily limit non-essential travel at both borders.

In terms of the economy, the stock market finished the week on bad terms. After small rises and signs of steadiness throughout the hectic week, each market closed on Friday with an approximate four percent drop. The terrible week on Wall Street is the marker's worst week since 2008.

March 19, 7:49 p.m. Update:

At about 7:00 p.m on Thursday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom held a news conference where he issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

Governor Newsom stated that residents should only leave their house for essential needs. Newsom explained that he felt that some Californians weren't doing enough to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Non-essential businesses will also be closing, leaving many more without work.

In the news conference, Newsom said that he hopes to not need to enforce the order. "People, I believe, recognize the need to do more and to meet this moment. People will self regulate their behavior," Newsom said.

The order will be in effect until further notice. An official, simplified summary of the governor's order can be found here.

You can watch Governor Newsom's major announcement in it's entirety below.

March 19, 4:05 p.m. Update:

There were no additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County since Wednesday, leaving the total number of cases at five. In the state of California, the virus has claimed the lives of three more people during that time, though.

The virus is continuing it's deadly spread in other parts of the country. In New York, cases have risen by 50 percent and the death toll has doubled to 22. International cases have also increased as well, as Italy's cases have risen dramatically. With over 3,400 cases in the country, Italy has officially surpassed China's confirmed case total, even during their nationwide lockdown.

During a special meeting Thursday, Modesto City Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution to advise residents to stay home until April 6 or until further notice. This resolution is only advice and cannot be enforced by the city.

More businesses and services in Stanislaus County are suspending or limiting operations, as well. It was announced that the Department of Motor Vehicles would suspend driving tests while only continuing other essential services on an appointment-only basis. AMC, Regal, and all other local theaters have cancelled showings and postponed performances and events until further notice. Local animal shelters are also urgently searching for emergency foster families for animals.

In their daily meetings with the press, President Trump and Vice President Pence announced that more tests are being given by the day. President Trump announced that the FDA would accelerate drug testing for the virus, adding that the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, was approved by the FDA and would soon be made available for immediate use to treat the virus. 

Although President Trump claimed that the FDA has already approved the drug, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said that testing of chloroquine would need to continue for at least "the next couple" weeks until any approval of the drug can be made, debunking the president's statements.

In terms of California's response to the pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom is keeping his foot on the pedal in hopes of receiving more assistance from the federal government. Governor Newsom said Wednesday that he has no criticism of President Trump's response to the pandemic, but insists that more be done before the situation worsens.

In a letter to the president, Governor Newsom predicted that "roughly 56 percent of our population - 25.5 million people - will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period,” if the state doesn't receive more assistance.

More assistance includes more testing kits. The state's newly launched COVID-19 information website says that tests are being distributed to those who feel that they may be infected, but not everybody will be tested due to limited supplies. "At this time, there is a limited supply of COVID-19 testing kits across our state. Due to this limited testing capacity, COVID-19 tests are being prioritized for people who have Coronavirus symptoms..."

School, community, state and federal leaders all urged the public to continue good hygiene and social distancing until further notice to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of the deadly virus. Stanislaus State has taken social distancing efforts, having only essential services remain open on campus. A full list of campus services, their contact information, and their operating hours can be found here.

March 18 Update:

Late Tuesday night, Stanislaus County health officials announced that a fourth case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the county. On Wednesday morning, officials announced that a fifth person in the county had tested positive for the virus. 

Per usual, the names and locations of those testing positive are remaining confidential.

Additionally, the state of California announced that the number of positive test results has surpassed 600. Coronavirus related deaths in the state has also risen to 13, meaning that two more deaths have taken place since yesterday.

Amidst the rapid rise of confirmed cases and deaths, President Trump and Vice President Pence announced that the administration and Congress are currently working on providing hospitals with huge relief packages, which are said to include ventilators, additional hospital beds, masks, etc.

"We are ordering thousands and thousands of ventilators... they are complex. These are complex machines, but we are ordering them," President Trump assured the public during a Wednesday morning press briefing. 

The administration's recent attempts to strengthen the stock market was short-lived as the stocks of each market dropped approximately five percent on Wednesday. The markets showed signs of stability and improvement on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to zero.

California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the state on Tuesday, saying that, because of the continual spread of the virus, he does not expect schools to re-open until after summer.

Local government institutions, such as courthouses and city hall's, have also began halting operations in attempts of slowing down the spread of the Coronavirus.

With schools, businesses and services suspending operations, money may be hard to come by for many members of the public. President Trump and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that evictions and foreclosures would be suspended for the next 60 days, at least, in an effort to help those struggling to pay bills and housing fees.

March 17 Update:

On Monday night, it was announced by the Stanislaus County Health Agency that a third case of the Coronavirus has been confirmed in the county. This case adds to the 472 confirmed cases in the state of California. It was also announced that five more people have lost their lives to the virus in the state, bringing the death toll up to 11.

In a Monday news briefing, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the Coronavirus task force team released "15 Days to Slow the Spread," a two-page infographic with information and steps that they recommended the public should follow.

One of the recommendations made by the CDC and the White House was that people should avoid crowds of 10 or more people.

Following the press briefing, most restaurants and bars in the county have finally began following California Governor Gavin Newsom's advice of eliminating dine-in services and transitioning to take-out only practices on Tuesday.

Many of businesses, especially those local and family-owned, business has drastically dropped, forcing many to lay off their employees.

For those who have been laid off or are searching for extra employment during these trying times, many retail and delivery businesses are short handed and are actively hiring.

With many school's announcing closures shortly after the press briefing at the White House on Monday, children are now at home and need caring. Several parents and guardians are unable to work or simply cannot afford babysitting services.

The federal government has realized the financial struggles that many may be facing at this time. On Tuesday, President Trump floated the idea of sending immediate cash payments to Americans who are becoming financially unstable as the Coronavirus spreads across the nation. Many members on both sides of the political spectrum have discussed and considered this idea, as well.

The stock market's closing numbers have also hurt American pockets, wallets and purses. Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to 0%. On Tuesday, President Trump proposed a nearly 1 trillion dollar stimulus plan to further assist markets. Even before any stimulus plan was even sent or discussed in Congress, each market made a massive surge of over 1,000 points.

The Coronavirus pandemic has also come right in the midst of tax season, so many states, including California, have delayed the deadline for residents to file taxes until June 15th. Although the state government has granted this additional time, it has not yet been approved by the IRS. An official approval from the IRS is expected in the coming days, though.

March 16 Update:

As of March 16th, the international death toll related to the Coronavirus passed 6,500 people. In the United States, 69 people have lost their lives to the deadly virus, including six in California.

In response to this, the CDC recommended that gathering over 50 people should be cancelled or avoided.

Vice President Mike Pence and his Coronavirus response team announced Sunday that more tests would become available to the public, including drive-thru tests.

In a press briefing Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom asked for the closure of pubs, bars, nightclubs and wineries. Newsom also recommended that restaurants in the state either close. cut their occupancy in half, or transition to delivery-only. 

Governor Newsom also called for home isolations of all people aged 65 or older, as this demographic is the most vulnerable to the deadly Coronavirus.

Local governments have also taken precautions amidst the pandemic, as all Stanislaus County schools will be closing at some point during the week of March 16th.

With children and their parents preparing to stay home, grocery stores have been having to constantly restock. President Donald Trump, Vice President Pence, Governor Newsom, and nearly all state governors have advised the public that hoarding would not be necessary as retailers would be continuing their production practices at high rates throughout the coming weeks.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM MARCH 12:

Official Statement

The Office of the President sent out an email to students, staff and faculty discussing the next steps Stan State will take during the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday was a day filled with breaking news stories and public service announcements from government officials, health experts, school administrators, sports leagues, and organizers regarding event cancellations amidst the COVID-19, or coronavirus, outbreak.

Thursday, Stanislaus State followed suit, but in a different and unique manner. The Stan State campus will not close immediately, but rather wait until Wednesday of next week to halt in-person instruction and meetings. The actual Stanislaus State campus and resources will remain open.

After March 18, face-to-face classes will be cancelled on these two days to allow for faculty preparations. "All fully online courses and face-to-face courses that have already transitioned to alternative teaching modalities will continue as usual," the transitional timeline explained. These same measures will be taken all the way up to finals week. During finals week, all courses are to be conducted using fully online or distributed modalities. The school says that more information regarding finals will be forthcoming.

It is also expected that this year's Commencement Ceremonies will continue as planned. 

By having classes continue fully online, many members of the campus community will be required to use online resources and applications.

For those who are unfamiliar with some of the online programs that will be used during this time period, the Office of Academic Technology (OAT) is offering training and course material assistance to faculty adopting virtual methods for their classes, which can be found on the Instructional Continuity webpage. Students can find information on utilizing online tools on the OIT Student Services page.

Along with OAT, campus facilities will be available for students and faculty to use during the transition. The library, Enrollment Services, Student Housing, the Food Pantry, Counseling Services, the Health Center, the Financial Aid office and all other student affairs departments will remain open. The same goes for resources at the Stockton campus.

As many programs and resources will remain open, there are also many that will be discontinued, an issue that concerns many on-campus, student employees and interns.

In response to the class cancellation announcement, Service Learning in MSR was filled with students, attempting to know more about the status of their income and internship credits during program shutdowns. According to eyewitnesses, an approximate 600 students packed into MSR in hopes of learning more of the situation. As of Thursday, March 12, no statement or official solution has been agreed upon, leaving the financial stability and credit validity of several members of the campus community up in the air.

On March 13, all checks for paid staff, faculty, and student workers were made immediately available to pick up at the Stan State cashiers office, as many employees will stop working and many others may be fearful to pick up their checks and pay stubs at a later date, especially if the virus continues to spread.

The Athletics department will also call things off. In an official statement made by the CCAA, "In consultation with the California Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) Presidents/Chancellor Board, effective immediately, the CCAA suspends, until further notice, all intercollegiate athletic activities, including in-person campus recruiting (on and off campus)."

NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors followed up on this statement by cancelling the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This news is very concerning to all Stan State spring sports, as all were in early contention for CCAA and national playoff, championship and record bids.

It was later announced that all spring sport student-athletes would be granted an extra year of eligibility.

The theater and music departments are also stopping all events and performances. For those who have spent money on tickets, they are only offering exchanges for different, future shows, not full refunds. This is frustrating to many, especially for Diana Gutierrez (sophomore, Criminal Justice), who says she spent $60 for her and her family to watch an opera performance. "[Although] they did offer an exchange, we were looking forward to that concert," Gutierrez expressed.

Even though student housing will not be closing or forcing residents to evacuate, precautionary measures are already being taken by residential staff, sanitizing the area thoroughly throughout the day. Residents are even making the personal decision to leave campus, for the time being.

Alejandra Gonzalez (senior, Spanish and Psychology) lives on campus and is heavily contemplating leaving for home. 

"It has made me worried about all the money I have invested in housing and how I won't be reaping those benefits," Gonzalez said.

Because students will be moving out by choice, their flex money will be going to waste. "[We] still have to pay rent even though we are going home," she continued.

Students have also chosen to not show up to campus anymore, even though  face-to-face classes won't be cancelled until next week. Classrooms look lonely as there are several empty desks.

Empty Classes

Minutes into classes and lectures, seats remained empty as students have decided to no longer come to campus, even before official cancellations get underway. (Signal Photo/Christopher Correa)

The fact that students will not be required to come to campus means that commuters won't have to drive to school or park anywhere. For that reason, University Police Department is offering refunds for those who will no longer need their parking passes for the spring semester.

"A parking permit refund may be requested according to the existing refund policy outlined in the Parking Guidelines," an official statement said.

Refund Rates

The University Police Department will issue refunds to those who go through the refund process, the same process that can be used at any time during the semester. (Photo courtesy of Stan State PD) 

As Stanislaus State moves forward with this transition as the coronavirus pandemic continues, more news and concerns will surely arise, so be sure to keep checking in with us here at the Signal!

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