Corona

Image courtesy of Stanislaus State University

This article is subject to change and update.

This article will be updated everyday by 5 p.m.

UPDATES:

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 thousand 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 to 200 thousand 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 large roll in these hotspot areas.

Map

Map of Coronavirus cases is courtesy of the New York Times.

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 cases 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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