Hofstra University, statue of Thomas Jefferson, in front of Student Center building. Photo by Paul Berendsen

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted Hofstra University to cancel classes for the week to avoid potentially spreading the disease.

Hofstra University announced Sunday night that it was cancelling classes after a Hofstra student was sent to the hospital to get tested for the virus. 

“On Sunday, March 8, a student contacted the Student Health and Counseling Center reporting flu-like symptoms, after attending a conference where an attendee has tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” Hofstra said in an email to students. “The student is being tested and is in isolation. In keeping with current state Department of Health directives, six individuals who have been in close contact with this student have also been asked to self-isolate pending the student’s test results.”

The developments came a day after Suffolk County saw its first coronavirus case confirmed, the number of cases in Nassau County increased to 17, cases statewide topped 140, and national figures hit more than 500.

According to a social media account of the Hofstra University student in quarantine, the student, who is currently being tested for coronavirus at Nassau University Medical Center, attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) from Feb. 27 to March 1. The American Conservative Union, the group that runs CPAC, alerted all attendees on March 7 that someone who attended the conference had tested positive for the coronavirus.

After learning of this development, the student, who noticed coronavirus-like symptoms after attending the conference, sought medical treatment. At the time of publication, the student is still being tested.

In addition to cancelling all in-person classes, the University has also announced that as of March 9, guest privileges for off/on-campus residents are restricted, and only people living in a respected dormitory building/complex can enter said building/complex until further notice.

Hofstra University’s administrative offices will remain open throughout the week, and the school will still keep its residence halls, dining services, and other student services open throughout the week for students who live on campus.

“We want to emphasize that this action is a precaution taken to provide peace of mind to students, faculty, staff, and families,” Hofstra said. “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the university. We will keep you updated and informed as more information becomes available.”

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