UA administrators are preparing for the coronavirus to hit Northwest Arkansas after the first presumptive case was confirmed in southern Arkansas.
In response to a statement from Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson confirming the state’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Pine Bluff, UA officials are moving forward with contingency plans in preparation for the pandemic reaching the region.
Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz informed students Wednesday in an email that the UofA’s COVID-19 Response Team is monitoring public health information concerning the outbreak and meeting regularly to determine the university’s next steps.
UA officials have suspended all university-sponsored out-of-state travel, including both domestic and international trips, for the next 60 days, effective March 11. Officials will soon instruct all students currently traveling abroad on university-sponsored trips to return to the U.S. as soon as possible, Steinmetz said in an email.
Administrators have given the leaders of individual colleges, schools and units leeway to cancel or postpone events as they see fit, Steinmetz said.
As of March 10, the Office of Student Activities and Headliners Committee have no immediate plans to cancel or reschedule the Springtime of Youth festival scheduled for April 25.