Thursday, March 12, 2020
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's eight public universities are extending their spring breaks and planning online classes to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, state higher education officials announced Thursday.
Students were already on a week's break when the announcement was made. The break was to be extended through next week, according to the universities' website.
Once the break is over on March 23, the universities will begin online classes. Students will be encouraged to remain home and participate in classes remotely.
Mississippi reported its first presumptive case of the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The universities are: Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
The Mississippi State Department of Health said a man in southeastern Mississippi who had tested positive had recently traveled to Florida. The Forrest County man was not hospitalized but was voluntarily isolating himself at home so as to prevent the spread of the disease. His test results were awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a final determination.
In addition to the case in Forrest County, some Mississippi residents in the state's northwest corner are on home quarantine after possible exposure to a case in nearby Memphis, Tennessee.