WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

No coronavirus cases reported yet at Hofstra, but school cancels classes for a week


Hofstra University in Hempstead has canceled in-person classes "out of an abundance of caution" for the upcoming week after a student reported to the school's health center Sunday with "flu-like" symptoms. The student had attended a conference at which a case of novel coronavirus was confirmed.

The student is in isolation and is being tested, a statement on the university website reads. Six other people with whom the student had close contact have been asked to self-isolate pending test results.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. In more severe cases, it can become pneumonia. 

Hofstra's week-long spring break will begin March 14. Residence and dining halls are open at the university, as are administrative offices. Students living off campus have been asked to remain home, and any employees who are experiencing flu-like symptoms have been asked to stay home as well. 

The school has also enhanced its disinfecting and cleaning protocols.

The university statement reads, "Hofstra continues to work closely with local, state and federal health agencies, and we will update the campus community as additional information becomes available.

"We want to emphasize that this action is a precaution taken to provide peace of mind to students, faculty, staff and families. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the university."

On March 4, the university had already canceled "non-essential international" travel for the spring semester "until further notice."