Cotabato University classes move online as COVID-19 hits 13 students
KIDAPAWAN CITY – The public University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan city, Cotabato province has temporarily switched to online classes after 13 of its students contracted COVID-19.
The measure was adopted for 10 days from August 17, on the recommendation of USM vice-president for academic affairs, Geoffray Atok.
Atok noted that eight of those infected are College of Nursing students and five are from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The nursing students were showing up regularly for classes but a few days ago 11 of them were admitted to a local hospital after complaining of various ailments. Of the 11, eight tested positive for coronavirus infection.
Atok said he fears the infection could spread to up to 30% of student contacts, hence the temporary shift to online classes to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Atok said college deans were advised to sanitize their classrooms and facilities ahead of the resumption of the blended learning modality – which combines online and in-person classes – on August 30, and to monitor closely the state of health of their students.
USM has about 13,000 students at its main campus in Kabacan, according to university president Francisco Gil Garcia.
Garcia clarified that they were not implementing a campus lockdown due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
“Our school campus is still open with some restrictions in certain areas near the nursing and veterinary facilities,” Garcia explained.
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