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Reporting on the state of education in your community and across the country.

Northeast Ohio Universities Prepare For Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

International students make up roughly 10 percent of Kent State University's student population and about 300 are from China. [Sarah Taylor / WKSU]
Archway on the Kent State University Campus with the School of Architecture in the background

As public health officials test two Miami University students for the coronavirus, other campuses in Ohio are staying vigilant.

Colleges in the state generally have a bigger international population than the general public.

At Kent State University, international students make up roughly 10 percent of the student population. Of those students, 300 of them are from China.

“We sent out communications to all of our students, not just international, but everybody and our faculty and staff earlier this week, letting them know what the virus is and how they can protect themselves where they can find more information,” said university spokesman Eric Mansfield.

The university has been working closely with the Ohio Department of Health, Portage County health officials and city officials to safeguard the heath of the campus community, Mansfield said.

“So, like many universities, we’re on a ‘watch and wait’ on this, and we’re as prepared as we can be,” Mansfield said. “But the good news is we don’t yet, and hopefully we won’t have any suspected cases on our campuses.”

Representatives from Case Western University and Cleveland State University also report no suspected cases and say they, too, are working with public health officials to safeguard the health of their campus community.

Both schools emailed all students and staff with information about coronavirus and symptoms to look for — particularly for those who’ve travelled to China recently.  

The Cleveland State University email reminded the community that “public health officials describe the immediate health risk as low.”

Jenny Hamel is the host of the “Sound of Ideas.”