News Brief: KPU Cancels Spring Convocation Amid COVID-19 Concerns
News / March 14, 2020
KPU has cancelled the upcoming Spring Convocation for graduates in response to growing concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
On Mar. 10 KPU sent out an online survey to students to determine if students would be attending, and cancelled the event two days later.
The convocation cancellation was announced shortly after the B.C. Ministry of Health announced on Mar 12. that the province was banning gatherings of more than 250 people.
This is expected to affect approximately 1200 graduates according to the KPU graduation roll, which was last updated on Feb. 24.
Faculty of Health dean Dr. David Florkowski has been appointed to be a Special Advisor KPU President Alan Davis in regards to how KPU responds to the outbreak. KPU is taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and is increasing the amount of cleaning on campuses.
“This means that additional day porters have been assigned to use a hospital-grade sanitizer to clean surfaces that are frequently touched,” reads KPU’s website FAQs on COVID-19.
On Mar. 11 the World Health Organization declared that the spread of COVID-19 can now officially classified as a pandemic.
“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” reads part of the statement.
“It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death. Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do. We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.”
The B.C. government reports that there are currently 53 confirmed cases of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in the province. KPU students have started an online petition to close the school, and some instructors are opting to communicate with students online in order to avoid classrooms.
The school has been posting information, and regular updates and news bulletins online.
“This means we will be cancelling Spring Convocation. Students registered to attend Convocation will be contacted directly, and we will advise at a later date about alternate arrangements for those impacted.”
For more information and updates from the university visit kpu.ca.