Concerns over the continuing spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, were addressed Wednesday at Student Senate by Ohio University Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones as students prepare to travel back home or on vacation.

Multiple countries that OU students were supposed to travel to over spring break, including Italy and South Korea, now have level 3 warnings, according to a previous Post report

“It’s going to get worse,” Hall-Jones said.

Hall-Jones said she is confident in OU’s plan for a possible coronavirus outbreak. The university has a pandemic team on standby and an emergency preparedness team ready for if coronavirus comes to OU. 

Those teams have met six times in the past week to discuss precautionary actions for coronavirus and to keep constant communication with the Athens City-County Health Department, Jones said. 

The university is also referring back to other viruses they’ve prepared for in the past, like SARS and MRSA. 

“We’ve dusted off the plans,” Jones said. 

Jones also gave her thoughts on the Greek Life and student organizations investigations ending

“There’s a lot of education that still needs to happen,” Jones said.

Also at Senate, the body condemned a House bill in support of criminalizing almost all licensed healthcare providers for preforming affirmative care to LGBTQA+ youth, namely transgender youth.

No mental health professional shall purposely attempt to change, reinforce or affirm a minor’s perception of the minor’s own sexual attraction or sexual behavior, or attempt to change, reinforce or affirm a minor’s gender identity when that identity is inconsistent with the minor’s biological sex, according to the bill. Those activities include prescribing puberty blockers, estrogen and testosterone suppressing drugs. 

“I don’t think the bill has the best intentions,” LGBTQA+ Affairs Sen. Johnathen Sweeney said. “It’s the cycle of using legislation to oppress people.” 

Senate also passed a bill supporting the reshaping and prioritization of College of Fine Arts buildings in the future. The copy of this bill has been sent to President Duane Nellis.

The college needs substantial renovation and maintenance to the existing facilities to support academic success and student productivity, as well as to create the environment OU strives to be, according to the bill. 

“I feel like these concerns are larger than just the Fine Arts building,” College of Fine Arts Sen. Courtney Archibald said. 

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