Washington State University administrators are taking extra steps to protect students and faculty from the coronavirus.
They are considering canceling events and travel plans on a case-by-case basis, Phil Weiler, vice president for marketing and communications for the university, told the Capital Press.
Some events will be postponed and some travel abroad has been canceled, he said.
In addition, researchers and faculty members have been asked to think about how they could work remotely, Weiler said.
"Really what we're doing at this stage is trying to put plans in place if we have to disrupt our everyday routine," he said.
Weiler said some specific research projects could be affected.
A grand opening ceremony March 6 celebrating WSU's new pollinator building in Othello was still on track, but the university issued a statement to potential guests.
"If you are sick or feel you are getting sick, we ask that you please stay home," the statement reads. "Currently, older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are considered to be at increased risk of severe illness and complications from COVID-19."
Examples of underlying health conditions include heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, people with weakened immune systems and people who are pregnant, according to the statement.
"The CDC recommends that people in high-risk groups consult with their healthcare provider about attending any large gathering," it says.
WSU also cited recommendations from the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
• Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures.
• Frequently wash hands with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home if sick, and see a doctor immediately to be evaluated for COVID-19.
• If someone becomes infected, insist that he or she fully recovers before returning to work.