Summer classes have been moved online, according to an email sent to the Lehigh community on April 6. Classes are due to start on May 19. (Annie Henry/B&W Staff)

Summer classes moved online, latest COVID-19 updates

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This story serves as a summary of recent coronavirus developments from March 25 to April 6.

Summer Courses

All Lehigh courses offered this summer will be held remotely, according to an email sent to the campus community today from Vice President for Academic Affairs Pat Farrell and Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs Jennifer Jensen. 

The first day of Summer Session I and Summer Session full-term courses is Tuesday, May 19, the day after commencement was supposed to be held — now postponed to a later date. 

The decision was made to allow for more planning and certainty in preparation for summer courses. The email encouraged faculty and instructional staff to seek any assistance needed to plan courses.

“We know this semester has been challenging for students, faculty and staff, and that the summer session might present similar challenges,” Farrell and Jensen said in the email.

Coronavirus testing

OraSure Technologies, Inc. today announced in a press release that it was awarded a $710,310 contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to develop an at-home coronavirus test.

The Bethlehem-based company said in the press release that the test uses an oral fluid sample, and can provide results in 20 minutes, and that no medical professionals are needed to administer the test or analyze results. 

The press release said once the test is developed and approved, it would help ease the burden of strained healthcare facilities and systems. 

Mask Donations

According to an Instagram post by Lehigh Dining Services, a group of students on Friday donated 1,000 masks to their team as a gesture of appreciation and gratitude for their service.

“We are incredibly thankful to be a part of such a caring and compassionate community,” the post said.

Coronavirus in numbers 

As of today, Northampton County has 636 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 11 deaths. Lehigh County has 877 confirmed cases and eight deaths. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed 12,980 cases of COVID-19, as of this afternoon — 42 percent of those found in the 25-49 age bracket. 49 percent of confirmed cases were found in the 50 and older category.

All 67 counties in the state are subject to a ‘stay-at-home’ order through April 30. The Department of Health recommends getting groceries only once a week, and to refrain from all non-essential travel.

Schools are closed until further notice and life-sustaining businesses and services are still allowed to conduct in-person operations.

There are 1,309,439 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 72,638 deaths and 273,546 recoveries. In the United States there are 347,003 confirmed cases, with 10,217 deaths and 18,953 recoveries. 

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