EMORY AND COVID-19

The Emory Wheel is committed to covering the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and Emory’s response to the pandemic. This page will be updated regularly as new developments surface. Click the article titles to be taken to the article.

As of May 19, there are 38721 reported cases of COVID-19 in Georgia and 1664 deaths from the virus. Emory researchers are currently working on developing a treatment and vaccine.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19 and its implications for Emory, let us know here. If you have a news tip, contact the Wheel via email at [email protected] or through the Wheel’s Facebook or Twitter.

Last updated on May 19 at 6:30 p.m.

MAY

Lawsuit on Behalf of All Emory Students Seeks Partial Tuition Refunds From University

The complaint, filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, asserts that aggregate damages are in excess of $5 million.

APRIL

BBA Program Director: Business Students Unable to Petition for Pass-Fail After April 27 Deadline

After receiving questions from students over the weekend, Dean Andrea Hershatter clarified on the day of the deadline that BBA students would not be allowed to formally petition after the deadline.

College Council President Asks Emory's Accrediting Body to Retroactively Grant Passing Grades

The letter cites the Middle States Commission on Higher Education allowing universal grading systems as an example of where accrediting bodies have understood the concerns of a university and met them.

Town Hall Reveals In-Person Fall Term Still Uncertain

The initial email was supposed to state that students, if eligible, were receiving a refund for unused Dooley dollars that remained in excess of the 40% that was originally credited. Not all students who have unused Dooley Dollars received the faulty email nor the follow-up email clarifying the mistake a few hours later.

'The Worst Cold': Student Opens Up About Battle Against COVID-19

After four weeks of social isolation at home with his two siblings and parents, Jesse Weiner (21B) was disconcerted when he developed symptoms of congestion, a sore throat and a low-grade fever.

Students Reassess Summer Plans After Emory Summer Research Program Canceled

“I applied to a bunch of different research experiences across the country and all of them got canceled, and so it was kind of a big deal that Emory was able to offer the online option,” Anna Voss (22C) said. “It’s an awesome alternative.”

Provost Remains 'Hopeful' for In-Person Fall Semester

Provost Love also said that, if in-person classes continue in the fall, there would be changes to account for health concerns, though the University is still determining what those changes would be.

Emory Doctors Join Forces to Create COVID-19 Guidelines

As more Georgia residents become infected with COVID-19, Emory Healthcare providers are attempting to save as many patients as possible while simultaneously risking their own health. The rapidity of the virus’s spread has forced health care professionals to create novel procedures.

Office of Financial Aid Clarifies Inaccurate Email

The initial email was supposed to state that students, if eligible, were receiving a refund for unused Dooley dollars that remained in excess of the 40% that was originally credited. Not all students who have unused Dooley Dollars received the faulty email nor the follow-up email clarifying the mistake a few hours later.

Emory CFO Estimates $45 Million Net Loss for University From COVID-19

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for Business and Administration Christopher Augostini told the Wheel that the largest financial impact from the pandemic has been on the University’s available liquid assets, or cash.

Emory Participates in First Phase of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

On April 2, Emory’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) began participating in the first of three test phases of a COVID-19 vaccine. The first tests of the vaccine began at another VTEU in Seattle on March 15.

Emory Cancels Summer Programs and Fall Study Abroad

The University will only offer summer programming that can be “completed off-campus and in remote learning formats.”

6 Incidents of Zoombombing Reported at Emory

Zoombombings are “instances of uninvited guests crashing online Zoom meetings, classrooms and webinars in order to shout slurs and share offensive materials,” according to an April 6 University-wide email.

Student Health Services Brace for Potential Surge in COVID-19 Cases

“It’s a systemic, national challenge that we don’t have enough [tests],” Sharon Rabinovitz explained. “We try to stay away from a lot of people coming in. If they can manage at home, it’s better.”

Math or CS Department Member Tests Positive for COVID-19

Individuals who had been in the Mathematics and Science Center (MSC) building since March 16 have been asked to “self-isolate and carefully self monitor themselves.”

Students Adjust to Life Under Quarantine at Clairmont Campus

These students requested to stay in on-campus housing by filling out a form sent to students in a March 12 email, which stated that students facing financial hardship or difficulties returning to their home countries could have the option to remain at Emory for the rest of the semester.

Emory Apologizes to Students for Miscommunication Over Support Stipend, Grants Extra 1K

Love previously stated in a March 17 University-wide email that financially vulnerable students would receive a $1,000 stipend to aid their transition to remote learning.

Emory Develops Free Online Tool to Asses COVID-19 Symptoms

The tool, which was released on March 20 at C19check.com, was developed by Vital, a company that provides software for emergency departments, in conjunction with Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) and the Department of Emergency Medicine.

MARCH

Emory Researchers Adjust to Suspension of Non-Essential Research

After Emory’s decision to ramp down all non-essential research by March 23, the Wheel spoke with several principal investigators about the move’s impact on their research.

Emory Bon Appetit workers to Receive Monetary Compensation Until Semester End

Bon Appétit employees working in Emory Dining facilities at the Atlanta and Oxford campuses will “receive their regular earnings and benefits through the end of the semester,” according to a March 27 University-wide email.

Emory Coronavirus Treatment Submitted to FDA

EIDD-2801 is an antiviral compound that directly attacks coronaviruses in the lungs. The compound, a nucleoside analogue, deceives the virus into attaching and injecting its genetic information into a false host.

Member of Swimming and Diving Team Tests Positive for COVID-19

A member of Emory’s swimming and diving team has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a March 23 email sent to team members and their parents from Associate Coach Cindy Fontana.

Reader Questions about Emory's Response to COVID-19

The Wheel asked its readers to submit questions regarding Emory’s response to COVID-19. Our staff has compiled a list of our answers to your questions based on available information.

Students Approved for Extended Housing to Reside at Clairmont

Students who have been approved to stay in Emory housing for the remainder of the semester will reside on Clairmont campus, according to a March 20 email from Senior Director of Housing Operations Elaine Turner and Senior Director of Residence Life Scott Rausch.

University Cancels All Summer Study Abroad Programs

In a March 19 email sent to students planning to study abroad in the summer, Associate Dean of International and Summer Programs Sarah Gouzoules announced that all University-sponsored travel has been suspended, including Summer 2020 study abroad programs.

Emory Establishes $5 Million Fund for Students, Provides Pass-Fail Option

In a March 19 student-wide email, the University announced the creation of a $5 million fund and the option of pass-fail grading in an attempt to mitigate financial and academic hardships created by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

2020 Commencement Activities Canceled

Emory has canceled all Spring 2020 Commencement activities, according to an email from University President Claire Sterk to graduating seniors. The decision was “difficult, but absolutely necessary,” Sterk wrote. Emory is still planning to “commemorate” the Class of 2020, though no specific details were provided.  

Research Labs Instructed To Curtail Non-Essential Research

Faculty have been directed to conclude all “non-essential, non-critical” on-campus experiments and reduce contact with all study participants in an effort to stymie the spread of the novel coronavirus. Essential research activities will be determined at the school level by school or research unit leaders.  

Fraternities Reprimanded For Hosting Parties Amid COVID-19 Scare

In a March 16 email addressed to Emory sorority and fraternity students, advisers and headquarters staff, the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL) expressed “extreme disappointment” after “several fraternity houses” hosted parties on the night of March 15.  

Georgia Delays Presidential Primaries To May

Georgia will postpone its March 24 presidential primary until May 19 following the declaration of a public health emergency by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Georgia is the second state in the United States, behind Louisiana, to delay its elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emory Asks International Students to “Strongly Consider” Remaining on Campus

The University is working to provide housing arrangements for international students who are unable to return to their homes according to an email sent to international students.  

Emory Cancels Spring Varsity Competitions and Activities

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” the NCAA announcement reads.

Emory Cancels On-Site Study Abroad Programs, Directs Students to Return Home

The University is discontinuing all on-site study abroad programs and directing all students to return home and continue their studies remotely, according to a March 12 University email sent to all Emory students studying abroad.

Dining Facilities To Remain Open Until March 22

Emory Dining facilities will operate under modified hours until March 22, according to an email to the Wheel from Director of Campus Dining Chad Sunstein.

University to Consider Exceptions to the Move-Out Requirement

Some exceptions to the move-out requirement include: students who will have difficulty returning to their home country based on governmental travel restrictions; have demonstrated financial hardship; or students who are otherwise unable to return to Atlanta to pack their belongings.

Tell Us Your Questions and Concerns About COVID-19 and Emory

Questions or concerns you would like covered? Our editors will do the best to provide accurate and timely answers and keep the community updated on the latest updates. Submit questions here.

Emory Extends Spring Break, Transitions to Online Instruction

Emory University announced in a student-wide email on Wednesday that spring break will be extended to March 22 and all classes will transition to remote learning on March 23. All residential halls will close for the rest of the Spring semester and students were directed to continue classes from home.

Emory Admits First COVID-19 Patient

Emory Healthcare admitted its first patient to test positive for COVID-19, according to a March 10 statement. The statement did not provide information about the patient or which hospital the patient is being treated at, citing federal privacy regulations.

Emory Develops Plan for Online Classes Amid Nationwide Cancellations

The University has provided all faculty, visiting faculty and graduate students teaching in the College with resources to aid a possible swift transition to remote teaching. The website includes information on remote teaching through Canvas, Zoom and Studio.

Emory Students Return From Italy, University Prepares for COVID-19

In the wake of the University’s decision to cancel all Spring 2020 study abroad programs in Italy, all nine Emory students in the country will have left by Friday, according to Associate Dean for International and Summer Programs Sarah Gouzoules.

FEBRUARY

Emory Suspends Italy Study Abroad Programs

The email, sent by Gouzoules, states that “Emory’s Senior Leadership” and “its own risk management team” made the decision after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a COVID-19 threat level of Level 3 in Italy and Iran.

Coronavirus Treatment On Path to FDA Approval

The research project is a collaboration between members of the Emory Institute for Drug Development and departments from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Tenn.) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Wheel previously reported. Emory researcher David Painter and his team started researching coronaviruses in 2013.

Emory Medical Professors Discuss Implications of COVID-19

The Emory School of Medicine’s Infectious Diseases Interest Group hosted Emory professors Carlos del Rio and Aneesh Mehta on Tuesday to discuss the 2019 novel coronavirus. The talk garnered an audience of about 75 students, faculty and community members.

Emory Students Battle Fear, Misinformation Surrounding Coronavirus

While most Emory students were wrapping up their winter break, Lily Song (22C) from Wuhan, China, was watching the coronavirus outbreak bring her hometown to the brink of chaos. Song was on Emory’s campus when her city was put on lockdown, with her grandparents still inside.

Emory Researchers Advance Possible Coronavirus Treatment

Emory researchers have discovered a class of antiviral compounds that could possibly inhibit the spread of the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The potential drug, which has been effectively tested on mice, is awaiting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before the team can begin human trials.

JANUARY

Round Table: Emory Faculty Discuss Deadly Coronavirus

On Tuesday morning, the People’s Republic of China’s National Health Commission reported that 106 people have died due to a never-seen-before version of coronavirus, a member of the family of viruses that includes influenza.