Fresno State student sent home amid COVID-19 fears

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Joshua Kearns, a freshman at Fresno State, was one of many college students sent home from their college campuses amid growing concerns over COVID-19.

On March 12, Fresno State sent out a mass email to students regarding their housing situation. The first email granted students the option to stay on campus. A second email followed. It encouraged students who could go home to do so in an effort to minimize exposure on campus, Kearns said.

“All my classes have been put online, most of the school itself has been shutdown,” he said.

Health officials are advising everyone to stay home and out of public areas that may contain two hundred or more people that could have been exposed to the virus. On March 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide shelter in place.

Universities and community colleges are not temporarily closed or providing limited service. Delta College is offering only limited service through April 6, with instruction moving to online.

Kearns said “it sucks being sent home only because I really enjoyed living in the dorm rooms, and experiencing more outside of Stockton.”

He understands, though, calling the school’s decision “not an overreaction” particularly in light of the fact that Fresno State has a lot of commuters.

“Even if our age group doesn’t get it, they can still go home and bring it to their parents,” he said.

Kearns leaves behind new friends and independence, he said. He said there is still some hope for being back on campus in the near future.

“I still think they expect us to go back, eventually,” he said.

Fresno State has promised all students a 25 percent refund of spring 2020 parking fees, graduation fees of cap, gown, and tassel fees, housing fees, and meal plan fees, Kearns said.

Fresno State also said all graduating students will be able to graduate but the commencement ceremony will not take place, and all following festivals will also be cancelled for the time being.

While Kearns said he understand Fresno State’s decision, he doesn’t understand the in-bulk buying and panic over groceries.

“People are treating it more like a zombie apocalypse,” he said.