What questions do you have about coronavirus concerns?

Megan Menchaca

As coronavirus cases continue to increase in Texas, we’re reporting on how UT-Austin and local officials are planning to respond. We want to hear about how concerns over coronavirus are affecting you — especially if you are a UT student or faculty member.

The Daily Texan has already reported on the cancellation of South by Southwest and Explore UT, and we interviewed UT President Gregory Fenves about how the University is planning to respond. Here’s what we know so far. 

COVID-19, the illness associated with coronavirus, causes flu-like symptoms such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus spreads through coughing, sneezing or touching infected surfaces. To prevent spread of the virus, health officials advise hand-washing for at least 20 seconds and to avoid touching your face.

As of Tuesday evening, there are not any confirmed cases in Travis County, but city and University officials are still taking precautions. In early March, Austin officials canceled SXSW and declared a local state of disaster, which was extended indefinitely Tuesday by the Travis County Commissioners Court. 

The city of Austin also has prohibited events larger than 2,500 through May, but Fenves told The Daily Texan that UT is exempt from these citywide regulations because it is a state institution. While UT recently canceled Explore UT, it has not announced plans to cancel large sporting events or transition to online classes as of Tuesday.

Larry Singell, senior vice provost for resource management, said Tuesday that UT has accelerated the process of getting student and faculty access to video conference software Zoom. However, Fenves said it would take multiple confirmed cases of coronavirus in Travis County for UT to consider transitioning to online classes.

As the University continues to respond to concerns about coronavirus, we want to hear from you about what you want to know. Do you have any unanswered questions? Has your travel or work been impacted by concerns about coronavirus? Have your professors canceled class or made significant adjustments? Tell us how concerns about coronavirus are affecting you.