Student petition to close UW Seattle campus due to coronavirus draws thousands of signatures

SEATTLE — A student petition to close the University of Washington Seattle campus due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus has drawn thousands of signatures.

Shortly after 9 p.m. Monday, the petition had 13,204 signatures. The Daily, the school’s student newspaper, reported the petition drew more than 5,000 signatures in about three hours Sunday night.

“We are asking Anna Mari Cauce, the president of the University of Washington Seattle to close the campus to prevent the spreading of this virus,” the petition reads.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Washington state was at 18 Monday, including six deaths. Fourteen cases were in King County and four others were in Snohomish County. Five deaths occurred in King County and one in Snohomish County.

None of the cases are UW students. Four students tested negative for the virus in late January and early February.

UW suspended its study abroad program to Italy on Monday. Students and faculty in Italy were sent emails with more information, officials said. UW also restricted student travel to China and South Korea.

Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Saturday. King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an Emergency Declaration Monday enabling the country government to take extra steps to fight coronavirus.

The University of Washington Seattle campus had 45,925 students enrolled at the start of the 2020 winter quarter.

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