• Bray Wright

A Timeline of COVID-19


Dec. 31, 2019: Wuhan health officials report cases of pneumonia to the World Health Organization.

Jan. 7: The virus is first identified as a coronavirus and named by WHO.

Jan. 21: First confirmed coronavirus case in the United States.

March 9: Spring Break starts for Olivet College. In the preceding week, Olivet College had sent out information about the coronavirus and how to stay safe while traveling.

March 10: First two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan.

March 11: President Steven M. Corey sends out an email informing students that there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. The email detailed what to do if you had travelled outside the country or were feeling sick. Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and Lake Superior State University (LSSU) send out emails announcing that face-to-face teaching will be suspended. University of Michigan (U of M) and Western Michigan University (WMU) both cancel classes until March 16. The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) sends a message detailing safe behavior and informing students they may opt-out of sporting events without repercussion. Wayne State University cancels classes until March 23.

March 12: President Corey sends out another email confirming the extension of Spring Break through March 18 and start of remote learning from March 19 to 29. EMU suspends all sports events and practices for the rest of the semester.

March 13: Gov. Whitmer orders all K-12 schools to close. Information about when to pick up textbooks and clothes from dorm rooms is sent to students. An email about athletics is sent out the same evening. MIAA cancels all spring sporting activities and events. WMU follows suit.

March 16: University of Michigan (U of M), EMU, and WMU resume classes online. WMU shuts down most of their on-campus facilities. WMU also offers laptops for students without computers to rent.

March 17: Michigan has its first COVID-19 related death. Provost Maria Davis sends out an email giving details about how remote learning will work for students. U of M requests students return to their permanent homes and residences. Wayne State cancels on-campus events.

March 18: Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams both reveal they tested positive for COVID-19. EMU extends online classes through the semester. WMU offers students an alternate grading system—Credit/No Credit. Wayne State confirms that two employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

March 19: Olivet College transitions to remote learning for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, including (eventually) the Intensive Learning Term (ILT). All MAA sports are halted, and campus transitions to a remote work environment. U of M cancels sporting events for the rest of the semester. EMU announces that residence halls will be closing, and students must return to their permanent residences.

March 20: U of M agrees to refund part of students’ room and board. U of M switches to a Pass/No Record grading system for transcripts. LSSU gives students the option to drop courses with no penalty. Michigan State University (MSU) begins studying the coronavirus in their labs. EMU announces they will refund eligible students for room and board. WMU extends remote learning through the semester and announces the closing of residence halls on March 24. Wayne State sends out a list of om-campus facilities that will be closed.

March 23: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer orders non-essential workers and citizens to stay home until April 13. President Corey sends out an email to all staff and students informing them. Provost Davis sends out another email informing students how to register for their next classes, change or drop classes, and when they will be allowed to move out. Commencement for seniors is undecided. EMU allows students to switch to Pass/Fail. Olivet College allows students to switch to Pass/Fail or withdraw from classes without penalty as long as they do so by April 8. Wayne State begins remote learning for all classes.

March 24: The Japanese prime minister and the president of the International Olympic Committee announce that the 2020 Olympics will be postponed until 2021. WMU officially closes residence halls for st