March was a month of change for UNLV. In response to the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and Nevada, UNLV made adjustments to daily university life in order to protect what is most important — the health and well-being of faculty, staff, and students.
The university transitioned all classes to online instruction, asked staff to work remotely, and streamlined services for students as part of a larger, nationwide response to follow social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines and help keep the virus at bay.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has upended daily life, UNLV is doing its part to provide help to those who need it through services like curbside testing, and faculty researchers are helping to make sense of the virus by offering expertise to local, regional, and national media.
Below are just a few examples of UNLV’s people and programs that made headlines in Nevada and beyond in March.
UNLV Transitions to Remote Instruction
Following the guidance of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, local officials, and the Southern Nevada Health District, UNLV transitioned to online course instruction following Spring Break on March 23. Though daily life for UNLV students and staff has changed, the university made this adjustment to ensure the health and safety of faculty and students, while also ensuring the opportunity for Rebels to continue their academic pursuits at the university.
As we continue to adjust to the new reality of social distancing and COVID-19, our experts provided some tips on how we can use technology to remain connected — virtually — with friends and loved ones. Our experts also offered insight into how you can maintain your mental health during this time.
Psychologist Stephen Benning weighs in:
Interpersonal communication expert Natalie Pennington on healthy social media use:
Stop Touching Your Face!
We all do it — several times a day, maybe even several times an hour. But as the coronavirus keeps spreading, public health officials are asking everyone to avoid touching their face. Several UNLV professors weigh in on why this task isn’t as simple as it seems:
Professor & Epidemiologist Brian Labus
Brian Labus, assistant professor in UNLV’s School of Public Health, was named to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s coronavirus task force to help advise him on the scientific aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. Labus, a former senior investigator for the Southern Nevada Health District, has been called upon by local, regional, and national media outlets to lend his public health expertise in order to make sense of the confounding, and ever-changing virus.
- Associated Press, The National Interest, San Francisco Chronicle, The Conversation US, U.S. News & World Report, Men’s Health, Parade, The Huffington Post, Bustle, BBC News, Healthline, Yahoo!, KLAS-TV, Nevada Current, The Nevada Independent, KNPR, Las Vegas Sun, MEA Worldwide, Las Vegas Review-Journal
COVID-19 and the Las Vegas Economy
In a city that relies on tourism, and with hotels and casinos in Las Vegas temporarily shut down, the question of how this will impact the Silver State’s economy in the long-term remains an important one. UNLV’s economy, gaming, and history experts weighed in on this question:
Stephen Miller, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research
- Yahoo!, Bloomberg, Fox News, San Francisco Chronicle, Big Think, Las Vegas Review-Journal, KLAS-TV: 8 News Now
Michael Green, Professor of History
- Associated Press (Twice), Time, Fox Business, New York Post, Fox News, DailyMail, KVVU-TV: Fox 5, Nevada Appeal
David G. Schwartz, Gaming Historian and Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
UNLV School of Medicine Offers Curbside Testing
To help the worldwide effort in fighting the coronavirus, the UNLV School of Medicine’s clinical arm began offering testing for the coronavirus last month. The curbside-only testing gave the school’s third-year students an important teaching opportunity. For more information on this effort click here.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal (twice), Las Vegas Sun, KNPR, KSNV-TV: News 3, KVVU-TV: Fox 5, KLAS-TV: 8 News Now, KTNV-TV: ABC 13
General Expert Roundup
- Dr. David Weismiller, family physician and professor in the UNLV School of Medicine, spoke with KNPR about how to care for a sick loved one, and to KLAS-TV about local flu statistics.
- Dr. Evelyn Montalvo Stanton, chair of pediatrics for the UNLV School of Medicine, was quoted in both CBS News and the Las Vegas Review-Journal on how the coronavirus has largely spared children, and separated coronavirus facts from myths for KLAS-TV.
- Dr. Michael Gardner, vice dean of clinical affairs at the UNLV School of Medicine, speaks with the Las Vegas Sun (twice) about the importance of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Emma Frances Bloomfield, assistant professor of communication studies, on how to talk with skeptics about the coronavirus:
- Samantha Coogan, director of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics, talks to NerdWallet about what to do when your coronavirus stockpile runs low.
- Katherine Hertlein, professor of couple and family therapy, talks to Mashable and KCBS Radio about managing relationships in the time of coronavirus.
- UNLV public health professor Francisco Sy talks with Fox 5 Vegas on how canceling big events flattens the curve.
- Christopher Kearney, chair of psychology, offers insight to Your Teen Magazine on alone time for teens.
- KNPR interviews UNLV law professor Ruben Garcia on what to do if you got laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic.