MSU suspending face-to-face classes amid coronavirus spread in Michigan

Michigan State University has suspended all face-to-face classes after two cases of coronavirus COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan.

Effective Wednesday, March 11 at noon, all MSU classes will transition to online only as the campus works to prevent the spread of the virus. The suspension will last until April 20. 

MSU says they've learned of a possible case linked to the campus, which the Ingham County Health Department is currently investigating and monitoring. The case has not yet been confirmed. The two cases that have been confirmed are in Wayne and Oakland counties.

Officials have - and likely will not - release details about those cases, but we're told one patient traveled internationally and the other domestically. Both patients are hospitalized right now. 

RELATED: What's known (and not known) about the 2 coronavirus cases in Michigan

During this time period, MSU students doing purely remote work can return to their permanent place of residence. MSU officials are strongly encouraging this because of the advantages of social distancing. For those not able to go home, we're told students will still be supported in the residence halls and dining facilities.

University employees will also be receiving word in the coming days regarding remote and virtual working opportunities. 

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.