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As a protective measure during COVID-19, many hospitals cancelled nursing students' clinical rotations. So, many of these students are choosing to instead volunteer in other ways, using their skills to serve their communities.​

In this way​, Sonoma State nursing students have joined the California Health Corps, California State University, Fullerton students are volunteering as county dis​​aster relief workers​ at the OC Health Care Agency's Agency Operations Center and California State University, Stanislaus has partnered with local hospitals to allow nursing students to continue rotations in departments not treating COVID-19 patients.

“COVID-19 has shown me the risks that I must be prepared to accept when I become a registered nurse," CSUF student Courtney Van Buren says in a CSUF news article. “I would be lying if I said that this pandemic does not scare me, but I would not change my decision to become a nurse—nothing gives me the sense of fulfillment that I get when I am caring for patients."

Nursing students at CSU Channel Islands likewise are volunteering with the Ventura County Public Health call center to field questions about COVID-19.

“We are at this point in time where we are dealing with a pandemic," CSUCI nursing senior Lilian Kozma says in a campus news story. “It's something you don't learn in class, even with our public health rotation."

Similarly, California State University, Monterey Bay master of science physician assistant students are volunteering in hospitals across the country, while nursing students are serving in senior homes, public health students are engaged in COVID-19 contact tracing and social work students are providing services to people in the area who lack housing.

Campus experts have also used their expertise to develop online resources that keep their communities well-informed.

CSUN faculty created interactive maps tracking the COVID-19 virus on neighborhood, county and national levels to better understand the pandemic's effects. The goal of these maps is to provide more context around the number of cases in communities given their geography, demographics, population and other characteristics.

In a CSUN new release, Geography Professor Steven Graves ​explains, “We can learn from those places where the numbers appear to grow at a slower rate and share with those places that appear vulnerable."

At Cal State LA, a team from the College of Business and Economics created an interactive data visualization dashboard using Tableau software that tracks COVID-19 trends and deaths in the U.S. Decision-makers can search by state and region for forecasted and confirmed COVID-19-related cases and deaths to help guide resource allocation.

“I believe that help can be found on different scales and from different domains, and even a small opportunity to help during this outbreak means a lot to me," Dalya (Manatova) Dauletbak, a Cal State LA information security data analyst and Big Data AI Center member, says in a campus article. “Keeping people informed with the correct data is one of the keys to flattening the curve."

At San Francisco State University, biology professor Pleuni Pennings, Ph.D., and her colleagues put together two videos to explain the spread of COVID-19 and how social distancing helps slow its spread, while Fresno State is offering free online professional development courses to local first responders and essential workers.

And to address potential economic losses, the Small Business Development Centers at Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Humboldt State​Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ​are offering informational resources, consulting services and webinars to help local businesses.

CSUCI nursing students volunteering at the Ventura County Public Health call center.
CSUN map of southwestern U.S. tracking COVID-19 cases
CSUN map of southwestern U.S. tracking COVID-19 cases