Medical students at Ohio State, Ohio University ready to join workforce in time of need

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Senior medical students at the Ohio State University will be allowed to graduate early to help with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ohio State University said the board of trustees approved the students' request in a meeting on Friday.

The students who have completed all requirements to graduate and have elected to help with the pandemic as soon as possible will have their degrees awarded on April 12 instead of May 3.

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"One hundred and seventy five of 184 MD students have met the graduation requirements and 54 have declared their intention to join the healthcare work force upon graduation and requested the early date," the university said in a press release.

Ohio University announced Thursday that its senior nursing and medical students will receive degrees on April 18 instead of in May.

The school said in a release that 73 percent of the 227 students graduating early will stay in Ohio to practice.

“Thanks to prompt and decisive action by our governor and department of health, Ohio is recognized nationally and internationally as a model for its response to this public health emergency,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said.

“Ohio University is strengthening our state’s response, and I’m truly grateful to the Heritage College and the School of Nursing and the class of 2020 for their willingness to adapt quickly and to serve during these very challenging circumstances.”

Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are now 31,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 1,888 people have died from the virus and 5,773 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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