Dear Campus Community,
I am writing to follow up on my Feb. 5 communication to the campus regarding one of our students who was hospitalized last Monday for a respiratory infection. I am very pleased to report that testing for the novel coronavirus was negative. Although additional specimens are still pending, the Department of Health has determined that the individual, who remains in good condition, can resume normal activities on campus. We continue to work closely with the DOH and in the unlikely event that any pending test results are discordant, we will coordinate any additional action that needs to be taken.
We are so grateful to the student for seeking medical attention immediately when the symptoms developed. It was obvious to me from our encounters at the Health Center that the student’s primary concern in seeking care was for the health and safety of our community. I have found this to be the case with all of our international students from China and we should all be grateful for their efforts during this challenging period.
Members of our community who recently traveled to China have now been on campus for nearly 14 days, which is considered to be the upper range of the incubation period for 2019-nCoV. While the epidemic in China remains very serious, the concern for widespread infection in the US remains low.
Please remain vigilant and take precautions to minimize the risk of all contagious infectious diseases on campus. I encourage everyone to follow the recommendations for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
Clean surfaces, door knobs, keyboards with germicidal wipes.
Stay out of class/work when you are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
I will continue to update the community when important new information becomes available.
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Director of Health Services