OU president provides coronavirus update

Staff Report

ATHENS, Ohio — In a letter from university President M. Duane Nellis, confirmed a member of the university community has tested positive for COVID-19.

The person was briefly back in the Athens area while awaiting test results, but has since returned to their home county, according to the letter.

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis shared the following message with the Ohio University community Wednesday afternoon.

Dear Ohio University Community,

I am writing today to inform you that a member of our University community has self-identified that they tested positive with coronavirus (COVID-19) after returning from a University-sponsored study away program. We have also confirmed the positive test with public health officials in our student’s permanent county of residence.

Our student reported that they developed symptoms while abroad and were confirmed to have the virus on March 24. Our student reported that they briefly returned to their off-campus residence in Athens where they could self-isolate while awaiting test results but has since returned to their permanent county of residence to continue self-isolation with the support of their family. Our thoughts are with them, and we are also offering support to our student to ensure they have the resources they need.

The University will not be releasing the name of this individual to ensure that they can focus on their health and recovery. We ask that if you are aware of their identity, to please respect their privacy and to abide by all privacy rules related to personal information.

Since learning of the confirmed diagnosis, we have been working closely with local public health officials to investigate any interactions this person has had with University faculty, staff or students and to inform those who may be impacted.

Anyone that may have been in recent contact with the individual has been contacted and has been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. If you have not been personally notified, you do not need to self-quarantine or take special precautions as a result of this student’s positive test.

The University made the decision to end all study away programs and travel experiences on March 12, and students were asked to return to the United States no later than March 20, 2020.

We are requesting that anyone in our campus community that may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms contact their primary care provider and/or their local health department for immediate guidance. If you test positive for COVID-19, we request that you contact your local county health department. It is imperative that you follow the instructions of your medical provider and avoid situations in which you may come in contact with others.

We also suggest that everyone should practice social distancing and good hygiene practices such as covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands and avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose or mouth, as recommended by the CDC.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19, contact your local health department, and for those living in our state, you can contact the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4 ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

We will continue to update www.ohio.edu/coronavirus with information about OHIO’s response to the coronavirus epidemic and future developments. If you have questions, you can reach out by emailing coronavirus@ohio.edu.

Staff Report