To students, faculty and staff:
Late this morning, we received the unfortunate news from the Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) that an Eastern Michigan University student has tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with the student and their family.
According to the WCHD, the student has not attended classes since March 5. The student lived off campus and is from Wayne County.
There is no indication that the student had the disease at any point while on campus. The WCHD indicates the student would not have been at risk of exposing others until March 19, and at this time there is no indication of visits to campus since in person classes ended on March 11.
The student is currently hospitalized and is not part of the study abroad group that visited Italy, which we communicated about previously. The health department is following its protocol of tracking close contacts of the student. Those individuals will be contacted separately and advised by the health department if needed to self-quarantine or take other actions.
Due to federal privacy laws, no personal details or further information about the student is permitted. We have been, and continue to be, in very close and regular contact with public health officials at the County and State. It is important to continue to follow hand-washing, social distancing and other prevention measures.
As this disease spreads, it is increasingly likely that many of us will at some point know of a family member, friend or associate who has been affected. Our thoughts and support are with all of those who are fighting this disease, those family members who are worried about their loved ones, and also with our health, medical and first responder communities who are on the front lines every day.
James Smith, Ph.D.