UVA: Community member tests positive for coronavirus

UVA: Community member tests positive for coronavirus
The UVA Rotunda and Lawn in Charlottesville (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia says a member of its community has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a message sent out Monday, March 16, the university stated that the person is a staff member at the UVA Women’s Center. Additionally, the woman is said to be receiving care and is in quarantine.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District announced earlier in the day that a Charlottesville resident was confirmed to have coronavirus. Health officials added that the patient is in their late 50′s, and it is believed that the case is travel-related.

The Thomas Jefferson Health Department verified that this patient is the same person with the University of Virginia.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, there is a total of 51 cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. However, the department’s map for Monday does not mention Charlottesville or the Albemarle County area.

Editor’s Note: this is a developing situation, and this story will be updated.

03/16/20 Updated Letter from the University of Virginia:

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff: As you know from the notification received earlier today, the University has confirmed a case of COVID-19 within our community. The individual who is ill, a staff member at the UVA Women’s Center who lives off Grounds, is receiving care and in quarantine at home following protocols from the Virginia Department of Health. We wish her a speedy and full recovery.

The Virginia Department of Health is leading the effort to identify individuals who were in contact with the staff member, reaching out to those individuals, and arranging for their isolation. University staff are also working to support potentially impacted students, faculty and staff. In addition, the UVA Women’s Center is being vacated and deep-cleaned with products that kill the coronavirus in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you exhibit these symptoms, please contact your health-care provider and follow their instructions before leaving your home and potentially putting others at risk:

  • Students: Contact Student Health 434-982-3915, or 434-297-4261 after hours.
  • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care physician via telephone or email.
  • If you do not have a primary care physician you may call the Virginia Department of Heath hotline at 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343).

As we work together as a community to mitigate the spread of this disease, it is important that you continue to practice healthy habits:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
  • Additional information is available from the CDC.

Thank you for all you are doing during this challenging time to safeguard your own health and that of others. If you have additional questions about the University’s efforts regarding COVID-19, please contact the UVA COVID-19 Response Line at 1-877-685-4836 (domestic), +1-202-800-2408 (international), or covidinformation@virginia.edu. You can also consult the University’s Novel Coronavirus website.Given the progression of the virus, it is not a surprise to discover a local case, but we know it will heighten anxiety. We will be in further touch to announce any additional changes we are making as the situation unfolds, and we will continue to update the website. Now, more than ever, is the time to treat each other with kindness and compassion. We are beyond grateful to everyone who has been working so hard on behalf of our community.

03/16/20 Release from the University of Virginia:

A member of the University community has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). UVA health officials and administrators are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health, which is conducting a thorough investigation of potential exposures.

The positive test result is considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials are following protocols to isolate this patient.

This is a preliminary notification as required by the federal Clery Act. The University will send a more detailed message via email shortly.

We will continue to provide updates and information at www.virginia.edu/coronavirus. Check back frequently for new information. If you have additional questions, call the UVA COVID-19 Response Line: 877-685-4836 (domestic callers) or 202-800-2408 (international callers).

How can I help protect myself?

Preventative steps recommended by the CDC, Virginia Department of Health and UVA Student Health and Wellness can be found at www.virginia.edu/coronavirus/health-precautions.

What if I suspect I have coronavirus?

If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus and have these flu-like symptoms (fever, shortness of breath or a cough), please call ahead before visiting a doctor’s office or emergency department. This will enable your care providers to determine the best way for you to receive care.

Students with symptoms: Please contact your medical provider or the Department of Student Health & Wellness at 434-982-3915 (call 434-297-4261 after hours).

Faculty and staff with symptoms: Please contact your medical provider.

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