Three students at Brown University are being tested for coronavirus, and the university is cancelling large events as a precaution. A professor has also asked for a test.
Brown announced on its website that the three students were being tested for the virus, although it’s not yet clear whether they have it. Because it’s also flu season, it’s possible the students don’t have coronavirus, Brown wrote. The University also cancelled an impending speech on campus by former President Bill Clinton.
“We’re writing to share that three Brown students are currently being tested for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are in isolation pending the outcome of their test results,” a university statement on March 9, 2020 read.
“The students have not tested positive for the virus, but rather are isolated out of an abundance of caution because they traveled to a venue outside of Rhode Island where they may have been exposed to the virus. All three students have been in close communication and cooperation with Brown and state health experts, as well as appropriate University offices.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Brown University Has Also Cancelled Events with More Than 100 Attendees
In a statement, Brown wrote:
“Effective Monday, March 9, with a few exceptions noted below, all in-person Brown events with 100 attendees or more, in venues both on and away from campus, must be postponed, cancelled or offered virtually. Brown has now suspended all upcoming University-sponsored travel to international destinations. Anyone returning to the U.S. after any travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea will be required to self-isolate in a U.S. location away from campus for at least 14 days before returning to Brown.”
According to the Brown Daily Herald, there were also concerns at Brown regarding the travel of a professor. Onésimo Almeida, professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, told the news site that he asked for a coronavirus test after traveling to Portugal where he was near a diagnosed person. When he returned with “cold-like symptoms,” he wasn’t given a test, he told Daily Herald. He told the news site that it was a “shame” how coronavirus was being handled, and he has cancelled his class.
Brown posted these tips for avoiding coronavirus:
“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 touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay away from work or class when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have not already done so, get a flu shot.”
There are at least three presumptive coronavirus cases in Rhode Island. Other tests are pending.
“We know we will have community transmission of COVID-19 in Rhode Island at some point. It is critical that people stay home if they are sick or have been directed to stay home, and it is critical that we all do things like wash our hands regularly and avoid close personal contact, like handshakes, in public,” said DOH Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, according to WPRI.
See the CDC’s page on coronavirus here.
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