NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A student at Vanderbilt University has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) while away at home out of state.
According to school officials, the unidentified student is being treated in their hometown. Campus newspaper Vanderbilt Hustler reports that the student told them they had been studying abroad in Florence and had been sent home to Chicago and tested positive the next day.
The student also told the newspaper that other students had mild symptoms and were told to go back to their Florence residences unless they were showing severe pneumonia-like symptoms.
Vanderbilt University Interim Chancellor Susan Wente released a statement to students and staff:
Dear Vanderbilt University community,
As you likely have heard, the first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Tennessee. We are closely monitoring the situation and preparing for potential impacts to our campus and the surrounding community.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Vanderbilt University campus. However, we have confirmed that one of our students who had been studying abroad has tested positive for COVID-19. That student has not returned to Nashville and is currently undergoing treatment in their hometown. We are working with public health officials to take appropriate precautions.
The university will resume its normal schedule as students return from Spring Break on Monday.
Since this crisis first began, the university has been working closely with infection control experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and local and state public health officials, and has been reviewing all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as it does with all public health concerns.
We have developed protocols to limit potential exposure, and we need your help to make sure they are successful.
Vanderbilt requires that students, faculty, staff, postdocs and visitors who have traveled to a CDC Level 3 country (currently China, Italy, Iran and South Korea) and/or have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19 register with the university using the links on the coronavirus website and self-isolate for 14 days. The university is also working directly with any individuals who may be affected.
As the situation changes, please visit the university’s coronavirus website, vu.edu/coronavirus and stay updated on the latest campus messages and guidance. This website serves as our central hub for the latest information and guidance, including all university-wide messages we share with you; information about current travel guidance for students, faculty and staff; information for students who are studying abroad; and more. We will continue to communicate additional guidelines and updates as they become available.
Vanderbilt is committed to ensuring the health and safety of everyone in our community, and I am confident that by working together we will continue to do so.
Susan R. Wente
Interim Chancellor and Provost