The university addresses coronavirus concerns and student health
On Tuesday, the university’s Medical Director of Student Health Services, Dr. Tim Dowling sent out an email to the student body to inform the school that two students were sent to the hospital to be tested for coronavirus. By Saturday, both students tested negative for the disease.
According to the email, the two students did not reside on campus and were quarantined at an unspecified hospital.
Though the email said, “the risk to the UD community remains low,” the university was still concerned about student reactions to the news.
The email continued to say, “It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health event, and we need to remember to care for one another and not make assumptions about others’ perceived symptoms or any characteristics of identity.”
There remains no personal information available regarding the two students who were being tested for the coronavirus since the university is protecting their anonymity.
“We can’t go into any personal details on the students for privacy reasons,” Andrea Boyle Tippett, director of external relations for the university’s office of communications and marketing, said.
Two days after the news, the university sent out a second email saying that one of the students tested negative for coronavirus and was cleared by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Saturday Feb. 15th, the university sent a third email sent to students saying that the second student being tested was cleared of coronavirus.
“The second University of Delaware student screened by the [CDC] for a suspected case of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has been cleared and does not have the disease,” the email stated.
Additionally, the email noted that there have not been any confirmed cases of the virus within the state of Delaware.
“There are no suspected cases among UD students, faculty and staff. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Delaware,” it said.
Though coronavirus has garnered a lot of media attention and fostered some public anxiety, the email says that there is a low health risk to the American public as of Feb. 15.
“According to the CDC, the immediate health risk for the general American public is considered low at this time,” the email said.
The university asked students to be attentive to more prevalent diseases like the flu, which is more common and abundant.
“The flu is always a big concern for this time of year so the best practices are keeping in mind like regularly washing your hands, not touching your face, and the like,” Boyle Tippett said.
The university also looks to address mental health concerns regarding the anxiety surrounding the coronavirus.
“It’s important to reiterate what Dr. Dowling said in the letter that one of the primary concerns here is the mental welfare of our students, and please keep in mind that we need to be supportive of one another,” Boyle Tippett said.
Students can keep themselves up to date on news and information about the coronavirus on the University’s coronavirus website at www.udel.edu/coronavirus.