Three more in the UD community test positive for coronavirus, state of emergency declared
The university announced early Thursday afternoon that two graduate students and one postdoctoral researcher tested positive for coronavirus. The three individuals had close contact with the faculty member who tested positive yesterday at an “off-campus social event” in February. The university said all four people are quarantined and being treated.
An email sent out to students by the administration on Thursday said they are still tracking down students who may be carriers of the virus. Anyone who has had close contact with any of the individuals that tested positive will be notified by the Delaware Division of Public Health for testing.
There are no changes to the university’s housing directive as a result of the additional positive cases. Spring break will begin early on March 14, and students are required to be checked out by 5 p.m. unless they complete the spring break housing form on the student on-campus housing portal. Students will not be charged any extra fees if they choose to stay in their dorms during the break.
Delaware Gov. John Carney declared a state of emergency later on Thursday afternoon. The declaration says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that coronavirus “presents a serious public health threat, and that this threat is likely to impact the state of Delaware … it is vital for the State of Delaware to prepare for the possible community transmission of COVID-19 and take steps to avoid the transmission of the virus.”
The release, signed by Carney, also says the virus will “likely continue to create dangerous and potentially life-threatening public health conditions and may result in additional public safety response.”
The statement also noted that no price gouging will be allowed to occur, meaning no price modifications on goods and services are allowed to increase more than 10% from the normal cost applied prior to the declaration.
Several grocery stores around the country are reporting “panic buyers” who are clearing out the shelves. Worried consumers are buying everything from cleaning supplies, toiletries, nonperishable foods in bulk such as canned food and pasta in fear of a supply shortage amidst the outbreak. Residents are reporting that products like toilet paper have disappeared from stores.
The emergency declaration does not require public schools to close, but advises schools to review any activities that bring students in close proximity and instill a rigorous cleaning process.
However, the Laurel school district in Sussex County closed all schools and canceled extra-curricular activities via an announcement on Facebook for the remainder of the week as a precaution after learning that a staff member recently had contact with a traveler from a Level-3 Country.
The staff member and traveler have not been diagnosed with coronavirus but out of an abundance of caution, the district is taking the next few days to perform “deep cleanings of each of our schools,” according to the Laurel School District Facebook.
As of Thursday morning, at least 1,297 people in 44 states and Washington, D.C., have tested positive for coronavirus and 37 have died.
The state’s Division of Public Health released an update on the number of individuals currently undergoing testing for the virus in Delaware. A total of 44 individuals have been tested for coronavirus. Four individuals tested positive, 30 returned negative, and 10 are still awaiting results.
This is a developing story, check back in on udreview.com for further updates.