UC Davis student tested for coronavirus, 2 others isolated

Three students at UC Davis are being isolated as one undergoes testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for possible coronavirus. In a press conference held Thursday, university officials said the other two students are asymptomatic and are being isolated on campus, while the third has been moved off campus since Feb. 25.

Michael Sheehan, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs Housing and Dining, said that additional sanitation efforts were underway in residence halls and dining facilities to keep other students and staff members safe. The three students are roommates who had been living in Kearney Hall, and officials do not believe others on campus are at risk, adding that there are no known infections of COVID-19 on campus at this time.

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“We have one student who is a patient under investigation, they are isolating at home,” said Cindy Schorzman, medical director of Student Health and Counseling Services at UC Davis.

A Yolo County health officer also emphasized that the U.S. is in the midst of flu season, and that the area is seeing an overall rise in the number of influenza cases as well.

“In Yolo County, in the city of Davis, on the campus of UC Davis, there is no evidence of spread of coronavirus, there is no evidence of transmission of coronavirus,” Ron Chapman, Yolo County health officer, said.

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Chapman advised the public to continue practicing the same measures they take during flu season, which includes washing hands regularly, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.

Officials would not comment on whether the student being tested had any relation or contact with the woman in Solano County who tested positive for the virus in the first possible instance of community spread, but said they were aware of the student's origin of potential exposure.

In a letter sent to the UC Davis community on Thursday, campus officials said that while the woman was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, “because of the precautions we have had in place since this patient’s arrival, we believe there has been minimal potential for exposure at the medical center.”

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The letter also said that all students at UC Davis who seek care at the Student Health and Wellness Center are being asked about recent travel and potential exposure to people with confirmed COVID-19.

“We understand that there is a great amount of concern, uncertainty and anxiety in the campus community,” the letter stated. “The safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priority. We are taking all appropriate measures and working closely with the CDC, California Department of Public Health and county agencies to coordinate.”