COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State University says two employees have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Their cases are unrelated and not community spread from Ohio.
President Michael Drake sent a university-wide letter Wednesday:
Dear Ohio State Community:
Late yesterday, we learned that two members of our university community have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). These are the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 directly related to the Ohio State community.
The cases are unrelated to each other. The individuals are in self-isolation at home, and we wish them a full and speedy recovery. They both returned to central Ohio following separate out-of-state domestic business trips – one to the east coast and one to the west coast. One individual has not returned to campus since becoming symptomatic, and the other individual returned to campus for part of one business day, but had no contact with students or patients, and had limited contact with others.
Since Tuesday afternoon, Wexner Medical Center experts have been working closely with local public health officials to investigate any close contacts here on campus for these two individuals.
- Anyone who may have been exposed to either individual has already been contacted and is taking appropriate steps to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from their last close contact in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- If you have not been contacted, you do not need to take any special precautions beyond the routine actions of monitoring your own health for symptoms of COVID-19 as well as practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene.
Ensuring the anonymity of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 is important so that they can focus fully on their health and the care they need. If you are aware of their identities, please respect their privacy so they can focus completely on their health. Please abide by all rules related to personal health information (HIPAA) and expectations for the responsible use of social media. Ohio State is committed to doing all that we can to support these individuals and our broader community through what is undoubtedly a difficult time.
If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness consistent with COVID-19, believe you might have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with the virus, please contact your primary care physician. If you are unable to reach your primary care physician, call the Wexner Medical Center’s COVID-19 Call Center at (614) 293-4000.
As a reminder, the university’s coronavirus website is updated throughout the day with general information about the virus, the university’s response and important guidance for employees and all members of our community. You can also address your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that there are many questions and concerns as we navigate this extraordinary moment in our history. Ohio State is coordinating with partners at the city, state and federal levels to manage these challenges as effectively and efficiently as possible – and will continue to share information as we have it.
The health and well-being of our community remains our top priority.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation,
Michael V. Drake, MD