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University of Utah grad student tests positive for COVID-19

(photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A community member on the University of Utah campus tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the school confirmed Saturday. The individual is a staff member and graduate student who tested positive after returning from another state.

This is the first confirmed case on the campus.

The student works in the Counseling Center and is self-isolating off campus. Co-workers and friends who have had direct contact with the individual has been contacted and asked to self-isolate as well.

“We have confirmed that this individual was on campus briefly but did not have direct contact with any students or visit the Counseling Center due to spring break,” the campus said in a statement. “The Counseling Center is open for crisis counseling. Students who have scheduled or need counseling services also may receive them, beginning later this week, via telemental health and by telephone.”

Campus officials sent out an announcement to the campus community, wanting to “personally inform” members because it’s the first confirmed case on campus.

 

The campus encourages anyone with the following conditions to contact a medical provider right away:

  • Fever of more than 100.5 degrees
  • New or worsening cough
  • New or worsening shortness of breath
  • Close contact (6 feet or less) for a duration of 15 minutes or more with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Recent travel to a country at a Level 3 CDC designation

“University of Utah leaders are committed to protecting the health and safety of our community and supporting individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 virus,” the campus said.

The school announced Thursday it would be closing campus and finishing out the semester via online classes.

 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus 

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading: 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Don’t touch your face. 
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet) 
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.) 
  • Get a flu shot. 

Resources for more information: 

LOCAL: 

State of Utah:  https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 

National Links 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States