Less than 24 hours after the first day of the fall semester, a member of the UM-Flint campus community has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to an email sent out to all students, staff and faculty at around 7:30 p.m. on behalf of Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance and Chair of UM-Flint Reopening Committee, Mike Hague, the individual tested positive for the virus “during a routine health screening at the Riverfront Residence Hall.”
Jennifer Hogan, Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy at UM-Flint, said the individual was tested approximately four to five days ago as part of standard protocol during the reopening of Riverfront.
The email went on to state that according to the individual’s account, no close contact was made with others. The individual is currently quarantined inside the First Street Residence Hall, a building that per the reopening committee was kept empty for a situation like this.
This marks the first confirmed COVID-19 case on campus for the fall semester. According to Hogan, the reopening committee, in conjunction with UM-Ann Arbor, the offices of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) among others, has been preparing for such an event for months.
“During this time, our committee has also been … really working around what are the best protocols that we can put in place from a public health perspective … What you saw today was the careful planning of processes that would happen in any situation where a person tested positive for COVID-19,” Hogan said.
Furthermore, Facilities and Operations are now working on disinfecting and cleaning the spaces the individual may have come in close proximity to. In the meantime, those spaces have been taken out of service.
Hogan went on to say that the GCHD is currently working with the office of the Dean of Students and EHS to aid in the county’s contact tracing efforts.
As the situation develops on campus, it is important to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 exposure prevention at colleges and universities. Campus community members should make sure to wash their hands frequently, wear face coverings and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.