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Community Notification – Presumptive Case of COVID-19

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*Published on March 15, 2020*

To all students, faculty, and staff:

Consistent with our ongoing efforts to provide up-to-date resources and information, we are writing to notify you that a Northeastern student living in off-campus housing in Boston has tested positive for COVID-19. In keeping with CDC protocols, this first test—conducted at a Boston-area hospital—will need to be verified by the CDC, which may take several days.

Please note: A presumptive case is based on a single positive test. A confirmed case requires CDC confirmation.

This student, who has been in isolation since last Thursday, March 12, remains in isolation in an off-campus apartment. The Boston Public Health Commission is carefully reviewing the student’s movements since returning from Spring Break on Monday, March 9. This will allow the BPHC to contact individuals who may have been in direct contact with the infected student. It is very important that the student’s anonymity be maintained.

We realize that knowledge of this positive test will surely increase anxiety among the Northeastern community. This is understandable. A positive test result—presumptive or confirmed—underscores the need for the university to continue its swift and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • We are assisting students who are moving out of residence halls;
  • We have shifted to online instruction for all classes at all Northeastern campuses;
  • We have established a policy on remote work for all employees;
  • We continue to seek the best guidance from public health experts, including members of the Northeastern faculty;
  • The university is sanitizing all of its facilities and public spaces on a continuous basis.

One of the clearest guidelines from public health authorities, in the U.S. and around the world, is how a community responds to an outbreak can have direct impact on its duration and severity. By working together—and heeding the wealth of public health expertise that is available to us—we can take material steps to slow the spread of the virus.

As always, please consult our dedicated COVID-19 website for the latest information. We will communicate additional updates very soon.

Kenneth Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning

Michael Armini
Senior Vice President for External Affairs

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