Dear UMass Boston community,
I am writing to follow up on my email yesterday confirming that a member of our community has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. We are grateful that this young man sought medical attention immediately and greatly limited his contact with others. The student did not participate in any classes or campus activities last week.
I want to reiterate that that this individual is being isolated at an off-campus location, continues to recover well, and is checking in regularly by phone with public health nurses. He will remain isolated until health officials determine that he is no longer contagious. His few close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any sign of symptoms.
Given the limited interaction between the student and our campus, the public health authorities indicate that there is low risk to the campus. Accordingly, I want to reiterate that UMass Boston will be open for business as usual tomorrow, Monday, February 3. All faculty and staff are expected to be in attendance in accordance with their regular work schedules.
We wanted to once again remind you of the most effective precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are thorough frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands. If you have a fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness (such as cough or shortness of breath), please contact University Health Services at 617.287.5660 or your healthcare provider.
For members of the campus community who have questions, the university coronavirus call center can be contacted at 617.287.5400. The call center will open again Monday at 10 a.m.
We encourage all campus community members to spend time reading about coronavirus on the websites of the CDC, Mass. Department of Public Health, and Boston Public Health Commission, where the latest information is available. In addition, we have posted answers to some frequently asked questions on our UHS website.
Thank you to everyone who has offered support these past two days, especially the dedicated staff members who worked all weekend in support of our campus community.
Katherine S. Newman