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Centre College quarantines students over coronavirus fears

Posted: 6:02 AM, Feb 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-13 06:06:09-05
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(LEX 18) — Some students at Centre College have been quarantined as the Kentucky Department of Health says it's monitoring people who have recently traveled to China as a precaution against the new coronavirus.

The students have been quarantined since Saturday, although none has coronavirus nor any symptoms of the virus, according to Centre College Communications Director Michael Strysick.

The college started its spring session last Wednesday, Strysick said, so students had the chance to travel during break. Those who traveled to China will be quarantined 14 days from their arrival to the United States, he said.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health released this statement about precautions it's taking against coronavirus:

"We still have no one in Kentucky who qualifies as a 'patient under investigation' (PUI), because that would require symptoms of fever and lower respiratory function and a risk factor history like recent travel to China, and so far no one has met those criteria. In the meantime, we are monitoring those who could be at risk, such as those who have recently traveled to China. We are making sure there is the least risk to other should someone actually develop symptoms."

At the University of Kentucky, campus leaders said they're working "on a case by case" basis with members of the community who've recently traveled to China.

Chief Communications Officer Jay Blanton said in a statement via email:

“We have been in close contact with anyone in our community that we know of who is, or has been, in China recently. We are working with each of them individually as they return to campus. We are fortunate that UK has a nationally ranked academic medical center on its campus, with a highly regarded Division of Infectious Diseases that is working closely with the university on these issues as well. With these experts, we have established the appropriate protocols to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Each return is handled on a case-by-case basis. To the extent that a student or faculty member had to miss a class, something we don’t discuss on an individual basis, we would work with anyone impacted to make sure classes and work are appropriately covered, if our health-care protocols dictate that. We also have a small workgroup, comprised of campus administrators and health officials, that is meeting regularly and continuously monitoring these issues. We continue to receive assurance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the risk of transmission is very low, even as we take any questions or concerns regarding health and safety very seriously.”