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Update: Second student tests negative for coronavirus

Update - Sunday, Feb. 9: At this time, no members of the Cornell community are undergoing testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. There are still no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus in New York state, and the risk to the community remains low.

 

Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, and Sharon McMullen, assistant vice president of student and campus life for health and wellbeing, issued the following statement on Feb. 7.

As you are aware, earlier this week a Cornell student met the criteria for testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. We are pleased to announce that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Tompkins County Health Department confirmed that the individual does not have the novel coronavirus. We are grateful for this good news and for the expertise and compassion exhibited by the campus and community staff members who have been assisting this student.

This week, a second student also met the criteria for testing. This individual is currently in isolation and receiving medical care while awaiting test results from the CDC. We are again hopeful for the best possible outcome.

There continue to be no confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in New York state at this time. While this is reassuring, it is important to recognize that we are still in the midst of cold and flu season. CDC reports that influenza activity is, and will remain, high for the next several weeks. With many community members feeling under the weather, it is critical that we each strive to lead with compassion and empathy, and to avoid making assumptions based on someone’s perceived symptoms or identity.

Please take care of yourselves and one another, and don’t hesitate to seek support – medical or emotional – when you need it. Everyone gets sick, and everyone needs a shoulder to lean on from time to time. Talk to your friends and family about difficult feelings you may be experiencing. You can also talk informally with a CAPS counselor at a Let’s Talk session or connect with a peer counselor through EARS. Faculty and staff can seek support through FSAP.

There are also steps that all members of the community can take to protect against the flu, coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses, including washing your hands, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and disinfecting your personal items, such as laptops and cell phones. If you feel you are becoming sick, take time to rest and seek medical care, if necessary. Ithaca students who have flu-like symptoms may call Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 (24/7) for consultation. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their primary care provider.

The university will continue to work closely with state and local public health agencies to monitor the novel coronavirus. We do not anticipate sending additional status updates to the community at this time, and encourage you to visit Cornell’s novel coronavirus website for additional information and frequently asked questions.

 

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John Carberry