A Campbell University student has tested “presumptive positive” for the COVID-19 coronavirus, University officials learned early Monday.
The student, who presented symptoms of the virus at the University Health Center on March 11, was tested last week and asked to remain in self-quarantine. The student has been asked to remain in quarantine pending test confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The student has become the third presumptive positive case confirmed by the Harnett County Health Department in the last week.
On March 11, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services expanded testing recommendations to add anyone with fever and cough or shortness of breath be tested for COVID-19. Since then, the Campbell University Health Center has expanded the testing of students to comply with the new recommendations.
Two other Campbell students have since presented symptoms and have been tested for COVID-19. One of those students tested negative, according to University officials, and results are pending on the third student.
Health officials have begun reaching out to those who may have been in close contact with the student who tested positive to evaluate whether any further steps such as assessment, self-quarantine or testing may be necessary.
The name of the student will not be released publicly by Campbell University.
On Thursday, Campbell University and universities and colleges throughout the nation took measures to limit exposure of the virus to other students and faculty and staff by canceling all classes and activities for the remainder of the week and transitioning all face-to-face classes to online and remote learning. All classes at Campbell will remain online March 16 through at least April 5.
All residential students were strongly encouraged to leave campus on Thursday, while residence halls and dining facilities remained open to the few hundred who could not leave. University officials met early Monday to discuss mobile work options for remaining staff.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to our students, our faculty, our staff and all of our campus colleagues for their hard work, their careful response and their patience as we work together through this rapidly evolving COVID-19 coronavirus situation,” President J. Bradley Creed said in a statement to the Campbell community Monday morning. “We will get through this, and we will be stronger because of it.”
Full statement from President J. Bradley Creed on March 16, 2020:
Dear Campbell Community,
I want to express my deepest gratitude to our students, our faculty, our staff and all of our campus colleagues for their hard work, their careful response and their patience as we work together through this rapidly evolving COVID-19 coronavirus situation.
Three Campbell students on our main campus in Buies Creek have been tested for the virus after presenting symptoms of fever and cough. Today, the results indicate a presumptive positive result for one of those students. A second student has tested negative for the virus and the results are pending for the third.
The student with the presumptive positive test continues to self-quarantine pending further testing at the CDC to confirm the test. Campbell University will work with the health department to determine the best course of action for that student and to limit their exposure to others. The remaining students have been asked to self-quarantine themselves, pending the results of their tests.
Health officials have begun reaching out to those who may have been in close contact with the student to evaluate whether any further steps such as assessment, self-quarantine or testing may be necessary. The name of this student will not be released publicly.
In the meantime, University leaders determined that it was in the best interest of our campus community to take additional steps to help mitigate the possible spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Beginning today, all face-to-face instruction will transition to online and remote learning through at least April 5.
At this time, we plan to resume normal classroom operations on Monday, April 6.
Residential students were encouraged to leave main campus by this past weekend. However, we understand that not all of our students have the ability to make it home during this time. Because of this, all residence halls, select dining facilities, and most other campus services remain operational during this three-week period.
We ask that those who remain here or work on campus follow proper health care guidelines related to COVID-19 — from washing your hands regularly to consulting with direct supervisors regarding any illness or absence. We cannot stress this enough — if you’re not feeling well, or if you’ve been exposed to somebody presenting symptoms, or have tested positive, please do not come to work.
I recognize the transition to virtual and remote instruction presents challenges and poses a significant disruption to regular academic and residential activities. I thank you all for your patience and flexibility as we work to continue with the semester under these new circumstances.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the diligent support of Campbell staff who continue to sustain our community, especially those in health care, housekeeping and maintenance, law enforcement, security, housing and food service, and admissions and external relations roles.
We will continue to keep you informed on how COVID-19 will affect your Campbell experience over the next three weeks and beyond. We will get through this, and we will be stronger because of it. Remain calm. Wash your hands. Be safe and Go Camels!