Coronavirus

FIU looking into possible positive COVID-19 case of student. UCF reports 2 cases

The University of Central Florida has reported two new cases of COVID-19, while a Florida International University department chair sent out an email saying a student had tested positive, although FIU said Thursday evening it has not confirmed that.

The FIU incident began when the head of the university’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry wrote in an email Thursday evening that one student who worked in a “chemistry and biochemistry stockroom” recently tested positive for coronavirus. The last time the student was in the stockroom was March 11.

“I do not have detailed information about the case at this moment. However, I will certainly keep you posted if I do,” Yong Kai, the department chair, wrote in the email to the chemistry department.

Yong noted that “at least 16 people in close contact with her/him need to be quarantined.”

FIU said Thursday night it had not confirmed the case.

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“We are aware that the Chair of Chemistry sent out an email announcing a coronavirus case,” FIU spokeswoman Maydel Santana said in an email to the Herald. “However, at this time, we do not have the necessary details to confirm that report. We are working to get accurate information and will then make the appropriate notifications if any.”

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If the case were to be confirmed, this would be the second person affiliated with FIU to have tested positive. On Tuesday, the university said in an email that a staff member had tested positive and that it was likely a travel-related case.

The university said the employee had not returned to campus since the trip.

On Thursday, the University of Central Florida announced that one of its students tested positive for COVID-19. The university, one of the largest in the country with more than 50,000 students, said as a result of the student’s 14-day incubation period, there was low risk of transmission.

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UCF is decontaminating his residence hall and classrooms.

“The student is recovering away from UCF, and he has our best wishes for good health,” the university said in a statement.

Along with the student, a military contractor who works at the Partnership IV Building in the Central Florida Research Park next to UCF’s main Orlando campus tested positive. Several of his colleagues also underwent testing.

While a small number of UCF Institute for Simulation and Training employees work in the same building, they aren’t believed to have come into contact with the military contractor, the university said.

UCF employees have been working remotely and Partnership IV will be closed for two weeks after decontamination.

UCF says there are other students who have exhibited symptoms and are being tested. The students are self-quarantining.

On Tuesday, the University of Miami said one of its medical campus members tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet confirmed the case.

On Saturday, Nova Southeastern University and the Broward County Health Department confirmed six people affiliated with the university tested positive for COVID-19. The six had traveled to Ireland.

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