UCA releases update on student who had possible exposure to Coronavirus

Regional News

CONWAY, Ark (KNWA). — UCA has released an official statement regarding a student who had possible exposure to Covid-19.

Read the statement below:

“We received official word from the Arkansas Department of Health that the results on the student being tested for COVID-19 came back NEGATIVE. This is wonderful news for the student and the others that were quarantined. All have been contacted with this good news.” – President Houston Davis. This statement was added to the rest of the statement at 9 p.m. March 11

Read the rest of the statement from March 9 below:

Health officials first learned on March 9 that a UCA student had possibly been exposed to the COVID-19 virus during out-of-state travel and immediately quarantined the student, roommates, and eight others with whom they had had close contact. The student lives off-campus.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) initiated testing on Wednesday morning, and we continue to await the results of the test. The 11 individuals remain quarantined.

We are continuing to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADH in our response to COVID-19.

Beginning last week, the Physical Plant enhanced its cleaning measures in buildings and facilities on campus. These efforts are ongoing and may include fogging areas with a disinfecting solution that requires protective clothing for the workers.

If an individual has been exposed to a person with COVID-19, or if someone is exhibiting symptoms, UCA health officials in concert with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) are following ADH guidelines and procedures for assessment and containment. This includes an accounting of other individuals that they have been in contact with, and may also include being quarantined and monitored for symptoms. Should it be necessary to quarantine for monitoring on campus and/or attend to those who are in quarantine, we have identified spaces on campus and key personnel for those activities.

At this time, all classes are proceeding as usual. We are aware that some universities around the nation have canceled in-person classes, and given the rapidly changing nature of this situation, we may have to change our plans in the near future. Our university leadership team and faculty are prepared to move in-person instruction online, should that become necessary, in order to safeguard the health of our campus community. We recognize that this can be a big adjustment for many instructors and students. The UCA Center for Teaching Excellence has worked diligently to develop training and resources to help faculty prepare, should we need to move in-person classes fully online. We appreciate their excellent work on this initiative.

We will continue to communicate constantly with ADH and the CDC regarding their recommendations and will let you know immediately should our plans need to change. I encourage you not to engage in rumors or speculation around UCA and COVID-19, as those can be detrimental to the learning environment and to the campus as a whole. As a reminder, our UCA COVID-19 website is updated daily with the latest information regarding our response efforts and plans.

For your safety and the safety of others, please continue to take the preventive steps that are outlined on our website and on the CDC’s site — wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, cough and sneeze into your elbow; avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose; and stay home when you are sick. If you are concerned about any health symptoms you may be experiencing, please contact the UCA Health Clinic or your local health care provider immediately.

Finally, I want to thank you all for the important work you are doing during this very challenging time. There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and how it will impact us as a community, state, and nation. Please know that your work as students, faculty, and staff is appreciated and valued. Many of you have been working around the clock to prepare for potential changes in academic instruction and business operations. I am proud of the way we are all working together to ensure the needs of our students and campus community are met.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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