First University of Miami student tests positive for COVID-19 virus

Last week, the university announced it move to online instruction following spring break.

The University of Miami (UM) has its first case of the novel coronavirus after a student tested positive.

That’s according to reporting from the Miami Herald’s Colleen Wright.

UM officials reportedly sent out an email Saturday to students and staff notifying them of the positive test. That student, according to the email cited by the Herald, “lives off campus, has been in self-isolation, and is in good condition.”

The email also reportedly notes health officials are in contact with those who may have interacted with the patient.

Last week, the university announced it had extended its spring break and would move to online instruction once classes resume Monday, March 23.

As of a Saturday morning update, Miami-Dade county had 142 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. That’s second only to Broward, which has 151 confirmed cases.

On Friday, county officials announced they were moving to begin closing hotels as the region attempts to get control of the virus’s spread. Miami-Dade County had already shut down bars, restaurants, theaters and other businesses Tuesday.

UM officials reportedly said they would not be giving any further information regarding the student who tested positive.

The death rate for those who test positive for the virus has sat above 3%. However, those calculations do not include individuals who may have contracted the virus, but are asymptomatic and thus survive without incident. Including those individuals would lower the death rate, but it’s unclear how many such individuals there are worldwide.

Most who do show symptoms develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. But older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.

With testing for everyone still unavailable, government officials still do not have a grasp on how many people have the virus. That means rather than quarantining those known individuals, officials have had to take the drastic step of recommending everyone stay away from large groups, just in case someone has the virus.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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