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USF St. Pete student tests positive for coronavirus

The student did not have contact with anyone on campus.

A student at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg has tested positive for coronavirus, the school announced Sunday in an email to students and faculty.

Other students and faculty were not exposed to the infected student, the school indicated in an email shared with local media, including Bay News 9’s Mitch Perry.

“This weekend we learned that a USF St. Petersburg student has tested positive for COVID-19. This student is being monitored by the Florida Department of Health’s Pinellas County division and is self-isolating per official protocols. Based on the Department of Health’s assessment, there is no need for further contact-tracing at the university for this case, as the student has not been to campus since lat February,” the school wrote.

The offered well-wishes to the student for a “full and rapid recovery.”

The letter then went on to remind students and faculty of social distancing protocols.

“As a reminder, students are strongly encouraged to remain off campus through the remainder of the spring semester. USF employees (faculty, staff and OPS) should continue to work remotely with supervisor approval until further notice,” the letter read.

The news comes as coronavirus cases continue to increase in Pinellas County, where the USF St. Pete campus is located. As of Sunday at 11 a.m. 30 cases had been reported in the county, all but one of whom were Pinellas County residents.

The average age of those affected is 52 with positive cases ranging in age from 21 to 72.

No one in Pinellas County has died from the virus, but six have been hospitalized.

USF did not include details about the student so it’s not clear whether the case was related to travel or contact with another infected individual.

A faculty member at USF Tampa was also confirmed last week. In that case, the faculty member had contact with 13 students and several faculty members. It’s not clear yet whether any of that contact led to additional illnesses.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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