Baylor University released a statement this morning that the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (WMCPHD) announced today that test results were negative for Novel Coronavirus for the Baylor student whose samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week.

“This is very good news, and we are deeply grateful to our local and University health care providers and officials and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District for their approach to this case, their proactive guidance and expertise and the compassionate care extended to our student while we awaited the CDC results,” said Sharon W. Stern, M.D., medical director for Baylor University Health Services.

University officials stress that there are no other suspected cases of Novel Coronavirus within the Baylor community at this time. Baylor will keep students, faculty and staff apprised in the event the situation changes.

On Friday, Jan. 24, the WMCPHD reported that the student, who had recently traveled to China, had met CDC criteria for further testing and evaluation after being treated at an area hospital.

As part of a coordinated response, the WMCPHD and Baylor informed the campus community about the possible case. While waiting for results, Baylor followed guidance from the WMCPHD and the CDC guidance and, as a precaution, moved the individual to an isolated room on campus with its own HVAC system. That room was not located in a residence hall, the University confirmed.

Facility Services did thoroughly sanitize the student’s residence hall room, as well as the residence hall where the individual lives. During the isolation period, the student was monitored by Baylor, state and local health officials. The University also worked with the student to make sure needs were being met during the isolation period.

Samples sent to the CDC in Atlanta for testing were returned with negative results on Monday, Jan. 27.  In a separate incident, a Texas A&M student was also recently tested for the virus, that result, thankfully, also came back negative.

Mark G. Childers, associate vice president of public safety and security at Baylor, expressed appreciation for the University’s Emergency Response Team, which includes the Department of Public Safety, Office of Emergency Management, Health Services, Center for Global Engagement, University Compliance and Risk Services, and Campus Living & Learning, as well as the coordinated response between local, state and federal officials as they handled this case.

Dr. Stern and Childers encourage the campus community to continue to take CDC-recommended precautions, not only for 2019-nCoV, but for the flu and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or a tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
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