Dear students, faculty and staff members,
Today, we learned that one of our students has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the University’s first confirmed case of the virus.
Let me begin by asking all of you to join me in offering thoughts and best wishes to the affected student as they recover.
This student does not live on campus, nor were they a student resident this semester. The student did not exhibit symptoms while on campus, which current understanding suggests reduces the likelihood of transmission.
Public health officials have been in touch with students, staff members and faculty who may have had direct contact with the student.
Those individuals are being asked to follow guidance from the CDC and state health agencies, which is to self-isolate, monitor their own health for the next 14 days, and seek medical attention should they develop symptoms.
In line with University policy and guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the student is self-isolating with family at home.
I know this announcement will heighten concern in an already anxious time. But I can assure you that over the past several weeks, the University has been preparing for the possibility that its community would be directly affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
We will continue to keep all of you informed through updates on the University’s dedicated COVID-19 website, via email and across official social media platforms.
On Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide order that requires residents to stay in their homes except when going out for essentials. I want to urge you to take this order seriously.
If you must go out, and even while you are staying in, continue to practice good hygiene methods recommended by the CDC and local health agencies. You should:
- avoid people who are sick.
- distance yourself from others by at least 6 feet and avoid clusters of people.
- cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
By taking these responsible steps, you are helping curb the spread of COVID-19 – and showing that you care. You’re protecting yourselves, your friends, your loved ones and your community.
Dr. Joseph Savoie