Update 3/23 The University now knows about six confirmed cases of COVID-19, announced in an email from Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety Dan Gough. All of these students were tested in their hometowns, but Madison County has five confirmed cases.
The first known case of COVID-19 associated with the Colgate community was announced earlier this week. A Colgate student tested positive for COVID-19 according to Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety Dan Gough in an email addressed to the community. The email, sent on March 20, stated that the student left campus on March 16 and was tested on March 18. The student received their results on March 19. The university is working to identify and contact those who may have been exposed to this individual, and provide CDC guidelines on next steps to prevent transmission. The student diagnosed is receiving medical care at home, away from campus.
Prior to leaving campus, the student was living in private off-campus housing. Due to federal laws outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university cannot identify the student who tested positive further than this. Colgate Director of Student Health Services Dr. Merrill Miller notified the Madison County Department of Health of this confirmed case, according to the email.
Gough urged students off campus to contact their primary health care provider and email [email protected] if they believe they’ve been exposed to the virus. For students on campus concerned about exposure, they should call Student Health Services at 315-228-7750 to schedule an appointment.
Gough reflected on the significance of this first case for Colgate’s campus in his message. “This news, as we have seen repeated on many college campuses across the country this week, is not unexpected, given what we now know about the rapid nature of COVID-19 transmission,” Gough said.
Already, the impact of this diagnosis is being felt in the Hamilton community. Local bakery and breakfast spot Flour & Salt announced over social media and email on March 21 that in response to the confirmed student case its doors would close for two to three weeks. The email stated, “It breaks our hearts to make this decision, but we have to do what is best for the incredible people who run our shop and those who support it.” Prior to this decision, Flour & Salt was one of the many local eateries providing new take-out and delivery options in response to CDC guidelines. Other restaurants remain open with take-out and delivery options available.
While the announcement of a student case of COVID-19 is digested, the greater community settles into quarantines and lockdowns around the world. Colgate’s campus and residence halls officially close on March 22, however many students left earlier in the week to return home for a period of quarantine and social distancing.
As of press time, there were three confirmed cases in Madison County according to the Madison County Department of Health website.
Further information regarding COVID-19 and Colgate’s announcements and policies can be found at www.colgate.edu/covid19.