More than a week after the university announced the move to remote learning, Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life, and Cecil Price, Director of Student Health, announced that a student tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The student, who is not named in the email, showed mild symptoms after attending a school sponsored Concert Choir trip to London over spring break.
According to the email, the student is currently recovering and was isolated after exhibiting symptoms. Prior to this, the student had returned to campus to pick up personal belongings from their room.
“Public health officials in the student’s home county determined that there was no significant risk to the Wake Forest community,” Rue and Price said in the email.
The message continued to say that anyone at risk was contacted by Student Health or their local health care provider.
“Though we are not able to share the individual’s name or identifying information for privacy reasons, please be assured that caring professionals, including representatives from the Student Health Service, will provide information to those who participated in the London trip regarding their risk of exposure from travel,” the email said.
The Concert Choir Tour Ensemble trip was attended by 26 students, the choir director and a piano player, and included three concerts and a workshop with composer Ben Parry. The students received an email from Student Health concerning the positive test results only 15 minutes prior to the school-wide message.
“The Student Health Service has been notified that a student who traveled with the choir to London has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Public health officials do not believe that anyone who traveled was exposed to this student while contagious (the symptoms began earlier this week after returning home),” the email sent to affected students said. “However, the fact that an individual on the trip contracted COVID-19 (most likely while in London) indicates that your risk for COVID-19 might be higher than previously anticipated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the time you left there.”
The message to the attendees continued to provide tips for quarantine and procedures going forward to monitor symptoms.
While Student Health and the university do not believe that the wider university community is at risk, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take precautions and notify Student Health with any symptoms.