Three Campbell University students tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, university officials have learned.
A student first tested presumptive positive March 16. That student presented symptoms of the virus at the University Health Center on March 11. The student was tested for the coronavirus last week and asked to remain in self-quarantine. Two other students in connection with the original positive result were also tested at that time.
Other people who were in close contact with the student had been contacted and asked to self-quarantine while they got tested.
The two new cases were associated with this original student who tested positive. All three have been in quarantine since March 11. Reports indicated the students were doing well and expected to be released once cleared by public health officials.
Haven Hottel, assistant vice president of communications and marketing for Campbell, told the Biblical Recorder today (March 20) there had been two negative test results, and there are six additional tests awaiting results.
On March 16, Campbell took measures to limit additional exposure of the virus to other students and faculty and staff by transitioning all face-to-face classes to online and remote learning. On March 19, the University announced the transition to online would remain through the entire spring semester.
Harnett County Health Department released a statement March 19 indicated there were six confirmed cases.
Health officials have begun reaching out to those who may have been in close contact with the students who tested positive to evaluate whether any further steps such as assessment, self-quarantine or testing may be necessary.
“The county’s public health team encourages residents to protect yourself from COVID-19 and any other flu-like illness,” said an official Harnett County Health Department press release.
The department was contacting anyone who had been in contact with the people who have been exposed. Health officials encouraged people to take general precautions such as washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; not touching eyes, nose or mouth; staying away from sick people; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces; covering coughs and sneezes with tissue, immediately throwing tissue away and washing hands; and staying home if you’re sick and keeping your children home if they are sick.
The names of the students will not be released by Campbell University.
“While instruction and housing may look a little different for the rest of this semester, the rest of the operations of Campbell University will go on, and the campus will remain open,” said President Brad Creed in a statement released March 19. “We ask that those who work on campus continue to follow proper health guidelines related to COVID-19.”
Campbell has canceled all calendar events, and graduation has been postponed, but Hottel confirmed today (March 20) that degrees will be conferred when assignments are complete and grades are tabulated.
Full statement from President J. Bradley Creed on March 19, 2020:
Dear Campbell Community,
This has been a trying few weeks, and I thank each of you for your flexibility as we work together to protect our campus community while delivering a quality education to our students.
This week, we took aggressive measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, including transitioning instruction to online and remote classes beginning March 16, and increasing sanitation efforts across campus. We were hopeful we could resume normal operations by April 6, but it is apparent that additional measures are needed.
Effective immediately, all in-person classes at all campuses will continue online and remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Face-to-face classes will not resume this semester as anticipated. Students with clinical experiences, internships or practicums should follow the guidance from their program.
While most of our students have returned to their homes, quite a few remain on campus. Those students currently living on campus must vacate all Campbell University residence halls, suites, apartments and fraternity and sorority houses by noon on Saturday, March 21, and return to their permanent off-campus residence, unless granted an exception because of special circumstances. Residence Life staff members will be reaching out to all students currently on campus to guide them through this transition.
Residential students who are currently away from campus housing should not return for their remaining belongings until directed. We’ll work with students to retrieve belongings after April 1. Additional information can be found at: https://www.campbell.edu/life/residence-life/.
Graduation is a ceremony at the heart of our mission here at Campbell University, as we prepare students for purposeful and meaningful lives. I understand its importance, particularly for students nearing the end of their educational journey here. That’s why we have also made the difficult decision to postpone our commencement ceremonies until a later date. Rest assured that Campbell will still confer degrees in May and over the summer months for those who satisfy graduation requirements. Please note that May commencement ceremonies are not canceled; they are delayed until an undetermined date.
We have also extended the University suspension of events through the end of the semester. This includes all University activities, events, conferences and large gatherings. As announced on March 18, the Big South Conference has canceled all athletics competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the semester.
While instruction and housing may look a little different for the rest of this semester, the rest of the operations of Campbell University will go on, and the campus will remain open. We ask that those who work on campus continue to follow proper health guidelines related to COVID-19.
We will continue to keep you informed on how COVID-19 will affect your Campbell experience over the next few weeks. We will get through this, and we will be stronger because of it.
Remain calm. Wash your hands. Be safe and Go Camels!
Brad Creed, President