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Two San Diego college students test positive for COVID-19

Students on the San Diego State University campus.
Students leave Hepner Hall and other buildings on the campus of San Diego State University, flowing onto the Campanile Walkway.
(Howard Lipin / The San Diego-Union-Tribune)

San Diego State University officials announced late Friday that a student who recently studied abroad in Italy, a hot spot for COVID-19, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

A University of San Diego graduate student living off campus has also tested positive but has not exposed anybody else to the novel coronavirus, according to a statement from USD.

Officials from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency notified SDSU of the positive test Friday evening and have assured university officials “that the risk to the campus community remains low,” according to a statement from SDSU.

The student “recently returned to this area” after studying in Italy, but is currently self-isolating at his permanent residence outside of the county.

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“The student visited two campus offices for a brief period of time, and did not attend any classes,” according to a statement attributed to SDSU president Adela de la Torre and Dr. Rory Brening, the interim medical director of SDSU student health services.

“The student has had very little interaction with any on campus students, faculty and staff,” according to the statement. “His three housemates have no symptoms, and self-quarantined in accordance with the (Centers for Disease Control’s) guidelines.”

University officials said they have already started contacting those on campus believed to have had contact with the student. Those people will be told to self-quarantine. School officials have also ordered a “thorough, hospital-grade cleaning of the two campus offices where the student briefly visited.”

“We are supporting the student and off-campus housemates, ensuring that they have the resources they need,” de la Torre and Brening said in the statement. “We wish our student well during recovery.”

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SDSU officials are also asking students returning from affected areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.

As for the USD graduate student, campus officials provided few details of the positive test Friday night, but released a statement and sent out a campus-wide notice saying they’ve consulted with county health officials on the matter.

“They have informed us that based on the circumstances surrounding this confirmed case, no individuals on our campus have been exposed by this graduate student to COVID-19,” USD officials said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if the student was one of the three new COVID-19 cases that county health officials announced Friday evening.

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Those new cases were a man in his 40s who was hospitalized and in isolation after he traveled to New York and Philadelphia, a man in his 30s who was in isolation at home after he traveled to Chicago and a woman in her 70s who is at home in isolation.

“Please know that we are taking all recommended preventative measures and are working closely with the San Diego County Public Health Department and other health agencies to coordinate our activities,” USD officials said.

Officials said the campus community can keep up with all COVID-19-related news at USD’s dedicated coronavirus website at sandiego.edu/coronavirus/

Riggins writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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