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Some Centre students quarantined as precaution against coronavirus

Several international Centre College students who recently returned to campus from China, where there’s a widespread outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, have been quarantined as a precaution, according to school officials.

Last week, Centre officials stated they were “keeping a watchful eye” on students who had returned home to China during the winter break and were back on campus, as well as other study abroad students, as the coronavirus situation developed.

“On Saturday we received a recommendation from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control, asking that those with recent travel history from China be isolated for a period of 14 days after their arrival,” said Centre’s Chief Communications Officer Michael Strysick on Wednesday.

Centre officials made arrangements for the students to be quarantined that day, according to a message college President John Roush sent to students and staff Saturday afternoon. The recommendation was that people who have traveled to China should be in isolation for 14 days after their arrival in the United States.

“To be clear, this is 14 days from an individual’s time of arrival, not 14 days from today,” the letter read.

“While this does involve a small number of those in our campus community, I want to be very clear that no one has the coronavirus or even shows any symptoms. Nonetheless, we are following these guidelines as a preventative measure to be safe and cautious,” Roush wrote.

Strysick said classes for the spring term started on Wednesday, Feb. 5, “and students began returning (to campus) at different times in advance of the new semester.”

“We were able to make arrangements very quickly because of the precautionary efforts we took earlier in the week,” Strysick said.

Because of medical privacy laws, Strysick said he could not say how many students were quarantined. However, he did say that students will be able to continue with their classes.

“The Academic Affairs office has worked with each student and their professors to assure that their coursework is not interrupted in any way. In some instances, this has involved the use of technology,” Strysick said. “Everyone has been very cooperative.”

Roush’s message ended by saying, “Your cooperation, patience, and understanding is greatly appreciated as we work through all of this. And I repeat what I said in my previous message. We are all in this together, and each and every member of our caring and compassionate community is important and valued.”