Novel coronavirus information

March 13, 2020

UW undergraduate student tests positive for COVID-19

Today, we learned that a Seattle campus resident from Lander Hall has tested positive for COVID-19. The student is doing well, recovering in isolation and we are providing them support during their recovery. Anyone known to be in close contact with the student is self-isolating and monitoring symptoms for 14 days per public health guidance.

The student was tested March 12 and the University received the results March 13. The apartment, rooms and common areas of Lander Hall, and other limited areas that the student has been in on campus since showing symptoms on March 11, are being cleaned and disinfected in accordance with public health recommendations.

UW Environmental Health & Safety has been in direct contact with the student and has been coordinating with Public Health – Seattle King County. Based on the information gathered, the risk of transmission for the general UW community from this case is considered to be low. However, community transmission of the COVID-19 virus continues to increase locally, in our region and in the United States.

For more information about COVID-19, including what do to if you are sick or have symptoms, see the University’s COVID-19 website. As a reminder, most people with COVID-19 infection develop mild to moderate illness without the need for medical care. Those who are older and/or have underlying health issues are at higher risk for developing more serious illness. The most important things each of us can do to limit the spread of illness are to:

  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. If water is not available, use hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage.

Given increased testing and interventions, more cases can be expected as community spread of COVID-19 continues. Information about any future confirmed cases among UW community members will be sent to units and personnel known to be directly affected, and case counts will be maintained on the University’s COVID-19 website.

As President Ana Mari Cauce stated in a recent message, the strength, resilience and compassion of the UW community across all three of our campuses will help us navigate this difficult and ever-evolving situation. It’s important that we support one another and make decisions that help us limit the spread of this virus and protect those most vulnerable to it.

Geoffrey S. Gottlieb, M.D. Ph.D.
Interim Chair, UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases
Medical Director, UW Environmental Health & Safety Department
Professor of Medicine – Infectious Diseases
Adjunct Professor of Global Health
Center for Emerging & Re-emerging Infectious Diseases