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New Information: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), February 4, 2020

New Information: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), February 4, 2020

February 10, 2020 Update: This student has been cleared by medical staff and is no longer in isolation. 

Dear students, staff and faculty,

Earlier this evening, out of an abundance of caution, a Smith student was evaluated for potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in compliance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) guidance.

Please note that this case is unrelated to the case referenced in our February 2 message to campus.

The student in this case traveled through Hubei Province, the site of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Importantly, this student was asymptomatic throughout her travel. She contacted the DPH on January 27 for guidance on whether she should self-quarantine; because she remained asymptomatic, she did not meet criteria for isolation.

Today, the student contacted the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness to report cold-like symptoms. The college immediately contacted the DPH, which directed the student to an emergency room for evaluation in light of her symptoms and travel history.

At this time, the student is not considered a person under investigation (PUI) under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s clinical guidelines. The DPH does not recommend testing for coronavirus at this time, given that the student does not meet CDC criteria. Medical staff will remain in contact with the student and DPH, and she will remain in isolation for several days in compliance with CDC guidelines.

At this time, under CDC and DPH guidance, there is no identified risk to the Smith community.

As noted in the opening, this case is unrelated to the student about whom we wrote on February 2 who voluntarily self-isolated. That student—who was never considered at risk by the DPH or CDC—has left voluntary isolation after a medical exam because she has been symptom-free for 24 hours.

Information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can be found on the CDC and DPH websites. For guidance on ways to stay healthy and stop the spread of any illness, visit the Schacht Center website.

We will continue to update you in the interest of public health and transparency.


Susan Etheredge
Dean of the College and Vice President for Campus Life

Tara Dumont, MD
College Physician