First Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed on Campus

As the coronavirus continues to spread, Fordham confirmed that one student has tested positive for the disease. The Observer has also confirmed that a transfer student who visited FCLC has the virus.

By SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS, News Editor

New York City Health Department
Due to the recent suspension of all on-campus events and face-to-face classes, Fordham will only continue to distribute information about community members who test positive if they have been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis.

On March 19, The Office of the President emailed the Fordham community confirming the first case of coronavirus in an undergraduate Fordham student. The student left campus on March 10 and began exhibiting symptoms of the virus on March 15. University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., wrote that it is unlikely the student was contagious while on campus.

McShane highlighted that the virus is spreading in the state of New York exponentially and that by now “almost any of us could have been exposed to it.”

“There are more than 20,000 students, faculty, and staff in the campus community, and it is a statistical certainty that more of us will show symptoms in the coming weeks,” he continued.

Due to the recent suspension of all on-campus events and face-to-face classes, Fordham will only continue to distribute information about community members who test positive if they have been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis.

The Observer has also learned that a former Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) student has tested positive for the coronavirus. The student visited the Lincoln Center campus and was in contact with current FCLC students between Saturday, March 7, and Wednesday, March 11.

The transfer student reported feeling unwell on March 11, was tested on March 12 and received a phone call from their doctor on March 19 confirming that they tested positive for the virus.

On March 19, the transfer student contacted the Fordham students with whom they had spent time with to notify them to self-isolate until Monday, March 23, as recommended by their doctor.

A Fordham student who had been in contact with the person notified University Health Services and University Public Health and Safety. The university subsequently reached out to the transfer student to investigate.

One Fordham student who spent time with the transfer student explained that they were “really rattled by the news, but extremely thankful that my friend acted responsibly and reached out to everyone (they) had been in contact with.”

“I haven’t expressed any symptoms but I plan to self quarantine for the remainder of the two weeks since contact,” they continued.

McShane ended his email encouraging the Fordham community to remain positive in light of the outbreak: “We are all in this together in the most literal sense possible: care for the whole person was never more necessary nor more welcome,” he wrote.