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Two UD students being screened for coronavirus

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Two University of Delaware students are being screened for possible cases of coronavirus, officials said.

The students are in isolation at an area hospital and have not been confirmed to have the illness, UD spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett said. The Delaware Division of Public Health is coordinating testing with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and results are expected in the coming days.

“The risk to the UD community remains low,” Tippett said. “Out of an abundance of caution, the university is sharing this preliminary information.”

The students do not live on campus, but Tippett would not say if the students had been on campus recently.

Coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China, and has resulted in millions of people in China being quarantined. There have been more than 42,000 cases reported, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths.

So far, there have been 13 confirmed cases in the United States, but none in Delaware.

UD started spring semester classes Monday, and officials said earlier this month they are closely monitoring the coronavirus.

“We are watching this evolving situation closely, with particular attention to communities served by our Office for International Students and Scholars,” UD President Dennis Assanis wrote in a letter to students. “In addition, Student Health Services has protocols in place and is well equipped to handle contagious diseases.”

More than 200 students from China who are unable to return to campus due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions are being offered the ability to complete classes digitally or take a leave of absence.

“I also encourage all Blue Hens to put our values of supporting members of our community into practice – from all races, nationalities and individual backgrounds – welcoming them with kindness and compassion,” Assanis wrote. “The geographic origins of this event are related to place and contact, not ethnicity, so please be sensitive to this aspect as we collectively monitor the health of our community.”

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