University confirms COVID-19 case in the community

On April 4, the university confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the school community. A staff member working in the Marine and Natural Sciences (MNS) Wet Lab tested positive for the virus.  

The news came via an all-RWU email from the Emergency Response Team, though everyone who currently has access to the MNS building was sent an advisory last night.

This advisory noted that the staff member was last seen on campus on March 22 and remained home after beginning to show symptoms of the virus. Three members of the RWU community who recently had close contact with this person have voluntarily self-quarantined.

 RWU is not managing the investigation. The Emergency Response Team said the Rhode Island Department of Health has been informed and will oversee contact investigation and notification of individuals.

The Wet Lab has been fully wiped down with aquatic disinfectant twice a day during this time, but the university will conduct further learning with appropriate chemicals in the Wet Lab and common areas. The building will remain closed until 12 p.m. today to allow for this disinfecting to be completed.

The team asks anyone who is contacted and instructed to quarantine by the Department of Health to let the university know. Those who have been asked to self-quarantine or are being tested for COVID-19 can contact [email protected].