A Texas Lutheran University nursing student had direct contact with an intern who later tested positive for the coronavirus last week at a San Antonio hospital, a school official said Tuesday.
The TLU student is self quarantining in an area of campus away from others and has shown no symptoms or signs of the virus, Sarah Story, TLU’s vice president of admissions and marketing said. Two other students were at the same hospital but had no direct contact with the intern, she said.
“We don’t have any students that have tested positive for it,” Story said. “We don’t even have any students that show symptoms. We’re just being overly cautious.”
The student who had direct contact with the intern is doing well, monitoring her condition and maintaining communication with health officials, Story said.
The student has not been tested for COVID-19, Story said. She said health officials plan to monitor the student for 14 days and won’t test her unless the student shows symptoms.
“That student right now, she is self quarantining. She is taking her temperature twice a day and she hasn’t shown any symptoms at all of coronavirus,” Story said. “The other two students, they did not have contact with anyone. They were working on a floor where there were two patients who are being tested.”
The three female students were doing clinicals at the hospital, Story said.
Clinicals are like internships in which healthcare students do classwork at school but go into healthcare facilities for training and hands-on experience, she said.
“Although the other two students did not have direct contact with anyone testing positive for coronavirus, the hospital recommended quarantine as a precautionary measure since the students were working on a floor with two patients who are awaiting COVID-19 testing,” read information on the school’s website.
The two students who had indirect contact live off campus and are self-quarantining, according to the website.
Last Friday, TLU officials announced an extension of spring break an extra week and the effective closure of the campus until at least April 8, with classes being conducted online after spring break.
Some international and other students unable to return home remained on campus, Story said. Staff members also were there working, she said.
“We have about five international students and then we have some other students that for whatever reason, they can’t leave,” Story said. “We respect that and we work with them on a one-on-one basis. We want to support them.”
By limiting the number of people on campus, practicing social distancing and doing other things, the university hopes to do its part to prevent spread of the virus. TLU looked to transparently provide information, which can only help with the fight against spread of the coronavirus, Story said.
The novel coronavirus was named a pandemic as it spreads across the globe. This new coronavirus is believed to cause COVID-19, a respiratory illness that can lead to severe, flu-like symptoms and has resulted in numerous deaths worldwide, including in the United States.
As a result of the fluid coronavirus situation, TLU leadership has made some changes, according to information on the website.
“Nursing Director Carolyn Lewis and the TLU nursing faculty have canceled clinicals effective immediately and lasting until March 30,” it read. “The Nursing faculty will meet on Monday, March 23, to reevaluate the situation and decide on a plan moving forward.”