The Knox County Health Department confirmed today that a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, staff member has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
The campus employee was last on campus March 16 during spring break. UT Knoxville administrators will assist local health authorities in reaching out to anyone with whom the employee may have come into close contact.
UT Knoxville staff have been extensively deep cleaning campus buildings and, using appropriate protective measures, will conduct a thorough cleaning of areas where the employee worked.
The staff member is recovering at home in self-isolation. To protect individuals’ private health information, UT Knoxville will not identify faculty, staff, or students diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Our thoughts right now are with this member of our community. We wish them a speedy recovery and are committed to providing them with care and support,” Chancellor Donde Plowman said.
“We remain focused on the health and well-being of our campus and our broader community. We will continue our aggressive measures for social distancing as we all do our part to limit community spread, flatten the curve of infections, and protect those who are particularly vulnerable to this disease.”
As COVID-19 continues to spread, more cases among members of the campus and local community are expected. UT Knoxville officials are aware that some members of the campus community who suspect they may have COVID-19 are already self-isolating as they await further testing and results.
Because of the expected increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, UT Knoxville will not publicly announce each individual positive test but will be transparent about situations of public concern and overall numbers of positive cases that health officials report to campus administration. In all cases, UT administration will continue to work closely with local and state health officials to notify anyone who may have had close contact with a member of the campus community diagnosed with COVID-19.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, UT Knoxville has moved all spring semester classes online, drastically limited the number of students staying on campus, canceled events, and established procedures for working remotely.
Everyone on campus has been urged to practice social distancing and to follow the CDC’s guidelines to prevent spread of COVID-19.
For more information about UT’s response to COVID-19, visit utk.edu/coronavirus.
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