4:34 pm PST, Thursday, February 27, 2020
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Three students who live together are being monitored for potential coronavirus infection, UC Davis said Thursday.
One of the students at the university 30 miles southwest of Sacramento showed signs of COVID-19, and was removed from campus and put in isolation. The two others are the student’s roommates and aren’t showing any symptoms, but are also in isolation.
UC Davis confirmed that none of the three students have confirmed cases, but one is being tested and awaiting results.
The students lived together in Kearney Hall, and UC Davis said in a statement, “Daily disinfection practices are being implemented within all Student Housing and Dining Services properties.”
The university is not planning to cancel any classes at this time, and is following the guidance of the Yolo County and the California Department of Public Health.
This news comes after a Solano County resident, who had no known connection to travel abroad or another known case, tested positive for the virus. With the patient’s exposure unknown, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said “this could be an instance of community spread.”
After the patient’s condition worsened, she was transported to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento County on Feb. 19, but it wasn’t until four days later that the CDC heeded a request to test the patient for coronavirus, according to an email sent to employees Wednesday by the hospital’s interim CEO Brad Simmons and David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health.
The patient arrived on a ventilator, and special protection orders were issued “because of an undiagnosed and suspected viral condition,” according to the email.
The hospital asked the CDC to test for the coronavirus, but testing was delayed until Sunday “since the patient did not fit the existing CDC criteria for COVID-19,” the email said.
The CDC confirmed the test was positive on Feb. 26.
Despite the delay in testing, UC Davis Medical Center, which has treated other coronavirus patients, has been taking infection prevention precautions since the patient arrived. The email said officials believe that there was “minimal chance” others at the facility were exposed to the virus.
“Nevertheless, a small number of medical center employees have been asked to stay home and monitor their temperatures,” the email said.
Coronavirus has infected more than 81,000 people in three dozen countries, with the vast majority in mainland China.
The new virus is a member of the coronavirus family that can cause colds or more serious illnesses such as SARS and MERS.
The virus can cause fever, coughing, wheezing and pneumonia. Health officials think it spreads mainly from droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu spreads.
Officials are advising people to take steps to avoid infection with coronavirus or other respiratory infections like a cold or the flu, including washing hands with soap and water, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Amy Graff is a digital editor with SFGATE. Email her: email@example.com.