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Member of campus community tests positive for COVID-19

Information to protect the campus community.


Updated: March 16, 2020

The university has confirmed its second known member of the campus community with the COVID-19 virus. The individual is a faculty member in human genetics. Co-workers and friends who may have had direct contact with this individual have been contacted and are being asked to self-isolate. The work area and building is being deep cleaned and disinfected.

To our campus community,

This afternoon, Saturday, March 14, 2020, we learned that a member of our campus community who is both a staff member and a graduate student has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after returning from another state. The university is working closely with public health officials to support a full and speedy recovery for this individual.

The employee, who works in the Counseling Center at the Student Services Building, is self-isolating off campus. Co-workers and friends who had direct contact with this individual have been contacted and are being asked to self-isolate as well. We have confirmed that this individual was on campus briefly but did not have direct contact with any students or visit the Counseling Center due to spring break. The Counseling Center is open for crisis counseling. Students who have scheduled or need counseling services also may receive them, beginning later this week, via telemental health and by telephone.

Since this is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on our campus, we wanted to personally inform you of this event. As additional cases are diagnosed, we will post as much information as we can on our COVID-19 website. The Utah Department of Health continues to report on the total number of confirmed cases in the state at We also will continue to communicate with you about significant developments as we work together through this challenging time.

If you have experienced the following, you should contact your health care provider concerning possible exposure to COVID-19:

  • Fever of more than 100.5 degrees
  • New or worsening cough
  • New or worsening shortness of breath
  • Close contact (6 feet or less) for a duration of 15 minutes or more with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Recent travel to a country at a Level 3 CDC designation

Any member of the campus community who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact a medical provider by phone. Students can contact Student Health at 801-581-6431 to be assessed. If you do not have a health care provider, you can call RedMed at 801-213-3303 or U of U Health at 801-587-0712 to be assessed.

While you are experiencing symptoms, we ask that:

  • Employees inform their supervisor, plan to self-isolate at home for 14 days and not report to work
  • HRE residents who are remaining on campus should self-report via the form found at

In the meantime, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to:

  • Wash their hands with soap and water regularly
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Practice social distancing by limiting exposure to crowds, avoiding handshaking and personal contact with others

University of Utah leaders are committed to protecting the health and safety of our community and supporting individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 virus. For a list of all resources available to the campus community, please visit

Please know we appreciate your partnership as members of our campus in doing all we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus and contribute to the health and well-being of our community.


Ruth Watkins

Daniel Reed
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Michael Good
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences