Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Two New HSU Students Test Positive for COVID

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2020 at 5:18 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt State's Founders Hall. - FILE
  • FILE
  • Humboldt State's Founders Hall.
Two additional Humboldt State University students who recently moved onto campus have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release.

“The students have been moved to rooms on campus that are set aside for isolation,” the HSU release states. “The university will be providing ongoing support including frequent health and wellness checks with the students, as well as delivery of meals and other necessities.”

Another student tested positive earlier this week as did an employee. Some 800 or so students are expected to be moved onto campus this week — arrivals made over the objections of the county’s public health officer.

HSU stated in a release that all those living on campus will be expected to self-quarantine for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns and that students would be tested for COVID-19 multiple times.

"This enhanced level of testing is intended to identify those who may be asymptomatic and isolate them quickly, and was implemented late last week with the help of additional resources that the state provided from the state and county," according to the release. "In addition to the required testing for students living on campus, all other HSU students may opt to be tested at the Student Health Center and all students showing symptoms will be tested. All student-athletes are also being tested periodically."

The campus is also "working closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community who need to be advised of their contact with affected people."

A series of emails released last week in response to a Journal request under the California Public Records Act show that County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich had urged the university to wait until October to bring students back.

Read more about the email exchanges between Frankovich and HSU President Tom Jackson Jr. here.

Read the full HSU release below:
Based on the results of ongoing testing on campus, public health officials have confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 affecting members of the Humboldt State University community. The individuals who tested positive are students who recently moved into campus housing.

The students have been moved to rooms on campus that are set aside for isolation. The University will be providing ongoing support including frequent health and wellness checks with the students, as well as delivery of meals and other necessities.

Based on its policies and protocols, the University is protecting the privacy rights of the students while also working to share information necessary to protect the health of the campus and the broader community.

HSU is working closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community who need to be advised of their contact with affected people. Comprehensive testing is continuing for all students living on campus this year.

Campus residents will be tested multiple times during the course of a 14-day quarantine period. This enhanced level of testing is intended to identify those who may be asymptomatic and isolate them quickly, and was implemented late last week with the help of additional resources that the state provided from the state and county. In addition to the required testing for students living on campus, all other HSU students may opt to be tested at the Student Health Center and all students showing symptoms will be tested. All student-athletes are also being tested periodically.

This advisory provides all the information the University will share about the cases. Guidelines and Support The campus community is encouraged to stay safe and healthy, and to help protect the health of the community, by adhering to the Social Responsibility Commitment. This includes wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing, and staying at home if you are sick or have a fever.

The ongoing challenges of the pandemic can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Any students who would like to talk with a counselor can contact Counseling & Psychological Services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty needing additional support may call the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the California Department of Public Health website. For more information about HSU’s plans for the fall semester, visit the HSU Campus Ready website. 
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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