With two children attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, Friday's announcement of the first positive test for coronavirus at the school hits pretty close to home. In a letter to students, faculty, and staff, UM President Joan Gabel said, "the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed to us that a University of Minnesota Twin Cities student has tested positive for COVID-19."

She states, "While privacy laws protecting patient and student information limit what can be disclosed, I can share that the student is recovering in isolation off campus and is being monitored by health professionals. In addition, MDH is working to notify a limited number of people who may have had close contact with the patient and is advising them on next steps."

An email from the university encouraged students to stay at their permanent addresses, as many are home during this time of spring break on the Twin Cities campus. The university realizes that some will need to return to campus, "For this reason, residence halls, dining, and transportation services will remain available to these students."

The school expects that many students will stay or return to their permanent homes, "leaving the residence halls much emptier and making it easier for remaining students to maintain social distance," the email continues.

The President's letter further says, "We recommend students make their own decisions about returning to campuses and recognize for some students, the safest, most secure place is at the University." She also says, "This action means all major venues at the University of Minnesota, systemwide, will be closed to the public."

The institution announced this week that spring break would continue through Wednesday, March 18 and that classes would resume as online courses at that point.


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