Three students being tested for COVID-19 amid increased university precaution
March 6, 2020 2:27 a.m.
This post was updated March 6 at 2:05 p.m.
Three UCLA students are being tested for the 2019 novel coronavirus and are in self-isolation off campus, according to a campuswide email Friday. No one at UCLA has tested positive so far.
The three UCLA students are being tested by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said Chancellor Gene Block in an email sent to students early Friday morning. The department has committed to expediting these tests for UCLA, according to Block’s email.
The LACDPH has not recommended to suspend campus operations or cancel classes, Block added.
In a statement released Wednesday, Block said UCLA administrators are looking to stream more lectures online and may provide options for remote test-taking because of COVID-19.
UCLA is also increasing its precautions by installing hand sanitizer stations around campus and using antiviral chemical solutions to clean public areas.
The news comes after the state of California declared a state of emergency Wednesday, following the first confirmed novel coronavirus-related death in the state.
The LACDPH announced Thursday there are currently 11 people in LA County infected by COVID-19, although all were exposed to a known source.
The LACDPH announced two new positive cases, increasing the total LA count to 13, at a press conference Friday. Around 50 tests have been run across LA County, and many results have been negative, said Barbara Ferrer, the director of LACDPH, at the press conference.
The students were tested because health providers determined they may have shown COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed, she added.
Four people who tested positive are currently in the hospital, she said.
One of the cases is currently being monitored by the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced California has ordered a declaration that would make health insurance companies waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus testing.
UCLA administrators released updated travel restrictions Thursday, which barred university travel to all regions with Level 3 travel warnings, including mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. UCLA also discouraged nonessential international travel.
The University of California has also suspended spring study abroad programs in China, South Korea and Italy.
Although classes have not been canceled, several events scheduled to occur on the UCLA campus have been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
The Farhang Foundation announced Wednesday that it will be cancelling Nowruz celebrations scheduled to occur on UCLA’s campus Sunday.
UCLA Athletics said meet-and-greets with UCLA athletes have been canceled until further notice, although athletic competitions will continue as scheduled, according to a statement released Wednesday.
The LA Marathon, which will pass through Westwood, has not been cancelled, although LACDPH has released guidelines for spectators to avoid contracting COVID-19.
UCLA will be hosting a meeting Monday to address student and faculty inquiries on COVID-19.
Additionally, UCLA Newsroom has released an information page about the new coronavirus. Students experiencing flu-like symptoms can call the Ashe Center Infection Control Line at 310-206-6217.