MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — An undisclosed number of residents at a West Virginia University dormitory complex have been ordered to self-quarantine after someone living there tested positive for the new coronavirus, the university said.
The Monongalia County health department notified the university of the positive test Sunday. The individual has been isolated, and residents of the Evansdale Residential Complex must quarantine until they are tested starting Monday and the test results are known, WVU said in a statement Sunday night.
Employees of the complex, commonly known as the Towers, also must be tested.
The Evansdale Residential Complex has a living capacity of 1,800. The statement didn’t indicate how many people are currently living there. WVU, closed since March 20, prohibited students from returning to campus from spring break and shifted almost all instruction online through the summer. Most buildings are shuttered.
The Evansdale Residential Complex’s dining hall, community restrooms and gathering areas are undergoing deep cleanings. Meals will be delivered to residents, who also will receive masks, gloves and cleaning supplies, the statement said.
Last week the university said at least 14 students who had lived in private, off-campus housing tested positive for the virus.
Monongalia County is among the state’s virus hot spots and is subject to stronger safety protocols that now includes 11 counties. Gatherings in those counties have been limited to five people and local health departments have been told to establish maximum occupancy rules for businesses, after executive orders from Republican Gov. Jim Justice.
At least 611 people in West Virginia have the virus, according to state health officials. At least eight people have died.
Justice has previously ordered a state of emergency, directed all nonessential businesses to close and shuttered schools until at least April 30. The state’s primary election has been rescheduled from May 12 to June 9 over fears of the virus spreading at polling places.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, and the overwhelming majority of people recover. But people with severe cases can need respirators to survive, and with infections spreading exponentially, many hospitals are bracing for coming waves of patients.