Chicago coronavirus: DePaul University student tests positive for COVID-19

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, August 6, 2020
DePaul University student tests positive for COVID-19
DePaul University is deeply cleaning Centennial Hall in accordance with CDC guidelines for coronavirus after a student tested positive for COVID-19.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A DePaul University student has tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced in campus communications.

In an email to students and staff, DePaul says the infected student was last on campus Wednesday in Centennial Hall. The building is located right next to the CTA Fullerton stop, and is part student housing and part office space, according to DePaul's website.

The university says they are taking steps to deeply clean the areas the student was known to be in accordance with CDC guidelines for coronavirus. The university statement, however, doesn't clarify if the infected student had been anywhere else on campus.

People who had close contact with that person are all aware of the diagnosis, the university says. DePaul also says people who had brief, casual contact with the student are not considered high risk.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently released new guidelines for communicating positive COVID-19 cases to the DePaul community, university officials say. Under the new guidance, each time a positive COVID-19 case on campus is reported to the university, an email will be sent to all faculty, staff, and students.

They remind anyone who may be sick with or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and away from others for at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared and at least 1 day (24 hours) from their last fever (without using fever-reducing medications) and improved symptoms, whichever is longer.

"We continue to follow CDPH and CDC guidelines as we ensure proper protocols and preventative measures are in place for the health and safety of our employees, students and their families," the university email stated.

As of now, classes are set to begin at DePaul on September 9 and does include some in-person learning.

RELATED: Coronavirus Illinois: Gov. Pritzker says state headed in wrong direction

Gov. JB Pritzker warned more sweeping COVID-19 restrictions could be on the way, as Illinois health officials reported 1,759 new cases and 30 deaths Wednesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that the state's total confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 186,471, including 7,573 deaths.

As of Tuesday night, 1,552 patients were hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19, with 368 patients in the ICU and 129 patients on ventilators.

Pritzker held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to give an update, discussing the state's rising number of cases.

Illinois reported 1,759 new coronavirus cases and 30 deaths Wednesday.

Pritzker stressed the fight against the virus is trending in the wrong direction. Despite warnings, he said the coronavirus is only gathering momentum in young people in the 20-29 age group, and is more prevalent now downstate.

"This virus is dangerous no matter how young you are because of the long-term damage that it can cause. It's not just a matter of how likely am I to die. Young people who survive COVID-19 report fatigue, breathing problems and heart issues," Pritzker said.

There are 11 health regions in Illinois. Two weeks ago the positivity rate in 10 out 11 was less than 5%. Now the governor says only four regions are below that key metric. Local action is key to keeping infections at bay. And people have to understand the state's fate is in their hands, Pritzker said.

He warned of more sweeping measures at the state level, if these negative trends continue, including reimposed bar and restaurant restrictions, perhaps on a regional basis.

Pritzker said he'd even consider pulling back on in-person learning.

"You're tired of hearing it. I'm tired of talking about it. Believe me, I want this over as much as everyone else. But this virus is not tired. In fact, it's gaining, trying to gain momentum," Illinois Department of Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

Alternate care sites that were set up earlier in the pandemic are being kept "warm."

Pritzker said the state is now averaging more than 41,000 COVID-19 tests per day.