Message from the President and the COVID-19 Task Force

Mar. 30, 2020

Message from the President and the COVID-19 Task Force

The following message was distributed from Webster University President Julian Z. Schuster and the COVID-19 Task Force on March 30, 2020.

To the Webster University Community, 

We are writing this evening to share more news regarding the groups of students, faculty and staff who visited New York City on a Conservatory trip in early March. As previously reported, an employee on that trip tested positive for COVID-19 about a week ago. We are pleased to inform you that this employee is doing fine and is recuperating. All those who attended the trip entered a 14-day period of self-quarantine on March 15, per CDC guidelines. However, earlier today we learned that a student who participated on that trip had tested positive for COVID-19. 

The student began showing cold-like symptoms on March 23, and went to get tested on March 27. The student informed the University today that their test had come back positive for COVID-19, very soon after the student was informed by health authorities of the test results. We are appreciative that the student informed our community of these test results so we can share these facts and assess our community’s progress in preventing other infections.

We also learned today that the student briefly visited campus to retrieve some personal items during that period of self-quarantine. The student says they did not interact with anyone during that visit. They said they have been in self-isolation since.

We have been in contact with the student in their St. Louis home which is off campus and we have learned that the symptoms do not seem to be life-threatening. The student is recovering and in good spirits. Our hopes are for a full recovery soon.

This, unfortunately, has been a real-life example about why a 14-day self-isolation is necessary, as the illness can take up to two full weeks before manifesting as an illness. We urge that you take seriously the public health directives by your local authorities, such as the stay-at-home orders issued by Illinois and the St. Louis region, and that you maintain a six-foot space between you or others if you leave your home for any reason.

We understand these are difficult times and we need to support each other in any way possible. We will continue to provide you updates on these changing situations and our thoughts are with all of you as you make the transition called for as we all cope with this pandemic.

President Julian Z. Schuster

The COVID-19 Task Force

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