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American University student tests positive for COVID-19

The patient, who lives on campus, returned to the university last week with symptoms, officials say.

WASHINGTON — American University announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Monday. In an email, the medical director of the student health center for American University said that a student tested positive after traveling in the U.S.

The patient, who lives on campus, returned to the university last week with symptoms. The director said the student contacted the university’s health center and was put in self-isolation in on-campus housing. 

The student’s previous room and nearby areas were sanitized, officials said.

"We are coordinating with D.C. Department of Health, which is conducting contact tracing for anyone who may have been in contact with the student," school officials said to WUSA9. "AU has also taken extensive actions to enhance social distancing and limit contact on campus, including moving all classes online and moving to a telework environment for our staff."

D.C. Department of Health completed an investigation and determined that there were no close contacts on the campus, according to the director’s email. 

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"We have taken all appropriate steps and it is important for the community to remain calm and continue following guidelines and procedures. We have taken proactive steps such as moving to online classes and telework to enhance social distancing," the university said in an official statement. By limiting the number of people on campus, we can reduce the potential for community spread of COVID-19 even after an individual here has received a confirmed diagnosis."

This campus' confirmed case comes after the university moved all classes online for the remainder of the semester. Students were advised to move off campus by Mar. 23 as the school tries to control the spread of the coronavirus.

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