ORLANDO, Fla. – A University of Central Florida student has tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first case of COVID-19 associated with the school.
University officials announced the news Thursday evening on social media, saying that the student has been off campus since March 9 and they believe the risk of someone else catching the respiratory illness from him is unlikely.
“The incubation period for COVID-19 is 14 days, and we believe the risk of anyone who came into contact with him developing symptoms at this point is very low. Out of an abundance of caution, his residence hall and classrooms will be decontaminated for everyone’s safety,” associate vice president of UCF Student Health Services Dr. Michael Deichen wrote in a message to the campus community.
Other students are in self-quarantine because they are experiencing symptoms and are awaiting testing, but Deichen didn’t provide details on how many students or where they might have contracted coronavirus.
Additionally, a military contractor at the Partnership IV Building in the Central Florida Research Park, which is near the main campus, has tested positive. His coworkers are being tested and employees of the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, which is in the same building, are working from home and monitoring their health.
Officials said it’s unlikely that the institute employees came in contact with the military contractor.
The Partnership IV Building will be closed for decontamination for two weeks.
“This news hits close to home for UCF. But we must understand that as testing becomes more widely available across Central Florida, the number of positive cases will grow,” Deichen wrote. “The realities of this pandemic are why we have moved to remote instruction for all students and remote work for most employees. COVID-19 is something we must all take seriously.”
UCF has canceled graduation and moved all classes to online instruction as health officials urge the public to practice social distancing.
It’s unknown, at this point, when in-person classes will resume at the university.