Two Boston College students, one who had been studying abroad in the United Kingdom and one who had been studying in Ireland, have confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to an email sent to BC students studying abroad from Office of International Programs Director Nick Gozik.
Two additional students studying in Madrid are considered “presumptive cases,” the email said.
The two confirmed cases involve students who returned directly home from Europe, according to the email. They were tested by their local health authorities, and they are now self-isolating and receiving care.
“We ask all students who studied abroad to avoid speculation and respect the students’ privacy so they can focus on making a full recovery,” Gozik said in the email.
Gozik said in an email to The Heights that the letter sent to students who had studied abroad will be posted on BC’s COVID-19 webpage shortly, to share it with all BC community members.
When asked, Gozik did not say whether the students had returned to campus after coming home from abroad.
“In accordance with standard public health procedures, local departments of public health will engage in contact tracing to notify individuals who were in close contact with the two confirmed students,” Gozik said in the email to students who studied abroad. “If you are not notified by health authorities, then you are not considered to have had an increased risk of exposure to them.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that students who studied in countries with a Level 3 Health Warning self-quarantine for two weeks and monitor their health.
“You were uprooted from an exciting and joyful study-abroad experience and have returned home to a nation that is experiencing its greatest public health challenge in a century. I am thinking of you, and am here to support you,” Gozik said in the email.
“In the meantime, take care of yourself and continue to look after one another. We will, no doubt, get through these trying times together,” he said.
Tom Nary, director of University Health Services, could not immediately be reached for comment.
This article is being updated.
Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff