NEWS

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March 2, 2020

UChicago Medicine Admits First Patient Suspected of Having Coronavirus


The University of Chicago and its medical center

Courtesy of University of Chicago

University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) has admitted its first patient suspected of having COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, according to an email sent Monday night by hospital officials to faculty, staff, and students who work in the hospital.

UCM “is working closely with local, state and federal health officials,” the email said, and is “following rigorous isolation and infection control protocols to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and our neighbors.”

The email does not specify whether the patient is affiliated with the University.

The email was sent by three officials who work in risk management, epidemiology, and infection control at the hospital: Krista Curell, Emily Landon, and Rachel Marrs, respectively. They said in the email that UCM “has been preparing for this eventuality since COVID-19 became a global health concern in January.”

To date, there have been four confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois. Two of the confirmed coronavirus patients have since made a full recovery, according to officials. An additional 286 individuals in the state were being actively monitored as of Monday afternoon, according to NBC.

The University has been responding to the coronavirus outbreak. It has closed its Center in Beijing and the Yuen Campus in Hong Kong, cancelling a planned study abroad program in Hong Kong this spring.

Last week, Provost Ka Yee Lee and president of the University of Chicago Health System Kenneth Polonsky sent an email to the University community saying, “If one or more members of the campus community contract COVID-19, the University is ready to provide care and advice.”

More frequent surface disinfecting is also being implemented in response to the virus, and the University has also established a designated email, coronavirusinfo@uchicago.edu, and a resource center for inquiries about the virus.

Illinois public health officials can be reached with questions about the coronavirus through the phone number (800) 889–3931 or the email dph.sick@illinois.gov

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