A-State employee tests positive for COVID-19

A student who lives on campus had been tested Thursday for COVID-19

A-State employee tests positive for COVID-19

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State University Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced Friday that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

In his email, Damphousse said the employee has been “self-quarantined at home since being tested on March 19 while awaiting the results.”

He added the employee, who was not identified, had been asymptomatic for several days. He stated the worker had not been on campus for 14 days.

Damphousse also said a student who lives on campus informed University Housing that they had been tested Thursday for COVID-19.

The student has not received the test results and is currently self-isolated.

Damphousse said A-State would begin screening on-campus employees each day that they are on campus via a questionnaire. He said any remaining on-campus students would also be asked to participate in the screening questionnaire.

He encouraged everyone to continue physical distancing.

“The more that we limit our interactions with others, the more likely we are to keep each other safe,” Damphousse said. “I think it is also important that we not cast blame on people who are tested or who test positive. They may have done everything they were advised to do and, in spite of their efforts, were still infected.”

Friday was the last day for students to move out of dorms, but Marketing Director Bill Smith said there are some staying on campus because they have nowhere else to go.

“Perhaps an international student who couldn’t get a flight home, you know a student from one of the coasts where things are remarkably worse and they have shelter in place so perhaps they couldn’t get to home, some students that know that by going home they’ll put a family member at risk,” said Smith.

As of now, the library and some labs are open for students, but that could change as the pandemic progresses.

“We will probably be having more discussions about spaces that we haven’t closed down,” said Smith. “There are areas in the student union where people can congregate and perhaps they’re a little too close in that spacing, we may have to add those to the areas that we’ve already closed."

Those students staying on campus may also be moved to different dorms if needed, to help with social distancing.

The chancellor also formally activated the university’s Emergency Operations Center. Anyone on campus with a COVID-19 or other emergency concern should contact the EOC via email at eoc@AState.edu.

Region 8 News is tracking this story and will have more details as they become available.

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