University works with county health department
The Starbucks at the Market @ UPlace remains closed after West Virginia University was notified of a COVID-19 exposure at the University Place storefront.
WVU implemented its safety protocols, initiating a deep cleaning of the space. WVU is also working closely with the Monongalia County Health Department in its case investigation and contact tracing.
WVU’s dining facilities underwent significant changes prior to the start of the semester to enhance health and safety precautions. These include plexiglass guards to create safe barriers in sale, service counters and any area that requires or encourages close interaction.
Anyone who visited the Starbucks location at the Market @ Uplace should self-monitor for symptoms, but health experts say potential exposure in this environment is minimal.
The event, however, underscores the importance for students and employees to follow the health and safety guidelines established, including those WVU set for quarantine and isolation.
“For those self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, if you develop symptoms, call your primary care provider, an urgent care or WVU Medicine at 304-598-6000 to determine a location and protocol for being evaluated and possibly tested,” MCHD said in a statement.
WVU asks students who feel the need to be tested to call WVU Student Health at 304-285-7200.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea.
“We know that we’ll identify additional positive cases as we work to perform targeted testing of certain high-risk groups on campus,” said Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of Urgent Care and Student Health Services. “However, the rate and spread of infection can be minimized if individuals will quarantine until test results are received, wear a mask and stay physically distanced as much as possible.”
The university was also made aware of students who have broken their mandatory quarantine, which is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If asked to quarantine, students or employees should not report to campus for work or class and should stay inside and away from people for 14 days.
“If you are waiting for test results, it’s extremely important to follow quarantine protocol in order to minimize exposure to other people and to stop the spread of the virus,” Burrell said. “It’s also imperative for students to provide a local, Morgantown address at the time of testing and to notify Student Health of a positive test result obtained outside of WVU’s testing process to assist with contact tracing efforts.”
It is also critical — and required — that all students, faculty and staff report a positive COVID-19 test result. Students should report a positive test to the CARE Team at 304-293-5611 or CAREteam@mail.wvu. edu. Employees should report a positive test to Medical Management at 304-293-5700, Ext. 8 or MedicalManagement@mail.wvu.edu.
Additionally, all faculty, staff and students should participate in the daily wellness survey to help the university monitor COVID-19 infection rates and community spread.
Students and employees can learn more about how to respond to potential COVID-19 exposure at the What to Do If … page of the Return to Campus website.
Masks/face coverings are required on WVU’s campus. Students, faculty and staff are reminded to practice physical distancing and maintain good personal hygiene (frequent hand-washing and/or use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol).
Students who violate the guidelines will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. Employees also face potential disciplinary action for failing to follow the procedures and guidelines.
“This is a critical time for our campus and the Morgantown community,” Rob Alsop, vice president for Strategic Initiatives, said. “It’s imperative we all do everything we can to mitigate the risk. Our ability to do that will determine what happens next. I want to emphasize that it is not good enough for 90% of us to follow our protocols. We all have to do so. Otherwise, it will be highly unlikely that we will be able to continue with an on-campus experience.”
The university will announce a reopening date for Starbucks when appropriate.