Connecticut College Student Being Monitored For Coronavirus As Schumer Urges Funds

WCBS 880 Newsroom
January 26, 2020 - 12:31 pm
Wesleyan University

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WCBS 880) – A student at Wesleyan University is being monitored for the potentially deadly coronavirus in Connecticut.

The student remained in isolation Sunday as health officials monitored him or her for the flu-like disease.

The student complained of a cough and fever and passing through an airport where another person who was confirmed to have the virus was, according to the Hartford Courant.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are working with the state Department of Public Health and the Centers of Disease Control to determine if the student has contracted the coronavirus or not,” Wesleyan spokeswoman Lauren Rubenstein said in a statement.

State health officials are awaiting test results from the Center for Disease Control. 

“No diagnosis has been confirmed yet,” Rubenstein said.

Anyone who had close contact with the student has been notified and is also being monitored.

“To date, none of these individuals have exhibited symptoms of concern,” Rubenstein said.

Gov. Ned Lamont is closely monitoring the situation, his office said.

Health officials said a patient at a New Jersey hospital who was monitored for the virus late last week didn't have it.

Dr. Mark Jarrett, the chief quality officer at Northwell Health, told WCBS 880 that everyone is on top of the coronavirus.

“The medical communities certainly in the New York metropolitan area have all put in the procedures they need to do to try to protect both other patients and the staff,” Jarrett said.

He said he's not as worried as he was during the outbreaks of SARS and Ebola.

“Certainly not like Ebola, which required all these special suits and things like that,” Jarrett said. “This just requires typical airborne isolation.”

But China’s latest findings that people can spread the coronavirus before they start showing symptoms could complicate things.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency.

“You can never be too careful when it comes to something as deadly and virulent as this virus,” Schumer said.

Schumer is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to make formal emergency declaration that would unluck tens of millions of dollars in funding for the CDC.

Meanwhile, another case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S.—this time in California. A man in Washington and a woman in Chicago have also come down with the flu-like disease. Other cases have been confirmed across Asia, as well as in France and Australia.

Nearly 2,000 people have been infected with the virus in China and at least 56 people have died.

Here's the latest on the coronavirus:

-The National Health Commission said the number of confirmed cases in China rose to nearly 2,000 and the death toll, to 56.

-The U.S. reported a third case, a man in southern California who traveled from the hard-hit city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

-Singapore and South Korea each reported one new case Sunday, while Thailand reported three new cases.

-The U.S. said it was chartering a plane to fly out its consulate staff and some civilians from the city. France said it was preparing a similar evacuation, possibly by bus. Japan said it too was arranging an evacuation flight.

-China's health minister said the country was entering a “crucial stage” as “it seems like the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger.”

-Beijing said it would delay the start of classes after the Lunar New Year holiday ends later this week.

-Two of Hong Kong's biggest attractions, Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park, announced they were closing for the time being.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)