UC Berkeley officials confirm no Bay Area cases of coronavirus

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There are no confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV strain of coronavirus in the Bay Area, according to a campuswide email sent at about 3 p.m.

The email — which was co-signed by University Health Services, or UHS, Medical Director Anna Harte, campus Vice Chancellor of Administration Marc Fisher and campus Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Stephen Sutton — emphasized that the campus is working with local public health departments and is monitoring the situation.

“While this coronavirus is understandably causing worry and anxiety, particularly in those returning from or with family in affected areas in China, the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) currently believes the risk of the virus to the U.S. general public is low,” the email reads.

This strain of the coronavirus began at a seafood market in Wuhan, China, and has since been reported in various countries around the globe. There are five cases diagnosed in the United States — two of which are in California’s Orange and Los Angeles counties.

UHS has organized screening procedures for people who are showing possible symptoms and are at high risk of infection. Symptoms include fever, coughs and shortness of breath, according to the CDC.

Campus leaders have been in communication to coordinate campus response efforts, and the UC Office of the President is maintaining collaborative avenues among all UC campuses.

UC Berkeley officials will be posting on the UHS Coronavirus Health Advisory webpage t0 keep the campus community up to date. The message also included some precautions on how to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the coronavirus and the flu, including washing one’s hands with soap and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. 

Check back for updates.

Sakura Cannestra is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.