OU Study-Abroad Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — An Ohio University student who briefly went to their off-campus housing after returning from a study-away program self-identified that they tested positive for COVID-19.

OU President Duane Nellis wrote in an email Wednesday that university officials confirmed the test result with health officials in the student’s permanent county of residence.

“Our student reported that they developed symptoms while abroad and were confirmed to have the virus on March 24,” Nellis wrote. “Our student reported that they briefly returned to their off-campus residence in Athens where they could self-isolate while awaiting test results but has since returned to their permanent county of residence to continue self-isolation.”

After learning of the confirmed diagnoses, the university worked with local public health officials to investigate interactions this person may have had with university faculty, staff or students and to inform those who may be impacted.

Those who may have been in recent contact with the person have been contacted and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

Those who have not been notified do not need to self-quarantine or take special precautions.

The university said it will not be releasing the name of this individual to ensure that they can focus on their health and recovery and asked anyone with information about the person keep it private.

The university ended all study-away programs and travel experiences on March 12, and students were asked to return to the United States no later than March 20.

Anyone in the campus community who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is asked to contact their primary care provider and/or their local health department for guidance. If they test positive for COVID-19, they are asked to contact their local county health department.

The DOH makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio’s coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at

Ohio University’s coronavirus information page is and any questions can be directed to