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COVID-19 Evening Update March 16

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community,

As you may have heard tonight, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced the first positive case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the City of St. Louis. I am sorry to report that this positive case is a member of our SLU community.

On Saturday, I had informed you that two of our students were tested for COVID-19 after they returned to the St. Louis area from overseas. They had traveled from a country that had been escalated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a Level 3 Avoid Non-essential Travel notice during their time there. Both students live off campus.

Tonight, I share that one of those students has tested positive.

As I noted on Saturday, our students responded exactly as they should have. Even while feeling ill, the students’ care and concern for SLU and the greater St. Louis community is apparent and deeply appreciated. 

We, the SLU family, extend our support to this student, the student’s family, and our whole community. 

Our ability as Billikens to care for one another knows no bounds. 

This student continues to isolate in their off-campus residence, following all guidelines and precautions. The second student, who is still showing no symptoms, was also tested over the weekend, and remains isolated in their off-campus residence. The results from the second student are pending. 

To recount details from my previous message, these students never came onto SLU’s campus. They returned late Friday night, and while driving back to St. Louis, called ahead about emerging symptoms and were immediately directed to a Hospital for consultation and testing.

As next steps, public health officials will take appropriate actions to identify and communicate with anyone with whom the positive student may have interacted during their travels.

As we move forward together, I ask three things of you:

I know you will keep compassion and concern at the forefront of your hearts and minds. I commit to do the same. 

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.


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