By Luis Quintanilla
Two students from Volunteer State Community College have tested positive for COVID-19. In an email from Jerry Faulkner, he stated the school had confirmed on Monday afternoon, March 30th, that both students tested positive. However, Faulkner states the last times the students were on campus were March 5th, before the 14 day incubation period of the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms for an infected person usually appear 2-14 days after his or her initial exposure to the virus. Symptoms may range from mild to severe in some people. Some may be infected, but asymptomatic, infected but showing no symptoms, and could potentially carry the virus and unknowingly and silently spread it to others.
Therefore retracing when these two students were last on campus is vital in determining if they were potentially carrying the virus while on campus. In this case, it appears they were not since they since, according Faulkner’s email, the last time they were on campus was 25 days ago. In order to fit the incubation period of the virus, the students would have to been on campus at least March 16th, the week that was extended into spring break as classes were initially canceled and campus was closed.
In the email, Faulkner wishes the two students a speedy and full recovery, and states he will inform the college community if any more positive tests emerge.
Since the cancelling of classes in-person, the campus has remained closed to students, with all classes now online following recommendations and guidelines of social distancing and staying home by health officials to slow the spread of the virus. Vol State joins schools not just in the state, but across the country that have stopped meeting in-person and gone to online formats.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the total of cases in the state is now at 1,834 with 13 fatalities as of March 30th, 4:55 p.m. Sumner county has the 4th most reported cases according to the report with 164 people testing positive.
Nationally, according to the CDC, the number of cases has reached 140,904 with 2,405 deaths.
The CDC recommends these guidelines of practicing safe hygiene and social distancing to reduce the spread and chance of infection by:
- Thorough and periodic hand washing
- Avoid touching mouth, eyes, nose
- Covering sneezes and coughs
- Practicing social distancing, maintaining at least 6ft apart with people
- Staying home as much as possible and avoiding non-essential travel
- Self isolating if you are sick
- Wearing a facemask if you are sick, but not if you are not (unless you are caring for someone who is sick)
- Disinfect and clean surfaces regularly.