Cluster of COVID-19 cases identified at ECU’s Gateway Residence Hall

Gateway Residence Hall [photo courtesy ECU]

Just hours after UNC Chapel Hill announced 130 students had tested positive for COVID-19 and a shift to online-only instruction starting Wednesday, East Carolina University has identified its first cluster of coronavirus cases in a dormitory.

According to an alert from ECU issued Monday evening, the cluster has been identified at Gateway Residence Hall.

A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location. “Location” is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling.

Since Friday, clusters were identified at UNC Chapel Hill’s Ehringhaus and Hinton James residence halls, Granville Towers and Sigma Nu fraternity.

More from the ECU Alert issued Monday, 7:33 p.m.:

The individuals in this cluster have been identified and we are working closely with our partners at the Pitt County Health Department. Contact tracing has been initiated with direct communication to anyone determined to have been a close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when either person has not been wearing a face covering. Those identified as a close contact will be notified directly and provided with further guidance.

We are notifying the campus of this cluster per guidance under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, which establishes requirements regarding health and safety information that universities must share with their campuses.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches or a cough, should immediately contact their medical provider or Student Health Services, (252) 328-6841.

The University will not broadly communicate details about individual positive cases, consistent with the State Human Resources Act and FERPA, as well as other privacy considerations.

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