Cutler Hall outside

Cutler Hall, home of the office of the president of Ohio University. File photo.

An Ohio University employee who last reported to work on the Athens campus on Monday, May 4, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), OU confirmed in a news release issued Friday evening.

The employee was last on campus on May 4 and is recovering at home while in quarantine, the news release said. The release reported that the employee "practiced social distancing and had limited contact with individuals" while working on campus.

This is the second case of the coronavirus confirmed so far for somebody on OU's Athens campus. The first case was a student who had tested positive for the coronavirus after returning to Athens from a university-sponsored study-away program in late March, who returned to his home county after receiving a positive diagnosis.

Athens County had four confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of 2 p.m. Friday; the last person with a confirmed case of the coronavirus in Athens County had an onset date listed as April 27, the Athens City-County Health Department confirmed on May 1. It's not clear if the newest OU case referenced above is included in the four total cases confirmed so far (likely not).

OU reported in the news release that university public health officials, in collaboration with "local and state public health authorities," are in the process of notifying anybody who has been in close contact with the employee. Those exposed are being asked to self-isolate at home for a two-week period.

"The University will not be releasing the name of this individual to ensure that they can focus on their health and recovery," Friday's release said. "If you are aware of their identity, please respect their privacy and abide by all privacy rules related to personal information."

OU has performed "enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting" in the area that the employee worked, the release said.

"Anyone in our campus community that may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact their primary care provider and/or their local health department for immediate guidance," the news release added. "If you test positive for COVID-19, you are asked to contact your local county health department. It is imperative that you follow the instructions of your medical provider and avoid situations in which you may come in contact with others.

"Everyone should wear a face covering, practice social distancing and good hygiene practices such as covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands and avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose or mouth, as recommended by the CDC," the release concluded.

Load comments