A student who displayed symptoms that warranted testing for the novel coronavirus strain earlier this week tested negative for the disease, Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, wrote in a statement on Friday.
While this student tested negative, there is a second Cornellian that met the criteria for testing. The other student is currently in isolation and receiving medical care, as they wait for test results from the Centers for Disease Control. It is not confirmed that the second student has novel coronavirus.
The disease — which originated in Wuhan, China — has afflicted over 31,400 people worldwide.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York. In the U.S., there are 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus, as of Friday morning. These cases are in Washington, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois and Massachusetts.
On Monday, Lombardi emailed the Cornell community about the first potential case of coronavirus on campus. While this student did not reside on campus, it is unclear where the second student resides.
Coronavirus symptoms remarkably mirror that of the flu — some coronavirus symptoms include fever, coughing and a shortness of breath.
In the statement, Lombardi commented on the similarities between the two illnesses, urging students to show compassion toward one another.
“With many community members feeling under the weather, it is critical that we each strive to lead with compassion and empathy, and to avoid making assumptions based on someone’s perceived symptoms or identity,” Lombardi wrote.
The Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity also sent an email on Friday to the Cornell community, saying that it was dismayed that Asian and Asian American students have experienced discrimination because of the outbreak.
“It is disappointing that many of our Asian and Asian American community members have experienced bias attitudes or actions as a result of the public health issue,” the email read. “These behaviors cannot go unnoted. In challenging times, it is especially important to recognize our collective commitment to diversity and inclusion and to put Cornell’s core values into practice.”
While there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in New York, the disease has left Cornellians anxious and has forced the University to take extra precautions.
Provost Michael Kotlikoff told the Cornell community on Jan. 29 that the University would bar students from traveling to China for Cornell-related purposes. Faculty and staff would still be allowed to travel to China, but only if they received clearance from Cornell’s International Advisory Response Team.
The international outbreak also prompted the cancellation of study abroad programs to China. Shortly before Kotlikoff sent out the email, the China and Asia Pacific studies program canceled its Beijing study abroad program — a graduation requirement — for the spring semester. The cancellation sent students scrambling to figure out housing and class arrangements for the semester, as they were set to leave Feb. 13 for the trip.
In the Feb. 7 statement, Lombardi reiterated that the University would work closely with state and local agencies to monitor the disease. The head of campus life further said that the University would not send more updates on the disease at this time.