Wayne State says 2 employees have coronavirus

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Two members of the Wayne State community have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), officials announced Wednesday.

The two cases involve employees, according to university spokesman Matt Lockwood. He declined to reveal whether the employees are faculty members.

They are under the care of clinicians and in isolation off campus, WSU President M. Roy Wilson said in an email to the university community.

Towers Hall on the Wayne State University campus in Detroit on March 11, 2020.

"I know this announcement causes you concern, and this is understandable," Wilson wrote. "This is serious, and as a medical doctor with a background in epidemiology, I share your concern. Please know that the university has been active in our preparations for this event since well before the coronavirus became a pandemic, and we will continue to do all we can to minimize the risk to our campus community."

Health authorities have been in contact with the two WSU employees, Wilson said, and are reaching out to students, faculty and staff with whom they may have been in contact.

"Those individuals will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their symptoms, and call their personal care providers or the Campus Health Center if they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19," Wilson said.

The two cases come as the first person in Michigan died Wednesday from COVID-19, and the state's number of confirmed cases jumped to 80, up from 65 on Tuesday.

The person who died was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, officials said.

The announcement of the WSU cases comes as the university's Board of Governors is scheduled to meet Friday. The governors are planning to meet on campus; there will be no galley seating for the public but the meeting will be streamed online, Lockwood said.