Students at UNC Charlotte residence hall being tested for COVID-19 after virus detected in wastewater

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020 at 8:35 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Students in a dorm at UNC Charlotte are being required to stay in the building after SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was detected in the residence hall’s wastewater.

University emergency management officials tweeted the news Friday morning, saying that the virus was detected during routine sampling at a residence hall. The name of residence hall affected was not provided. Per the university’s protocol, residents in the hall must remain in the building until they are tested for coronavirus. The testing is expected to happen Friday afternoon.

“All residents are required to remain in the building until they can be tested for COVID-19 today,” UNC Charlotte tweeted.

Residents of the affected building are required to remain in place except to pick up to-go meals, accept meal delivery and attend medical appointments. “At this time, no residents of the residence hall have reported symptoms of a COVID-19-related illness, and no additional residence halls are affected at this time," University officials say.

Residents will remain under the directive until their test results are returned, which should be around 24 hours after collection. Those testing positive or identified as a close contact of anyone who tests positive will be placed in quarantine/isolation in accordance with the University’s on-campus quarantine/isolation protocols, UNC Charlotte says.

“UNC Charlotte is not identifying the residence hall for the privacy of its residents, but all residents and staff of the hall have received information directly from Housing and Residence Life,” the university posted.

Below is information from the university on what to do if you think you may have the virus.

If you think you have COVID-19: Anyone in the UNC Charlotte community experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches or a cough, should immediately contact their medical provider or the Student Health Center and visit the Emergency Management website for additional information about updating the University on their COVID-19 status through the daily Niner Health Check.

“In an effort to further protect the campus community, UNC Charlotte is using wastewater testing because studies have indicated it can identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 days before symptoms appear,” UNC Charlotte says.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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