3 UCLA students test negative for coronavirus

Coronavirus

Three UCLA students who were self-isolating off campus tested negative for coronavirus, the university said Friday.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block shared the results in a message to the campus community Friday night, after earlier in the day announcing the students were being tested.

Block also said public health officials had not recommended suspending campus operations or changing class schedules.

“There is currently no need to change how we conduct classes and UCLA continues to closely coordinate with federal, state and local public health officials so that our campus remains fully prepared,” he said.

USC said Friday that it will hold classes online for three days next week to experiment with the possibility of having to operate remotely, should the crisis deepen.

It’s unclear what symptoms the UCLA students were showing and how health authorities believe they might have been exposed to the outbreak.

“Most of the lab specimens we test are still negative… So we urge people, if you hear some people were tested, please don’t assume that they’re positive,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a news conference Friday.

The university said no one on campus has tested positive for the virus, but it’s closely watching the outbreak.

Fears of the spread of coronavirus prompted the cancellation of Sunday’s annual Nowruz festival at UCLA. The event, which celebrates the Iranian new year, drew more than 25,000 last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Students who develop symptoms were asked to call the Ashe Center Infection Control Line at 310-206-6217, and faculty and staff were told to call their health care providers. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in California reached 69 Friday morning, with one death confirmed in Placer County.

The cases in the state include 24 from repatriation flights, 22 that are travel-related, nine due to person-to-person exposure from family contact, three due to exposure at a health care facility, nine community acquired and two from unknown sources, according to the California Department of Public Health.

There were 13 cases reported in Los Angeles County as of Friday.

Health experts recommend people stay home when they’re sick, wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching their face, limit close contact with sick people, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a list of disinfectants to use against the novel coronavirus.

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