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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Miami University Students Test Negative For Coronavirus, CDC Confirms

Tana Weingartner
Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer discusses the county's response to possible coronavirus cases at Miami University as Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health, and Miami President Gregory Crawford look on.

Two Miami University students do not have the novel coronavirus, the Ohio Health Department confirmed Sunday night.

The two students spent the week isolated in their off-campus residence while awaiting the results. They were released from that isolation Sunday evening.

"The students are delighted," says Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health. Acton confirms there are currently no possible cases of coronavirus under investigation in Ohio, nor are there any confirmed cases in Ohio.

"I'm very confident ... in this test with these students given their history and where they are in the disease process," Acton says when asked about certainty of the test results.

"These students did everything right to contain whatever virus was making them ill," say Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer of the Butler County Health Department, adding the students were cooperative throughout the process. "They have been cleared to do all of their activities." 

Bailer says her agency remains prepared should any further questionable cases arise. She would not speculate on whether all students who may have traveled abroad are beyond the 14-day symptom window.

Health officials say the risk to the community in general regarding coronavirus remains low.

As WVXU previously reported, Miami saidin a statement that one student presented with "very mild" symptoms. Given his recent travel, the student met the criteria for being tested, along with his traveling companion.

Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer said the students came back to Oxford just before the beginning of this term, which started last Monday, and weren't feeling well, so they went to health services. Miami isolated the students immediately and called Butler County. Bailer said the students had not had much contact with others on campus and the agency was in touch with those the students did see.

Samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing.

Miami said last week it had been in touch with other international students from portions of China that were affected by novel coronavirus during a time when students may have been traveling during the school break.

About Coronavirus

Symptoms can include: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC says at this time that symptoms "may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure."
If you've been in China recently and are experiencing symptoms, the county health agency says you should contact your doctor before going to the office.

As with all communicable illnesses, the Ohio Health Dept. recommends:

  • Practicing proper hand-washing and hand hygiene
  • Using appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying home from work or school if you feel sick
  • Avoiding exposure to people who may be sick

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory recommending against travel to China.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.