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WC student hospitalized in Chestertown is feeling better, awaiting COVID-19 test results

CHESTERTOWN — A Washington College student hospitalized here for flu-like symptoms is feeling better, President Kurt Landgraf said in a post on the college's website Sunday, March 15.

The student had traveled out of state to an area with confirmed cases of community-transmitted COVID-19.

The results of tests for the novel coronavirus are pending, Landgraf said in a follow-up posting addressed to the college community. 

Updating the Kent County Commissioners during their meeting Tuesday, March 17, Landgraf by telephone said the results are expected Thursday. 

Citing "privacy laws," Washington College has not identified the student.

Without a name and without the patient's permission, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Chestertown will not release the patient's condition, Trena Williamson, regional director of communications and marketing for UM Shore Regional Health, said Monday. 

In his initial communication Friday, March 13 to faculty, staff, parents, students and alumni, Landgraf said the college had reported the student's case to the Kent County Health Department and the college’s Health Services.

The student is hospitalized at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

The student and their suitemate were on the third floor of Corsica residence hall and used the kitchen on that floor. They did not go on the first or second floors or use the kitchens or bathrooms on those floors, Landgraf said.

The student was only in Corsica after their potential exposure from Wednesday night, March 11 through Friday morning, March 13 around 11 o'clock when they went to the hospital.

The student’s suite door was closed until the student left on Friday and has remained closed since that time, Landgraf said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Landgraf said students who were in close contact with the student are in self-quarantine. 

A professional cleaning company on Sunday morning completed a thorough cleaning of Corsica, including all access points into the building and up to the third floor including doors, stairwells, hallway touch points and the elevator, Landgraf said.

This cleaning, following CDC guidelines, includes all of the door handles and other "high touch" surfaces. This includes all areas that the student may have come into contact with on the third floor and in the kitchen.

Washington College is requesting that all students use the common preventive practices of regular hand-washing, not touching your face and maintaining social distance, "as we have no indication that there is any greater risk associated with staying in Corsica than in any other building on campus," Landgraf said.

To Washington College students, Landgraf said: If you start to experience symptoms including cough, fever and shortness of breath, contact Health Services immediately at 410-778-7261 during business hours on weekdays. Outside of those hours, contact the Office of Public Safety at 410-778-7810.

Students whose plans have changed — leaving campus and staying in a location off campus — must email so the college can continue to keep an accurate record of who is in its residence halls.

Resources for Marylanders and employees during COVID-19

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Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL) FAQ -

SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Main Maryland Business Information Site for COVID 19 updates and resources -