Tufts Student Diagnosed With Coronavirus

The university, which had already canceled classes on Friday, urged that students practice "social distancing" by canceling parties in the near future

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An undergraduate student at Tufts University was diagnosed with the new coronavirus, prompting Medford, Massachusetts, health officials to begin reaching out to members of the community about self-quarantines.

The COVID-19 diagnosis was announced Thursday, and the university is asking its students to be proactive about limiting the spread of the illness further.

"Because of this news, we urge students to practice social distancing -- cancel any parties or gatherings that are planned this evening or in the coming days," Executive Vice President Mike Howard said in an announcement to the community.

Howard didn't offer any details about how the student might have acquired the virus or who they might have spoken with; he asked that the community respect the student's privacy. Medford city health officials will be reaching out to anyone believed to have had contact with them, and Howard urged anyone who believes they might have been exposed to contact

Massachusetts officials have been urging residents not to go to work if they're not feeling well, but for workers who don't have sick leave, that could be financially disastrous.

Tufts is one of many schools in Greater Boston moving to online learning amid the coronavirus outbreak, and it had already announced Tuesday that in-person classes at the schools of engineering and arts and sciences would be canceled Friday and that dorm residents move out by Monday.

Massachusetts on Thursday reported over 100 cases of COVID-19. Its very first was also in a college student, a UMass Boston undergraduate who had returned from Wuhan, China, the heart of the outbreak.

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