Harvard president and wife contract coronavirus

Couple worked from home before quarantine began, source of infections unidentified

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Harvard President Larry Bacow and his wife Adele Bacow. (Harvard University website photo)

Harvard President Larry Bacow and his wife Adele Bacow. (Harvard University website photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow said Tuesday (March 24) that both he and his wife have contracted the coronavirus and are in self-quarantine.

In a message to members of the Harvard community on the school's website, Bacow said he and his wife, Adele Fleet Bacow, both tested positive for COVID-19. They started exhibiting symptoms on Sunday (March 22), including coughing, fever, chills, and muscle pain.

The source of the infections could not be identified but the good news was “far fewer people crossed our paths recently than is usually the case,” Bacow said. The couple has been working from home and reducing contact with people since March 14, in line with guidelines to implement social distancing measures.

The president of the prestigious university said he and his wife will be kept in isolation at home for two weeks, while the Department of Public Health traces those who have come into contact with them over the past two weeks. “The world needs your courage, creativity, and intelligence to beat this virus,” he noted in the statement.

Harvard introduced measures earlier this month to prevent the spread of Wuhan virus. Students of the university had been asked to move out of their dorms by March 15, while classes and meetings were to be conducted remotely through online platforms, reported CNN.