TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Students and faculty at a university in northern Taiwan have been told to undergo home isolation after it was discovered that a nurse diagnosed with the coronavirus had attended classes at their university.
On Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 12), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that a doctor (Case No. 838) had been infected with COVID-19 at a hospital in northern Taiwan. After contact tracing was carried out, the center discovered that his girlfriend (Case No. 839), who is a nurse at the hospital, had also contracted the virus.
According to an investigation by the CECC, the doctor visited the following establishments in Taoyuan from Jan. 8-9: Metro Walk Shopping Center, Starbucks, and the Zhenyu Hardware Store. The movements of the nurse are still being clarified, but on Tuesday local media reported that she had been taking continuing education courses at the Department of Nursing in a university in northern Taiwan.
The university stated that after the final examination period ended on Jan. 7, winter vacation began the next day, reported CNA. According to the school, four instructors have been told to begin home isolation, while a number of students who sat near the nurse have also been asked to start to undergo quarantine.
The school emphasized that the classrooms and buildings she entered have been thoroughly disinfected. Since the students have all returned to their homes in different counties and cities for the holidays, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will notify the health departments in those jurisdictions to have local authorities visit the homes of the students and notify them that they will be tested for the coronavirus and need to commence self-health monitoring.
The local health department went to the university on Tuesday and collected samples from the classrooms where the nurse had studied to determine if there are any traces of the virus that remain. The Ministry of Education (MOE) told the news agency that the school is cooperating with its epidemic investigation and has carried out disinfection measures.
The MOE added that because the school has already started winter break, there is no need to suspend classes.
Update: 01/13 2:30 p.m.
The CECC on Wednesday (Jan. 13) announced that there have been 43 contacts listed for Case No. 839 in the university. Of these contacts, 39 are students and four are teachers.
The 39 students have all tested negative for the coronavirus, while the four teachers are awaiting the results of their tests.