UW-Platteville credits on-campus health services after monitoring 6 for coronavirus

The UW-Platteville campus (Source: WMTV)
The UW-Platteville campus (Source: WMTV)(NBC15)
Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 6:36 PM CST
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It’s been two weeks since six UW-Platteville students were monitored and cleared for coronavirus after visiting China.

While the virus was found to be no threat on campus, the university is sharing how it handled the situation.

Paul Erickson, Public Information Officer at UW-Platteville says the school has had a 20 year history with the university in Wuhan, China.

“It’s been an exchange of students and faculty, it’s been a very productive exchange for us,” he said.

Erickson says last month a group of students and faculty returned to campus from China.

“That raised some questions because obviously Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus,” he said.

After 14 days of self-monitoring, everyone in the group has been cleared and school officials say there was never a threat to the university because no one showed symptoms of the virus.

Reassuring the campus and public of this took a lot of work. Rachel Herman, Nurse and Director of Student Health Services says there were some parent phone calls and a lot of media attention.

“We activated our emergency operations team rather quickly and funneled a lot of those phone calls right away to the Dean of Students office. They tracked those phone calls, pulled out the common concerns and that’s how we generated out first list of FAQs and posted those on our website,” said Herman.

Erickson says he hopes their efforts kept everyone calm. “One of the lessons that we learned through this and through every emergency is communication is key,” he said.

Herman says one of the biggest takeaways from the situation brings attention to the importance of having student health services on campus. It provides students access to healthcare and a place where they can come ask questions about health concerns including coronavirus risks.