OU study-abroad student tests positive for COVID-19


ATHENS, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 3/25/20 6 P.M.

On Ohio University student involved in a study-abroad program has tested positive for the coronavirus after returning to the school's campus, the university said in a news release on Wednesday.

President Duane Nellis said health officials in the student's home county confirmed the positive test.

"Our student reported that they developed symptoms while abroad and were confirmed to have the virus on March 24," Nellis said. "Our student reported that they briefly returned to their off-campus residence in Athens where they could self-isolate while awaiting test results but has since returned to their permanent county of residence to continue self-isolation with the support of their family."

The name of the student and where he or she studied overseas is not being released.

Nellis said the school is working with local public health officials to investigate any interaction the student might have had with faculty members, staff or students.

Those known to have been in recent contact with the student have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact, per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

The university made the decision to end all study away programs and travel experiences on March 12, and students were asked to return to the United States no later than March 20.


Ohio University announced Wednesday that its spring commencement ceremonies have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Events had been planned for May 1 and 2 at all of the university's regional campuses.

"When it is safe for our University community to come together again, we will immediately begin planning a postponed commencement celebration and will notify our graduates and our entire community as plans are developed," President Duane Nellis said in a news release. "The decision to postpone was made in the best interest of our graduating students and our entire university community and in alignment with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of this disease."

For more information about the university's responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, click on the link to the right of this story.