First case of COVID-19 confirmed in MIT community

Student who tested positive has returned home

An MIT student who left campus and returned home tested positive for COVID-19 March 19, according to an email from MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis ’90 today. MIT Medical learned of the positive case yesterday.

Stuopis wrote that MIT Medical is starting a public health investigation, including contacting the student, following up with their social circle “as warranted,” and “exchanging information with public health officials.” 

Additionally, MIT Medical will assess the likelihood of further spread and conduct ongoing monitoring of the situation, among “other steps,” Stuopis wrote.

The student “is receiving care and is responding well,” Stuopis wrote. MIT Medical will not release additional details “out of respect for the student’s medical privacy.” As of Stuopis’s email, “no other potential case” in the community has been linked to the student.

Stuopis wrote that if individuals are “not contacted by MIT Medical or the Cambridge Department of Public Health,” they “are not presumed to be at immediate risk.”

MIT Medical will record the number of known positive cases in the MIT community at but “will not send campus-wide notices about positive cases unless there is reason to do so,” Stuopis wrote.

“Cases continue to rise both locally and around the globe, and our MIT community will be affected, including people we know and care about personally,” Stuopis wrote. 

Stuopis wrote that “MIT Medical has restructured our operations to prepare for large numbers of sick patients, should that day come.”

Community members should continue to wash hands frequently, wipe down surfaces, avoid face-touching, cover coughs or sneezes with their arms and elbows, and practice social distancing, Stuopis wrote.

Community members concerned about symptoms should contact their personal health care provider, Stuopis wrote. In addition, community members should let MIT Medical know if they “are being tested or have tested positive for COVID-19” at 617-253-4865.

The Tech will continue to post live COVID-19 updates here.