Student at Harper College in Palatine was not exposed to coronavirus, school now says

Human coronavirus causes respiratory infections and gastroenteritis. Image produced using high-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI) from an image taken with transmission electron microscopy. Viral diameter around 80-160 nm. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Officials at Harper College in Palatine say a student was never infected with the coronavirus, days after informing the Palatine college’s community in a letter that the school had “looked into a report that a Harper College student may have been exposed to coronavirus.”

The school’s president, Avis Proctor, informed students in a letter Thursday about the report that a student had possibly been exposed. But on Saturday, a school spokeswoman said the student in question had never had the virus.

“This student was not infected and at no time posed a risk to campus,” the college wrote in a letter posted to the school’s website. “Again, there are no confirmed cases of any infected Harper College students, faculty or staff.”

The school declined to comment further on how the student’s potential exposure had come to their attention, citing privacy laws.

“Public health officials have said the risk remains low in the United States,” the college wrote in the post.

The school advised students of recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other illnesses, like the flu, by washing hands frequently and staying home if they are sick.

A Chicago couple who contracted coronavirus were released from a Hoffman Estates hospital Friday and will be in home isolation, health officials have said. They are the only people in Illinois to have tested positive for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 800 people in China since it was identified in December.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is currently awaiting testing results for 21 people who may have been exposed to the virus tests, according to the department’s website. Twenty-six people in the state who have previously been tested have come back negative for the virus.