MSU released the following statement Thursday [March 26] from Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter:
“Under the direction of Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum and senior administrators across the campus, MSU has during the COVID-19 national emergency maintained a commitment to keeping our students, faculty and staff as safe as possible,” said Salter. “One way that safety can best be accomplished is through offsetting rumor and gossip with factual and timely information. In an effort to maintain transparency in MSU’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, here’s our institution’s COVID-19 status as of Thursday, March 26, 2020.”
The university has one faculty member who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation. That individual visited their MSU office on March 16, prior to confirmation. An appropriate investigation took place, the university provided a professional sanitation of the affected office area and adjacent common facilities, and the individual is receiving appropriate medical care.
One staff member was confirmed positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation. The staff member was isolated at home prior to confirmation.
As previously reported, one MSU Extension employee in Pike County was confirmed positive for COVID-19, self-isolated and received medical attention. The Pike County office was professionally sanitized and temporarily closed.
One MSU student who has not been on campus since the beginning of Spring Break on March 9 was confirmed positive for COVID-19, and self-isolated at the individual’s family home. The university investigation into this case is ongoing.
One MSU student is hospitalized out-of-state with what is believed to be COVID-19. That student moved out of fraternity housing on March 18 and was asymptomatic. The fraternity has been notified and an investigation is underway into possible close contacts during the move-out. The student reported little to no contact with individuals during that time. The university will take appropriate sanitation and notification steps in keeping with Centers for Disease Control recommendations.
At least three other MSU employees are awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing. The university fully expects MSU-related confirmed cases to increase in the near term, as the CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health have warned all essential institutions will likely occur.