Southwest Tennessee Community College closes entire building after possible coronavirus exposure

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Southwest Tennessee Community College has closed an entire building at its Union Avenue campus after a possible exposure to coronavirus.

The school posted a message on Facebook overnight saying two radiologic technology students may have been exposed while working at Baptist Memorial Hospital. That’s the same hospital where someone is being treated for the virus.

The students attended some classes at the Allied Health building, possibly putting others at risk.

As a precaution that building will be closed until next Wednesday to give custodians a chance to do a thorough cleaning.

Students are currently on spring break.

Southwest Tennessee Community College released the following statement:

The safety of Southwest Tennessee Community College students, faculty, staff and visitors is a priority and the College is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and following protocols as set forth in our emergency response plan.

The Shelby County Health Department yesterday announced the first patient in Shelby County to test positive for the coronavirus. Earlier today, they notified two Southwest Radiologic Technology students that they were exposed to the patient while performing their clinical rotation at Baptist Memorial Hospital – Memphis. The students have been instructed to self-quarantine and not return to rotations or classes until March 18 if they are symptom-free, which is 14 days after their initial exposure to the infected patient.

Unfortunately, these two students were unaware of their exposure last week and attended classes in the Allied Health Building on the Union Avenue Campus Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. While the risk of the spread of infection to other students as a result of this is low, out of the abundance of caution, the College is closing the Allied Health Building only through March 18 to provide our custodial services staff an opportunity to perform a deep cleaning of the building, paying particular attention to the radiologic technology classrooms, laboratories and equipment. The cleaning will comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Southwest continues to vigilantly monitor and respond to new information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Our priority is the health and safety of the Southwest community and public at large. Regular updates are provided to all stakeholders and the College has launched a coronavirus website that serves as an information hub to the campus community and beyond.

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