AUSTIN, Texas - UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves announced that his wife has tested positive for the coronavirus. A second member of his family, who works at UT Austin, is presumed to have COVID-19 as well.
"If you have had close contact with me or my family members or another person with COVID-19 and you are not exhibiting symptoms, we strongly recommend that you self-isolate starting today," UT President Fenves said in a letter addressed to the community. "You should continue to do so until it has been 14 days since your last contact. If you develop symptoms at any point, please contact your primary care physician or, for students, please contact University Health Services. If your symptoms are urgent, please call 911 or seek care immediately at your closest emergency facility."
"Last week, Carmel and I traveled to New York City for several events with alumni and students. We returned home on Saturday afternoon. After the trip, Carmel started exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms," President Fenves explained. "She tested negative for the flu yesterday and was then tested for COVID-19. This morning at 5:30 a.m., we received the news that she had tested positive. This news came several hours after local health officials had announced two other, separate cases in Travis County."
Earlier today, Austin Public Health had announced that it's received two presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County. The cases raised Austin Public Health's response to Phase 3 of its five-phase plan.
Phase 1: Persons Under Monitoring
Phase 2: Persons Under Investigation (Testing in Progress)
Phase 3: Confirmed Case (No Person-to-Person spread)
Phase 4: Limited Person-to-Person Spread (Close/Household Contacts)
Phase 5: Person-to-Person Spread in the Community
The University of Texas at Austin said it was canceling classes Friday, March 13 this morning and that essential personnel will be the only ones at work. The university had already announced that it's extending spring break and that it would be taking steps to switch classes to be online temporarily.