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Catholic University of America's president tests positive for coronavirus


John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America in Washington, announced March 19, 2020, that he has tested positive for coronavirus. (CNS photo/courtesy of The Catholic University of America)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The president of The Catholic University of America said March 19 that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

John Garvey said in a news release that he began what sounded like a self-imposed quarantine March 13, had symptoms and then was tested. Those are the recommendations health care professionals in the U.S. have suggested.

"Today I received word that my test result is positive. Jeanne will be tested today," he said, referring to his wife. "I no longer have any symptoms, but I could still be carrying the virus. They will advise me on when I may end my self-isolation in accord with the latest CDC guidelines."

He said has told others with whom he's had contact recently about the results.

"The general guidelines are that if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, then you are to self-quarantine for 14 days since your last contact," he said.

He advised those who have "symptoms of the virus" -- fever over 100.4 degrees, coughing and shortness of breath -- to "please call your health care provider immediately."

"This news may be concerning to many on campus," he said. "We have been taking every precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks, including moving all classes online, shutting down our residence halls for the semester, canceling all athletics games and practices, and giving broad permissions for employees to work from home."

He thanked others for their prayers and concern as he waited for the results.

Garvey became the 15th president of the university in 2010 and is a columnist for Catholic News Service.

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