The Butler County Health Department asked about 10 Miami students to self-quarantine after they returned from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington D.C., where, according to The Times of Israel, five attendees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
This measure comes just a day after the university announced it is eliminating face-to-face classes in favor of remote instruction. Miami is also canceling gatherings of more than 50 people.
At the AIPAC conference, no one was showing symptoms of coronavirus, but five people tested positive afterward, The Times of Israel reported. The annual conference had about 18,000 attendees.
Marcy Miller, executive director of Hillel at Miami, said to her knowledge the Miami students didn’t come into direct contact with the individuals who tested positive for the virus.
The conference lasted from Feb. 28 to March 2. After returning from the conference, the students received a letter from the Butler County Health Department asking them to remain at home as a precaution. Miller said the self-quarantine will last until March 17.
It’s unclear exactly when the self-quarantine began and if students attended classes beforehand.
The self-quarantine was a precautionary measure, and the students are not being tested for the virus, said Carole Johnson, interim director for university news and communications. The five people who tested positive are not Miami students, and there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Butler County.
“In this atmosphere, people are exposed to all kinds of things on a regular basis, and they’re just taking extra special precautions,” Miller said. “We all felt that it was in the interest of the individuals who attended and the interest of all those they may come into contact with to be responsible citizens.”