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COVID-19 Update March 14

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community,

With compassion and concern for our campus community and region at the forefront of our hearts and minds, I write to give you the latest updates.

Two SLU students were tested late last night for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Those test results are pending. We hope to have those results in the coming days. After providing care and support for our students, we will inform you, our campus community.

At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Saint Louis University. Missouri’s Department of Health & Senior Services continues to share statewide testing information here.

These students returned last night from a country listed by the Centers for Disease Control with a Level 3 Avoid Non-essential Travel notice. While driving back to St. Louis, one of the two students started to experience multiple symptoms typical of a virus, and immediately called SLU’s Student Health Center. They were instructed to report to SLU Hospital for evaluation, in coordination with our medical team at SLU Hospital. Both students were then tested, despite only one showing symptoms, because of their close, constant proximity to one another.

The students are remaining in isolation in their off-campus residence.

SLU’s Student Health Center staff members have been checking in on our students, making sure their needs are being met. The student experiencing virus-like symptoms continues to do well, and we are heartened that our medical providers deemed it appropriate for this student to isolate at home.

The University’s work related to COVID-19 is guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health agencies. Should either student test positive for COVID-19, these public officials would take appropriate steps to communicate with anyone with whom these students may have interacted with during their travels.

Our students responded just as they should have. They never came onto our campus, and they continue to comply with the requests of all health care providers. We commend and appreciate their care and concern for our greater SLU and St. Louis community.

I will tell you that what these students need is privacy, and we intend to do everything we can to maintain that and support them, while making sure we are following public health best practices.

As we gathered additional information today, we collaborated with our health, civic and education partners. We continue to take guidance from public health experts both at SLU and in our community to ensure that we are giving these students – and all Billikens – as much information possible to take care of themselves and others.

As an institution, we continue to fulfill our mission of care and concern for the whole person. As I said in many of my messages to you the past few days, this is tough, but the faith we have in our community will sustain us.

Please continue to support and care for one another. That is a defining and enduring characteristic of our Catholic, Jesuit university.

Thank you for all you do for Saint Louis University. Continue to reference SLU’s COVID-19 website for more information and updates. And please take care.


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Previous Updates to the SLU Community