Wiley College announced on Thursday a positive COVID-19 testing of faculty member.

“We learned that a member of our campus community who is a faculty member has tested positive for COVID-19,” Wiley College President, Dr. Herman J. Felton Jr. said in a letter addressed to the staff.

When asked if this case was related to Harrison County’s announcement of yesterday’s first confirmed positive test, County Judge Chad Sims confirmed that it’s still only one confirmation from Harrison County.

“As county judge, I get immediate notifications when there is a confirmed positive,” he told the News Messenger Friday. “We only got one confirmation for Harrison County. There is no second confirmed case in the county.”

Felton said they learned of the positive status on Thursday afternoon. He said the college has been in direct contact with the faculty member to offer support during recovery.

“Consistent with the protocols for infectious disease response, anyone identified within our campus community as being at risk of exposure from this individual will be notified if they need to be isolated or tested,” said Felton.

“We understand this news may heighten anxiety and create concern among members of our community,” he said. “Wiley College is closely monitoring the worldwide situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Felton said it is important to note that each area of the campus will be deep cleaned and sanitized. He noted that the college underscores the directives from the Centers of Disease Control regarding those who have possibly been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Directives for employees to follow include:

  • Self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days
  • If symptoms are present at any time, self-isolate and contact a healthcare professional immediately.
  • Let your healthcare professional know that there has been exposure to someone with COVID-19 so that you can be tested, if warranted.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID19, please email Dr. Howard O. Gibson, Vice President for Academic Affairs, at hogibson@wileyc.edu and Dr. Brandon K. Dumas, Vice President for Student Affairs, at bkdumas@wileyc.edu.

Felton said because this is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on the campus, he wanted to personally inform employees. He said he’ll update information on the college’s website in the event additional cases are diagnosed.

“Every decision we make is guided by our highest priority of protecting the health and safety of our Wildcat family and global communities,” said Felton. “We will continue to make every effort to support our employees and students during this healthcare pandemic.”