ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for an immediate investigation into the University of Maryland’s handling of an adenovirus outbreak last year that led to a student’s death and sickened dozens more.
In a letter to the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland Thursday, Hogan called reports university officials waited weeks to disclose confirmed and suspected cases of the virus “disturbing” and said a thorough investigation is necessary.
“University officials hold a higher responsibility to students, faculty and staff,” Hogan wrote. “There should never be a question as to whether the campus community will receive timely and accurate information, especially when it is an urgent matter of public safety. It should not take the death of a student for the university to alert families about an illness spreading through campus, whether it is a common cold or meningitis-like the university saw in 2014.”
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UMD student Olivia Paregol died November 18 after coming down with adenovirus.
On Nov. 2, Paregol went to the Health Center on campus with severe respiratory systems.
An investigative report by the Washington Post said the day before Paregol had gone to the Health Center, another student was hospitalized with what turned out to be adenovirus.
The university has previously defended its response to the outbreak, saying earlier this month in a statement, “we exceeded public health practices in the handling of adenovirus on our campus. Our approach to reporting, coordination with health officials, and communicating with our campus community exceeded CDC guidelines.”
“We feel they are 100 percent responsible for the ultimate outcome, and Olivia paid the price for their decision to put public relations before public health,” Paregol’s father said.