TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A Towson University professor stayed away from campus after they came in contact with a family member that was being tested for coronavirus.

That family member’s test results came back negative, the university confirmed Thursday afternoon.

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The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and the respiratory illness is spreading across the world.

The TU Health Center said in a campus update that the professor and the family member had both been evaluated by the Maryland Department of Health and determined that both were at low risk for the virus.

The professor hadn’t returned to campus since learning about the family member’s possible illness.


The university said the risk to the campus remains low, and have been told that taking extra precautions right now aren’t necessary.

“We appreciate that the professor reached out to us proactively, and we, out of an abundance of caution to our campus community, wanted all the relevant information that we’ve learned through the CDC, but we also wanted to be really clear and transparent taking care of our community in terms of safety first,” a TU spokesperson said.

Towson University does not have any students studying abroad in China this semester, and there is no study abroad programs in China for spring 2020. The university has suspended all university-related and sponsored travel to China until further notice.

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The university does have international students from China, the health center has reached out to them and asked them about their travels.

“So far, we have not received any information that is any concern to the CDC guidelines we’ve all received.” a TU spokesperson said.

One person in Maryland was being tested for the virus, but has tested negative. 

TU cannot confirm, neither have health officials, if the family member and the person in Maryland are the same case or separate cases.

The University of Maryland has also suspended its education abroad program in China for the spring semester.

All classes and events will still happen as scheduled, they said.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has reiterated to the state that people shouldn’t be immediately concerned, but they are taking the issue seriously.

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Health officials are preparing for possible cases.

Sean Streicher