Pfeiffer quarantines dorm due to COVID-19

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2020

By Charles Curcio

MISENHEIMER — The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected North Carolina since March, has reached Pfeiffer University.

In an email obtained by The Stanly News & Press, Pfeiffer President Dr. Scott Bullard stated Pfeiffer officials were notified last Thursday that a student on the Misenheimer campus tested positive for the virus. The student is under quarantine and was no longer on campus as of Aug. 19.

The email stated students in the residence hall in question who test positive will be quarantined for 14 days and have their symptoms monitored.

Bullard said via phone Tuesday the Pfeiffer website would track cases of COVID-19. A visit to stated as of Friday two active cases existed at the school.

“Those in quarantine will monitor symptoms and receive a test for COVID-19 as recommended by health officials. Students must receive a negative test result after the quarantine period and before returning to general campus activity … a total of 20 students are now in quarantine,” the email stated.

The email stated the school will work with the Stanly County Health Department and Atrium Health with contact tracing “to determine the potential risk of exposure.”

The email said the student who tested positive “never attended a class in person.”

“We’ve always proceeded with the assumption that it’s not if there would be a positive case at Pfeiffer but when,” Bullard said. “We are proceeding in accordance with our return to campus safely plans.”

Bullard said the individual who had notified officials of the positive test was quarantined.

“I think it’s kind of a non-event in the students’ eyes,” he said. “There has been very little reaction.”

Bullard said students have been socially distancing and wearing masks.

Bullard said he wants parents to know “we are following our policies that anyone who has been exposed to this individual already knows.”

Casey Habich, director of marketing and communications for Pfeiffer, confirmed the email had been sent out and added the students in quarantine have not had any symptoms as of Tuesday.

All students, he said, including those in the quarantined hall, are using the LiveSafe app to report daily on whether they have symptoms.

Habich said more than half of the classes are online, with others using a hybrid method of in-person and online instruction to keep class sizes smaller.

The second positive case, he said, was a staff member who was around few other staff members. The staff member and those around the individual are in quarantine.