4 COVID-19 cases found to be connected to Truman

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are four confirmed positive COVID-19 cases connected to Truman State University’s campus, two of which involve students and two involve staff members.

Jim LeBaron, Adair County Health Department administrator, wrote in an email statement to The Index that the four cases, which involve a 19-year-old female, two 21-year-old females and a 64-year-old male, are associated with Truman. 

LeBaron stated that the University has been notified of the cases through Brenda Higgins, associate vice president for student health & wellness, and contact tracing is being conducted.

Travis Miles, director of public relations at Truman, said as of Monday, Aug. 17, he wasn’t aware the health department would start classifying cases by relation to higher education and wasn’t able to confirm positive cases on campus.

“This is uncharted territory, obviously,” Miles said. “I think we may be trying to figure out a plan of how that works in the future, as far as reporting.” 

Miles said the University and health department are still learning throughout the pandemic experience.

With classes having started on Monday, LeBaron said he expects a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“Yes, I do expect a spike in cases,” LeBaron wrote. “That said, I think Truman’s plan is well done considering we […] do not fully understand this virus. I am asking all students, whether they live [on] campus or in the community, to help us by using common sense when they shop or eat [and] drink locally. This means wearing masks when possible, social distancing and monitoring symptoms consistent with COVID-19. In addition, please stay home from school, work and leisure time in the community if you [are] feeling sick.”

There are currently 24 active cases of COVID-19 in Adair County with each individual in isolation. In 168 cases, individuals have recovered and left isolation. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Adair County stands at 192.