Messiah College receives first notification of a campus community member testing positive for COVID-19

Today President Kim Phipps sent the following email to all Messiah students and employees:

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Today, Messiah College received its first notification of a member of its campus community who has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is an employee who is in a higher health risk group. The employee’s spouse, who also works at the College, is currently symptomatic, has been tested for COVID-19, but has not yet received her test results. The employee who reported testing positive is currently under medical supervision in the hospital, and is receiving the care he needs. I ask that we pray as a campus for these community members’ rest, comfort and well-being during their recovery process.

The employee who tested positive was last confirmed to be on campus on March 18. Once notified that this employee had been tested off-campus for COVID-19, the Engle Center then followed the protocol that was previously communicated to our campus community:

    • When these individuals reported not feeling well and exhibited potential symptoms of COVID-19, they were tested—one off-campus and one at the Engle Center—and were asked by the Engle Center to make a list of all people with whom they had contact in the last two weeks.
    • When the Engle Center received notification this morning that the individual tested positive for COVID-19, the medical staff  made the appropriate notifications, including notifying—and providing instruction for—those with whom the employees have had contact. It is important to note: any student or employee who is believed to have had contact with this employee and his spouse has already been notified and been provided  instruction by the Engle Center.
    • The spouse has now been directed to follow self-quarantine/isolation practices for no less than 14 days and/or until symptoms of the virus are completely resolved.

As an important reminder, ensuring the anonymity of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 is important. If you are aware of these campus community members’ identity, please respect their privacy so they can focus completely on their health and recovery.

To date, the College is unaware of any other members of the Messiah community who have tested positive for COVID-19. If there are any future confirmed positive cases, the Engle Center would continue to make appropriate notifications to impacted individuals via the above protocol.

Messiah College leadership is dedicated to caring for the public health of its campus and surrounding community. Any college employee or student who has tested positive for COVID-19 via an external medical provider should additionally notify the Engle Center with complete confidentiality by emailing Betsey Miller at bamiller@messiah.edu, or by calling 717-691-6035, so that we may continue to monitor and ensure the health of our broader campus community.

May we all continue to care for and support each other with Messiah’s proven spirit of gracious and generous Christian community.

Warmest regards,

Kim Phipps, president