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Northeastern student tests positive for coronavirus

Rodrique Ngowi/Associated Press

A Northeastern University student has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first presumptive positive case at the university, officials said in a message to students and staff on Sunday evening.

The student, who was tested at a Boston-area hospital, has been in isolation in their off-campus housing since March 12, according to the message. City health officials are looking for people who may have been exposed to the virus since the student returned from spring break on March 9.

The result of the tests must be verified by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, a process that could take several days, officials said.

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“We realize that knowledge of this positive test will surely increase anxiety among the Northeastern community,” officials said. “This is understandable. A positive test result — presumptive or confirmed — underscores the need for the university to continue its swift and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The university, which enrolls about 22,000 students, announced on Wednesday that it would end in-person classes and move all instruction online, beginning Thursday.

Officials said all campus facilities and public spaces are being sanitized continuously.


Abigail Feldman can be reached at abigail.feldman@globe.com.