NEW HAVEN — A student from China who attended a Yale University event last week has tested negative for the coronavirus, according to the university.
"We can now report that the student’s test result for 2019-nCoV has come back negative,” Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said in an email Friday. "We have shared this happy outcome with the student, their teammates and their advisors."
City, state, Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital staff had been checking in with each other daily as they awaited word on whether the student had the coronavirus, according to city Health Director Maritza Bond.
"We have just received information from the State Department of Public Health that the student participating in the Yale Model United Nations program has tested negative for coronavirus after lab testing with the Center[s] for Disease Control and Prevention," Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement.
"As a reminder, this is the flu season, and we all need to take preventative measures to reduce the spread of germs and respiratory virus. Our Health Department will continue to stay in communication with the State Department of Public Health regarding the coronavirus."
The statement said the Elicker administration will continue to communicate on an ongoing basis to ensure the city is on top of any potential issues related to the coronavirus.
Gov. Ned Lamont said in an email he had participated in a conference call with all governors to coordinate a national response with the White House.
"We want to make sure we are providing all of the most recent information to Connecticut residents so they are aware of ongoing developments as this global health concern continues," Lamont said in a statement. "We ask that people not panic, but take possible symptoms seriously. The CDC is advising that many of the symptoms reflect those that we usually see when someone has the flu. If you experience any of these symptoms, please get treated sooner rather than later."
Renée Coleman Mitchell, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, said in a statement that the Model U.N. student testing negative for coronavirus "is good news for Connecticut." A student at Wesleyan University also tested negative earlier this month.
"We continue to be vigilant and coordinate a proactive response with local health and medical providers across the state," she said. "We are also in the height of flu season and we recommend residents take extra person precautions to avoid spreading the flu."
Canceled exchange trip
Also, a group of students from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, has canceled its exchange visit to New Haven during next week's lunar new year break because of the coronavirus outbreak.
David Youtz, president of the Yale-China Association, an independent nonprofit that promotes ties between the two countries, said Friday the Chinese students let him know about 10 days ago they would be unable to come.
"We totally understand because all exchanges and all nonessential travel began to be cut off a week or so ago," Youtz said. "As wonderful and important as exchanges are, we are nonessential."
A trip to Guangzhou by group of Yale students during spring break, which starts March 6, is uncertain. "I think it is still in the pending category, not quite official," Youtz said. "The situation is literally changing day to day, hour to hour."
Guangzhou is just north of Hong Kong, more than 600 miles south of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began. Both are in the eastern region of China.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory to Level 4, Do Not Travel status. The World Health Organization declared the viral outbreak a global emergency on Thursday.
More than 10,000 people have been infected worldwide in two months, and 213 have died from respiratory illnesses caused by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. American Airlines and Delta Airlines, along with British Airways, Lion Air and Seoul Air, have suspended all flights to China. United Airlines has reduced flights.
Youtz said the two groups develop the theme for their exchange visits each year. This year's theme is "Social Mobility and Knowledge Equity."
"These groups of students really end up bonding with each other," he said. "They learn a lot about the specific theme and projects. … They often visit each other’s homes." Other events, such as a trip to New York, also are included, he said.
According to the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, there will be a flight out of China "on or about Feb. 3." People with relatives or contacts who are trying to leave the country can go to https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn and click on “Health Alert” for instructions on information needed, including visa information.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.