The president of Harvard University has tested positive for COVID-19

By Elizabeth Segran

In an email to the Harvard community, Larry Bacow, Harvard’s president, says he and his wife, Adele, have both tested positive for COVID-19. On Sunday, they experienced their first symptoms, which included fevers, chills, and muscle aches. On Monday they were tested, and on Tuesday they received the results of the test. They’re among a growing number of high-profile people who have tested positive for the illness in recent days, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and actor Idris Elba.

Bacow explains in the email that he does not know how he and his wife contracted the virus, so this is a case of community spread. Since March 14, the couple have limited their contact with other people as part of the state’s recommendation to adopt social distancing measures. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will begin contact tracing, to see if they may have transmitted the virus to anyone else. Bacow and his wife are resting and recuperating at home and will begin a two-week period of quarantine.

Bacow and his team decided to ask students to evacuate their dorms and not return after spring break, which ended this past Sunday.


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