WVU Starbucks temporarily closed following COVID-19 exposure


WVU students, faculty and staff are reminded to practice physical distancing and maintain good personal hygiene (frequent hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol). WVU Photo/Scott Lituchy

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University announced on Wednesday that the Starbucks at the Market @ UPlace has been temporarily closed after the university was notified on Tuesday evening of a COVID-19 exposure at the University Place storefront.

A release from the university stated that upon learning of the exposure, WVU immediately implemented its safety protocols and initiated a deep cleaning of the space. WVU is also working closely with the Monongalia County Health Department in its case investigation and contact tracing, according to the release.

The release noted that WVU’s dining facilities underwent significant changes prior to the start of the semester to enhance health and safety precautions, which includes plexiglass guards to create safe barriers in sale, service counters and any areas that require or encourage close interaction.

WVU officials said that as a result, anyone who visited the Starbucks location at the Market @ UPlace should self-monitor symptoms, but health officials said that potential exposure in this environment is minimal.

However, the release stated that this event underscored the importance for students and employees to follow the health and safety guidelines established, including those WVU set for quarantine and isolation. Additionally, students who feel the need to be tested should call WVU Student Health at 304-285-7200 to ensure that all University safety protocols are being followed. 

“We know that we’ll identify additional positive cases as we work to perform targeted testing of certain high-risk groups on campus,” said Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of Urgent Care and Student Health Services. “However, the rate and spread of infection can be minimized if individuals will quarantine until test results are received, wear a mask and stay physically distanced as much as possible.” 

The release stated that WVU has also been made aware of students who have broken their mandatory quarantine, which is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. WVU officials said that if asked to quarantine, students or employees should not report report to campus for work or class and should stay inside and away from people for a 14-day period.

Officials said it is critical for the safety of others that those in quarantine not be around others during this time. Those beginning to feel ill with symptoms of COVID-19 should call WVU Medicine Student Health, according to the release.

“If you are waiting for test results, it’s extremely important to follow quarantine protocol in order to minimize exposure to other people and to stop the spread of the virus,” Burrell said. “It’s also imperative for students to provide a local, Morgantown address at the time of testing and to notify Student Health of a positive test result obtained outside of WVU’s testing process to assist with contact tracing efforts.” 

The release stated that all students, faculty and staff are required to report a positive COVID-19 test result. Students should report a positive test to the CARE Team at 304-293-5611 or CAREteam@mail.wvu.edu. Employees should report a positive test to Medical Management at 304-293-5700 ext. 8 or MedicalManagement@mail.wvu.edu. Reporting this information will allow the University to offer support during the isolation period and begin contact tracing efforts, according to the release.

Additionally, all faculty, staff and students should participate in the daily wellness survey to help the University monitor COVID-19 infection rates and community spread.

“This is a critical time for our campus and the Morgantown community,” Rob Alsop, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, said. “It’s imperative we all do everything we can to mitigate the risk. Our ability to do that will determine what happens next. I want to emphasize that it is not good enough for 90% of us to follow our protocols. We all have to do so. Otherwise, it will be highly unlikely that we will be able to continue with an on-campus experience.” 

WVU will announce a reopening date for Starbucks at a later time. For more information, visit http://diningservices.wvu.edu and follow @WVUDining on Twitter. 

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