An out-of-state University of Southern Maine student is the first at the school to test positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in isolation as state health officials work to determine whether other students or staff have been infected, officials said Thursday.
Due to the isolated nature of the case — the student displayed no symptoms of the virus and was on USM’s Gorham campus only for testing — the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that no further quarantining of staff or students is necessary, USM President Glenn Cummings said in a statement.
“This is a good time to remember the point of asymptomatic testing: We actually want to find positive cases,” Cummings said Thursday. “That’s why we’re screening. While it may seem counterintuitive,
there’s great value in identifying people who are positive so we can then take measures to keep the virus from spreading within the USM community.”
The student lives in Maine but is not in a USM residence hall and is taking no on-campus classes at the Gorham campus this fall, officials said.
No other cases have been reported within the University of Maine System, including the University of Maine campus in Orono, as of Thursday. USM has campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston.
System-wide, more than 3,200 tests have been performed.