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Facts not fear: 12 UT students moved to separate residence hall as precaution; none showing COVID-19 symptoms

This is out of an abundance of caution and to follow CDC recommendations, based only on their travel history. None of the students are exhibiting symptoms, UT said.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A group of international students is being housed together inside a University of Tennessee residence hall as an abundance of precaution related to the Coronavirus. According to UT, none of the students have any symptoms related to COVID-19.

We requested details behind the university's decision as a way to help understand what's being done locally to keep communities safe and ease fears.

On March 3, the group of 12 students arrived from Japan for a five-month English language immersion program. 

Before they arrived, the university said it was monitoring guidance from the CDC. This included communication with the host university to ensure none of the traveling students had any symptoms that could be COVID-19. 

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None of the students had or have any symptoms, according to UT officials.

On March 4, the Tennessee Department of Health told officials about new CDC recommendations for travelers from CDC Level 2 countries, like Japan, where the students were traveling from, asking that they limit contact with others for 14 days.

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That's when UT said it relocated these students to Laurel Hall, where they could limit contact to just each other until the 14 day period is completed. 

UT said during the 14-day period, the students are avoiding interaction with others on campus. They have their own areas to live, study, and meet. Meals are delivered to them so they do not use common eating areas. UT is also providing a dedicated laundry service and transportation for them as needed.

This is out of an abundance of caution and to follow CDC recommendations, based only on their travel history. None of the students are exhibiting symptoms, according to UT officials.

The university has an FAQ guide on its website to address any concerns.

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