USF Tampa residential housing employee tests positive for COVID-19

USF has seven known COVID-19 cases listed on its website as of April 9. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

The most recent positive COVID-19 case at USF comes from a student who is employed in Housing and Residential Education.

Student Health Services (SHS) Director Joseph Puccio sent an email to the remaining campus residents on April 9 at around 9 p.m.

The case was silently listed on the USF coronavirus website this morning, according to university spokesperson Adam Freeman. 

The email said the student is self-isolating at a location off campus to properly meet the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). 

Since students have left their dorms, only about 350 remain in the residential halls out of the 6,300 that were originally living there before, according to Assistant Dean and Director of Residential Education Julie Leos. 

The FDOH “continues to investigate” people who may have been in direct contact with the student. 

“FDOH is providing these individuals with guidance and will be monitoring them while they continue their investigation to determine if any other USF student or employee had direct contact with this individual,” Puccio said in the email. 

Puccio said an “external company” specializing in sanitation will be brought in to thoroughly clean the spaces that the student was in. 

Even if students are in low-risk environments, Puccio advises everyone to still pay close attention to their health by social distancing, getting rest, maintaining proper nutrition and practicing good hand hygiene. 

“We sincerely wish our student, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery,” Puccio said. 

If students are not showing COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in direct contact with a positive case, they cannot be tested. 

However, if a student believes they have been exposed, it is suggested to self-isolate for at least seven to 14 days and contact a medical provider at SHS.


Student Health Services:

  • Tampa Student Health Services (SHS100) at 813-974-2331
  • St. Pete Wellness Center (SLC 2200) at 727-873-4422
  • Sarasota-Manatee Counseling and Wellness Center (5805 Bay Shore Rd.) at 941-487-4254