UM confirms no known coronavirus cases at this time after scare in dorms

The University of Miami faced a coronavirus scare Friday evening after a student at Pearson Residential College called 911, reporting that his roommate had the coronavirus.

Photos and videos circulated around the UM community of Coral Gables Fire Rescue officers in hazmat suits escorting a student on a gurney out of Pearson floor five.

Men in hazmat suits were spotted removing a student from Pearson floor 5 on Friday, March 6 at around 8:30 p.m.
Men in hazmat suits were spotted removing a student from Pearson floor 5 on Friday, March 6 at around 8:30 p.m.

The unidentified student was transported to a nearby hospital where medical professionals checked him for the coronavirus, according to a message sent out by the university Friday, March 6 at 10:36 p.m. First responders assessed the student while wearing protective gear, but quickly determined that the student did not have the coronavirus, the message said.

Before members of the UM community were made aware of this, messages and posts were shared in group chats and on Snapchat as students feared the coronavirus had made it to campus.

Will Neugebauer, a sophomore majoring in marine sciences and biology, lives just a few doors down from the student who was escorted out. He was in his dorm at the time and said he heard the responders in the hall. Afterwards, his suitemate showed him a video of what was going on. Neugebauer said he was worried at first about contracting the coronavirus as he had seen the student walking around his floor a lot.

“I stayed in my room after the situation and didn’t want to really leave until there was a confirmation of the situation from the university,” Neugebauer said.

Neugebauer’s suitemate, Jacob Skedzuhn, said that he was opening up his door to go meet up with a friend when he saw three men in hazmat suits taking the student away just two doors down from him.

“It was pretty unsettling seeing it happen, but when I heard that he wasn’t sick I was fine,” said Skedzuhn, a sophomore majoring in marketing. After the student was returned to campus from the hospital, Skedzuhn said he saw him walking around normally the following day.