At least 5 journalism students, staff self-quarantine after possible coronavirus exposure

A special team brought in by the Incident Response Unit of Facilities Management sanitizes one of the classrooms in Knight Hall, home of the University of Maryland's journalism school. A number of professors in the program are currently self-quarantined due to recent contact with individuals with COVID-19. (Julia Lerner/The Diamondback)

At least a handful of University of Maryland journalism faculty members and students are self-quarantining after attending a conference last week where one attendee tested presumptively positive for the coronavirus, according to an email sent this morning by the journalism school dean.

The individuals attended NICAR, a data journalism conference that was held in New Orleans from March 5 to 8, and many of them worked in the school’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and Capital News Service, based in Knight Hall.

Test results of the presumptively positive case have not been confirmed by the CDC, according to a release from Investigative Reporters and Editors.

But journalism dean Lucy Dalglish said in her email that a deep cleaning of certain classrooms would take place starting Wednesday.

Both the Capital News Service Newsroom and offices in the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism will be closed until they are thoroughly cleaned, she wrote.

The conference attendees were urged to “self-isolate” for 14 days, “out of an abundance of caution,” Dalglish wrote.

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