UPDATE: ULM becomes ghost town after student test positive for COVID-19

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UPDATE (5:00 PM)– After news of the first ULM student testing positive from COVID-19, we went to see what the campus is like, and for what is usually a very busy university it has turned into a ghost town.

Saturday the University of Louisiana at Monroe confirmed one of its students tested positive for COVID-19.

“If I’m being honest, it was kind of expected. I know a lot of people are not necessarily taking it very seriously,” said Elizabeth Williams, senior at ULM.

The campus is now closed to the general public and only students with permission are allowed to stay. For senior Elizabeth Williams, this is a weird situation she never saw coming in her 5 years at ULM.

“Even just walking outside I notice that there is no one around. We’re use to parking being pretty packed, so not having anyone around is definitely an adjustment,” said Williams.

Despite the new normal, Williams says she will be staying on campus as it was easier than packing up and going home. She says she still hopes she can walk across the graduation stage on May 16th.

“You always look forward to walking at least for college, high school is one thing, but your degree is another. So it’s kind of sad.”

Williams says she’s not worried about the virus spreading to her dorm because she’s following all the mandated rules, like washing your hands, social distancing, and staying put.

“They did tell us that the appropriate people will be notified if they were in that resident’s hall or not. So were just kind of waiting to see if they were near us I guess,” said Williams.

Monroe, La (03-28-2020)–The University of Louisiana Monroe has confirmed that one of its students has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement emailed Saturday to students, faculty and staff members, President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., said the student was a resident of on-campus housing and has checked out of the residence hall. The student is self-isolating at home with mild symptoms. Public health officials have been notified and are taking appropriate action.

ULM has taken a number of steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • All classes moved fully to online learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • All residential students are strongly encouraged to move out by Sunday, May 29.
  • Any remaining students who were granted permission to stay on campus because of individual circumstances remain in their residences as much as possible and adhere to social distancing best practices.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols are being implemented by custodial services.
  • Shultz Dining Hall is serving boxed, take-out meals only.
  • All but essential employees are working remotely.
  • Campus is closed to the general public.

Dr. Bruno’s full statement follows:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I am saddened to report that one of our students has a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

While we expected to eventually learn of a case, we had continued to hope that would not occur. I wish the student the quickest of recoveries and thank our local public health officials for their response to this case. 

This is the University’s first confirmed case of the virus.

This student was a resident of on-campus housing and has checked out of the residence hall. The student is self-isolating at home with mild symptoms.

Public health officials have been notified and are taking appropriate action.

ULM will continue to be vigilant and urge our campus and surrounding communities to follow the directions given by our governor and public health officials. 

Everyone should remember:  1) stay home if possible 2) practice social distancing with at least 6 feet between individuals 3) cover coughs and sneezes 4) wash hands for at least 20 seconds 5) clean all “high touch” surfaces frequently  

If you have the following symptoms, please contact your health care professional. 

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath

We will continue to keep all of you informed through updates on the University’s COVID-19 website, email, and across official social media platforms.

Moving forward, any additional confirmed cases from our ULM community will be posted on our website, ulm.edu/coronavirus.  

I thank you for your understanding and resilience during this unprecedented time.



Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D.


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