Exclusive: Tulane student quarantined on campus for possible coronavirus infection

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New Orleans – When 20 year-old Lauren Flowers went to Tulane University’s health clinic feeling sick on Wednesday, it was the start of a “strange” saga of isolation and frustration.

The next day, the University told all 4,100 on-campus students to move out– including Lauren’s three roommates– but told Lauren to stay in her dorm room, alone.

Tulane University didn’t tell students– or the general public– that the University believed Lauren might have the coronavirus. In fact, when Tulane University President Mike Fitts made the announcement that on-campus housing would end, he didn’t mention that the University had already quarantined Lauren, waiting for the result of a coronavirus test by a private lab.

President Fitts declined to talk to WGNO about Lauren’s case, and Tulane University Communications Director Michael Strecker told us that Lauren was “voluntarily isolated.”

Strecker also said that Lauren was “free to leave… not under lock and key.”

But Lauren said the University told her not to leave her room or have visitors except for a university nurse in protective clothing who delivered her meals.

After three days of isolation– and after WGNO’s report aired Friday night– Lauren says the University doctor told her this weekend that her test was negative. She plans to leave Monday, March 16, when her parents come to take her back to Chicago.

See what it was like for Lauren in isolation, in our exclusive report above.


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