JMU News

Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in the JMU Community


On March 19, James Madison University officials were made aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a JMU student.

The Virginia Department of Health is managing the case, identifying and reaching out to individuals who may have been in contact with the student and informing them of their need to isolate. The individual lives off campus, and recently traveled overseas. The travel was personal, and not university-sponsored through one of JMU’s international programs. The student was not treated at the University Health Center, and is self-isolating in a location off campus. We wish our student well in the weeks ahead and hope for their quick recovery. 

James Madison University has taken unprecedented, responsible measures to protect public safety and limit exposure to our community, including moving classes online through the spring semester, encouraging telecommuting for employees when possible, closing all of our international programs through the summer, and cancelling or postponing all on-campus events through May 15, regardless of size.

At JMU, we care deeply for each other, and for members of the greater Harrisonburg community. In these difficult times, it is the finest tradition of the JMU family to come together in support and solidarity. Please continue to visit for updates, or email with questions.

The Virginia Department of Health recommends that everyone follow these COVID-19 prevention practices:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% – 95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • If you are sick, stay home and rest, even if illness is mild.
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid in-person gatherings of 10 or more people
  • Those 65 years of age and older are encouraged to self-quarantine

People are also encouraged to practice social distancing. Social distancing means remaining out of:

  • Public places where close contact with others may occur (such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums).
  • Workplaces (unless the person works in an office space that allows distancing from others).
  • Schools and other classroom settings.
  • Local public transportation (such as on a bus, subway, taxi, ride share, plane, ship)

It is very important that people with even mild signs of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath) stay home to prevent spreading illness to others. Even those with mild illness could pass the infection to others.

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Published: Thursday, March 19, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022

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