First FAU student tests positive for coronavirus, graduation canceled

On Tuesday, FAU and the Florida Board of Governors announced that FAU has its first case of coronavirus, classes will remain online for the rest of the semester and graduation has been canceled.

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FAU's graduation has been canceled due to coronavirus, and the first positive case has been reported at FAU. Photo by Alexander Rodriguez.

Kristen Grau, Editor in Chief

The Florida Board of Governors, the governing body for most major public Florida universities, announced Tuesday that FAU is required to move its classes online for the remainder of the semester and cancel its spring graduation ceremony.

The first case of coronavirus was also confirmed Tuesday, President John Kelly announced via email. The student is non-residential and “did not interact with other FAU students, faculty or staff,” the Florida Department of Health confirmed, according to the announcement. It is not clear if the student’s case is travel-related. 

“I sincerely wish this student, and all those affected, a full and rapid recovery,” Kelly’s email reads. “This is the first time the university has been informed that anyone associated with FAU has tested positive for this coronavirus.”

It’s not clear how or when graduation will take place. Kelly’s announcement said, “each university will develop alternate schedules or methods of delivery for these commencement ceremonies.”

Student body President Kevin Buchanan said Student Government is not yet considering alternative forms of graduation. 

“[SG is] listening to everything being told by the university as well as the Board of Governors,” he said. “But I’ll be pushing the university to make a plan for there to be one for us later when it is safe to recommend to.”

The decision to move classes entirely online comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a press conference on Tuesday that four University of Florida students tested positive for the coronavirus, according to UF’s student newspaper.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there are nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Palm Beach County and 43 in Broward County as of publication time. 

Kristen Grau is the editor-in-chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @_kristengrau.