UT president’s wife tests positive for coronavirus

Hannah Williford

Editor’s note: This story is part of The Daily Texan’s coverage of how coronavirus concerns are affecting UT-Austin. Read the rest of our coverage here.

President Gregory Fenves’ wife tested positive for COVID-19 this morning.

As a result of the test, which came back positive at 5:30 a.m., Fenves and his wife Carmel Fenves, who works in the Office of the President, are in self-isolation, according to a statement sent out by Fenves this afternoon. Another Fenves family member who works at the University is presumed to have COVID-19 and is also in self-isolation. 

Fenves encouraged those who have been in contact with him or his family members to self-quarantine as well. 

“If you have had close contact with me or my family members or another person with COVID-19 and you are not exhibiting symptoms, we strongly recommend that you self-isolate starting today,” Fenves said in the statement. “You should continue to do so until it has been 14 days since your last contact.”

According to the statement, Carmel Fenves began experiencing mild flu-like symptoms after a trip to New York City for events with students and alumni last week, which the couple returned from Saturday. The cases are separate from the two cases that were presumed positive in Travis County early this morning. 

“Under normal circumstances, I would not describe the details of an individual’s illness,” Fenves said. “However, given the widespread impact of COVID-19, Carmel and I wanted to share this information with you so members of our community can take proper precautions.”

Fenves said Carmel Fenves and himself have created a list of people who they have been in contact with, and they will be reached out to by UT Health Austin nurses and screened.

Fenves said the University is working on ways to adjust to this situation and has been preparing.

“We had been anticipating that someone in Austin or at UT would test positive for COVID-19 in the coming days or weeks and, as you know, we will be making modifications for the rest of the semester,” Fenves said.