Harvard University President Tests Positive For COVID-19

Harvard University’s president Lawrence S. Bacow and his wife, Adele Fleet Bacow, have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, he said Tuesday in a statement on the university website.

Bacow said he and his wife were tested on Monday, following symptoms over the weekend, and received the results a few minutes before he issued the statement. The couple’s symptoms included cough, followed by fever, chills and muscle aches.

Lawrence BacowLawrence Bacow

“Neither of us knows how we contracted the virus, but the good news—if there is any to be had—is that far fewer people crossed our paths recently than is usually the case,” said Bacow. “We began working from home and completely limiting our contact with others on March 14 in keeping with recommendations to adopt social distancing measures.”

Still, Bacow said that in line with standard protocols, the Department of Public Health will be in touch with anyone he and his wife have had close contact with over the past 14 days.

The Harvard president stressed the need for everyone to keep following health guidelines and to limit contact with others.

Bacow said he and his wife will be in isolation in their home for two weeks and “taking the time we need to rest and recuperate.”

University newspaper The Harvard Crimson said that as of Tuesday, 17 Harvard affiliates have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Harvard University Health Services.