The University of Portland announced Jan. 16 that one of its staff members was diagnosed with the recently discovered “U.K. variant” strain of COVID-19. It is the first known case of the variant in Oregon. The staff member was already diagnosed with the coronavirus when it was discovered to in fact be the newly found and highly contagious strain.

The university reported that members in its community believed to have come into close contact with the infected staff member have been in quarantine since Jan. 11. As of press time, none of the people who came into contact with the infected person nor the infected staff member had developed symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The university has not received instruction from health authorities that go beyond what is advised with a normal COVID-19 case. Plans for prescheduled testing and campus move-in for spring semester are going forward as planned.

“Our robust testing protocols caught this infection early and worked as they should have. Our resources came together quickly to identify, isolate and care for this member of our U.P. community, and to address the possibility of further spread,” said Michael Lewellen, U.P.'s vice president for marketing and communications. “We remain confident in our COVID-19 planning and management strategies.”