There have been no cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also known as the Wuhan coronavirus, on campus or in Santa Barbara County, according to Ali Javanbakht, UCSB Student Health’s interim executive director and medical director. 

Javanbakht, who sent out a campus-wide email Monday afternoon to quell concerns about the virus’s spread, emphasized that while there has been “much concern about potential cases on campus,” all inquiries have been “thoroughly assessed.” 

He said that Student Health is actively monitoring the situation but noted that because the university is in Week 4 of the quarter, students who have been on campus since the beginning of the quarter are “outside the time frame of concern and are quite likely to remain at lower risk.”

Symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, according to the Center for Disease Control

Individuals who have these symptoms and who have traveled to Wuhan, China within the past two weeks or have been in close contact with someone who was diagnosed in the past 14 days should “isolate themselves” and call Student Health, Javanbakht said in the email. 

The email comes after several UC Santa Barbara students posted on the UCSB subreddit ,r/UCSantaBarbara, among other social media platforms, late Sunday night with rumors that a Chinese international student living at Santa Catalina Residence Hall may have traveled to Wuhan, China over winter break and had developed a fever, sparking concern that the coronavirus had reached campus. Per Javanbakht’s email, there have been no confirmed cases in Santa Barbara County or on campus. 

As of Monday afternoon, nearly 3,000 people have contracted the virus, the New York Times reported. In China, 81 people have died after contracting the virus. 

More than 100 people in the United States are currently being evaluated for possible infection; five individuals in four states have tested positive for the virus so far and have been isolated to avoid spreading the virus. 

This article will be updated. 


Evelyn Spence
Evelyn Spence harbors a great love for em dashes and runs on nothing but iced coffee, Jolly Ranchers and breaking news. She serves as the managing editor and can be reached at, or at @evelynrosesc on Twitter.