The Baltimore Sun reported on Monday that Dr. John Bessler, a professor at the Angeles Law School at the University of Baltimore, has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest and most deadly strain of the coronavirus. This makes the first confirmed case within the University of Baltimore.
“He is exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person,” writes his wife, U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar in a statement released earlier today. “Now he has pneumonia and is on oxygen but not on a ventilator.”
My husband has coronavirus. I love him & not being able to be by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease. So many are going through this & much worse. I pray for him & you & meanwhile I will do all I can to get help to the American people.https://t.co/fqQU6tA29r pic.twitter.com/SjyfdQxe1R— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) March 23, 2020
Members of the university community were notified about this case through an email from President Kurt Schmoke.
“The professor was last on campus on March 11. We are working to ensure that anyone on campus who was in contact with this person can take appropriate steps to self-isolate for a two-week period and stay alert for possible symptoms,” said Schmoke. Furthermore, he encouraged UB community members to “as much as possible, stay away from other people in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.”
Klobuchar writes that her husband quarantined after the earliest signs of symptoms. She has also stated that since they have been apart for two weeks and that since she is outside of the 14 day window, she will not be tested.
Students at the University of Baltimore are returning to classes being held online this week and for the remainder of the upcoming semester.
For anyone who may have been exposed, President Schmoke writes, ” Self-observation is an important first step. Be alert for symptoms. If you feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, you should take your temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or the local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.”
Leonard Robinson is editor-in-chief of the UB Post.