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Jenkins tests positive for COVID-19

| Friday, October 2, 2020

This report was updated Oct. 3 at 11:19 a.m.

University President Fr. John Jenkins tested positive for the coronavirus, Paul J. Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, said in an email Friday.

Jenkins has been self-quarantining since his trip to the White House on Saturday for the Supreme Court nomination of Notre Dame law professor Judge Amy Coney Barrett where he was seen without a mask.

Browne said Jenkins learned earlier this week a colleague whom he regularly associates with tested positive for the virus. Jenkins was then tested and received a positive result. As a result, he has entered an extended period of isolation.

“My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home,” Jenkins said in the email. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”

Barrett tested negative for the virus, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said Friday.

“Judge Barrett is tested daily for COVID-19 — she has tested negative,” Deere said. “She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings and frequently washes hands.”

Notre Dame student government released a statement Friday afternoon extending prayers to Jenkins and all other students, staff and faculty who are currently fighting COVID-19.

“Let us all remind ourselves that we must be vigilant and committed to doing our part in following all health and safety guidelines to ensure the safety of each other during this time,” the statement said.

G. Marcus Cole, dean of Notre Dame Law, sent an email to the law school community Friday evening, saying all who were in attendance at the Rose Garden event underwent daily testing before the news of positive cases broke.

“With the revelation of positive test results, each of us were asked to submit to more extensive testing today,” Cole said in the email. ”Please be assured that we take your safety very seriously. I know that you have each made extraordinary efforts to comply with the University’s Health and Safety protocols, and we will do what is necessary to honor your sacrifice and commitment.”

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