University officials confirm first case of COVID-19 on campus

The Oakland University Police Department (OUPD) has reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus.

The infected individual is a university staff member and has not visited campus since Wednesday, March 25. According to a statement from OUPD, faculty, staff and students who have been in direct contact with the staff member have been notified and given proper medical attention.

Although an official statement did not come from OUPD until Saturday, April 4, a video message from University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz released the previous day acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic had already affected members of the campus community.

“It really should come as no surprise that our OU family has also already been impacted,” Pescovitz said. “I have learned already that our family, the Oakland University family, has already been impacted. And what I mean by that is, that we know that we have members of our community who have already become ill with the COVID-19 virus, and members of their families have already died.”

Pescovitz further acknowledged the importance of showing support to the members of the campus community who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I want to now extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to those members of our extended OU community who have had losses,” she said. “Our hearts ache for you, and we are so sorry. And if there is anything at all that we can do, we want to reach out to you and let you know that we are together as one community, and we want to embrace you, and we’re there to comfort you as a general community.”

In the past month, administration has taken several courses of action to minimize the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic on campus, including the suspension of face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the semester and the closure of all university housing facilities. Last week, university officials announced plans for a COVID-19 relief fund and established The Engagement And Mobilization (TEAM) to provide aid to individuals affected by the virus.

OU has since opened up Hillcrest Hall, which houses 750 beds, to healthcare providers from Beaumont and Ascension to assist with the overwhelming number of coronavirus cases impacting local hospital systems.

“We care about the health of our people, both the physical health and the emotional health, and the health of our economy,” she said, before hailing frontline workers, volunteers and members of the OU community as heroes.

The statement from OUPD encourages members of the campus community to continue practicing social distancing and other recommended preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus.

For more information on the university’s COVID-19 response measures, visit or email [email protected].