College town on edge as coronavirus uncertainty lingers at Miami University of Ohio

Miami University students have been seen wearing face masks amid a Coronavirus scare
Miami University students have been seen wearing face masks amid a Coronavirus scare(WOIO)
Updated: Jan. 30, 2020 at 3:37 PM EST
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OXFORD, Ohio (WOIO) - As Miami University of Ohio awaits test results for two students who possibly have Coronavirus, the city of Oxford is on edge.

“People are talking about it, and some people are scared,” said Monica Baxter, who lives in the southern Ohio college town and proudly works at the university. “(People) don’t know exactly what effects (it has), if it’s just like a super strong flu or how lethal it could be.”

Baxter says she hasn’t personally changed much about her daily routine, other than perhaps a few extra hand washings.

But her Thursday morning downtown walking partner and fellow Miami University employee, Nicolette Utsinger, is taking extra precautions, notably wearing a face mask.

“This is an extreme precaution. I have kids with compromised immune systems so I would just rather air on the side of caution.”

She, like just about everyone else either within the Oxford or campus community, is awaiting test results of the two international students who are in isolation after traveling to China.

Even visitors are aware of the situation.

Tim Cole, of Elyria, was visiting his nephew.

“I don’t know whether I need to be concerned yet or not,” he said. “Is it going to be as bad as what we’ve seen in the past? I don’t know if it’s blown out of proportion yet. All of that kind of has me in a closed-up mode that says, ‘Hey, until I see it happening, I don’t believe it’s as bad as they say.’”

But even his skepticism wanders.

“Now, I don’t know what happens if you get in middle of 10,000 people shoulder-to-shoulder and someone sneezes. You can’t control that!"

Test results could be returned by the end of this week.

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