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8/09/2021 - New COVID-19 cases reported to Caltech

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From: Jennifer Howes, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Wellness
Re: New COVID-19 cases reported to Caltech

Over the weekend, Student Wellness Services (SWS) learned that four members of the Caltech community have tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Two staff members were identified through community testing on August 4 and last accessed campus on July 27 and July 17, respectively.
  • A staff member at an off-campus facility was identified through community testing on August 7 and last accessed the facility on August 6.
  • A graduate student was identified through community testing on August 6 and last accessed campus on August 5.

The affected individuals are now isolating. In collaboration with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) and local health authorities, SWS will identify and notify anyone in the Caltech community who may have had close contact with these individuals. Anyone found to be at risk of exposure will be provided specific instructions for quarantining and isolation.

This brings the total number of reported COVID-19 cases among members of the Caltech campus community and off-campus facilities to 224 since March 2020. 

Caltech requires that any individual who is officially enrolled, employed, or managed by the Institute and who reports to or accesses campus facilities even on an occasional or one-day-a-week basis, including students, faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, staff members, and registered visitors and volunteers, submit proof of their fully vaccinated status with the COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation tool. All community members who have not yet reported their fully vaccinated status must participate in the Institute's updated surveillance testing program, which has shifted to a self-collection process that is facilitated through an on-site laboratory located in the Beckman Institute. Other visitors or external affiliates who are reporting to campus for work or other activities for a month or longer are encouraged but not required to participate in these protocols, and should contact their Caltech account or contract manager for further information.

It is imperative that all members of our community remain diligent in adhering to all preventative measures and county and city health orders that have been implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

The Institute's updated surveillance testing program is exploring collaborations with external resources for sequencing of any samples that screen positive for SARS-CoV-2. Such sequencing would provide the Institute with insight into the strains or variants of the virus that are present in our community. More information will be provided to the community when and if it is available.

The safety and well-being of Caltech's students, staff, and faculty is our top priority. All members of the Caltech community are asked to:

  • Notify SWS if you have been exposed to anyone with a positive test for COVID-19; 
  • Stay home if you are ill or have a fever; 
  • Submit proof of your vaccination status with the COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation application;
  • Participate in Caltech's surveillance testing program when you report to campus if you are not fully vaccinated or have not yet documented your fully vaccinated status with the Institute. This requirement extends to all community members who are officially enrolled, employed, or managed by the Institute and who report to or access campus facilities even on an occasional or one-day-a-week basis.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; and
  • Wear a face covering indoors.

More information about Caltech's response to the pandemic can be found on the Caltech Together coronavirus website. Reports of illness, testing metrics, and confirmed case counts can be found on a dedicated dashboard. Please note that JPL tracks COVID-19 cases separately and is not included in these data.