skip to main content
Home  /  Updates  /  Case Updates  /  08/26/2021 - New COVID-19 case reported to Caltech

8/26/2021 - New COVID-19 case reported to Caltech

You may sign up to receive email notifications of each new positive COVID-19 case reported to Caltech Student Wellness Services.

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

In the past 24 hours, Student Wellness Services (SWS) has learned that one members of the Caltech community has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • An undergraduate student living in Caltech housing was identified through surveillance testing at SWS on August 26. The individual last accessed campus on August 26.

Please note that results from surveillance tests given to asymptomatic individuals take up to 48 hours to process. Individuals who participate in surveillance testing have been instructed to continue with their normally scheduled activities and responsibilities as they await test results. Once notified of a positive test result, they are then instructed to isolate as contact tracing begins.

The affected individual is now isolating. In collaboration with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), SWS will identify and notify anyone in the Caltech community who may have had close contact with this individual. Anyone found to be at risk of exposure will be provided specific instructions for quarantining and isolation. In consultation with local public health authorities and with ongoing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Caltech will continue to assess and refine its preventative health measures and any necessary interventions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

This brings the total number of reported COVID-19 cases among members of the Caltech campus community and off-campus facilities to 239 since March 2020. 

Any individual who is officially enrolled at or employed by the Institute, or works on behalf of Caltech, including students, faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, staff members, and registered visitors and volunteers, is required to submit proof of their fully vaccinated status with the COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation application. This includes individuals who report to or access campus facilities even on an occasional or one-day-a-week basis.

All community members who have not yet reported their fully vaccinated status must participate in the Institute's self-collection surveillance testing program, which is facilitated through an on-site laboratory located in the Beckman Institute. Visitors or external affiliates who report 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 to county and city health orders that have been implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

The Institute's 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 through the COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting tool;
  • 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 at, employed by, or working on behalf of the Institute and who report to or access campus facilities even on an occasional or one-day-a-week basis.
  • Regularly 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 when 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.