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10/25/2020 - Positive cases reported at Children's Center at Caltech

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From: Jennifer Howes, Executive Director of Student Wellness Services
Re: Positive cases reported at Children's Center at Caltech

This weekend, Student Wellness Services was notified that three employees at the Children's Center at Caltech have tested positive for COVID-19, amounting to seven total reported positive cases at that facility since July. As of Monday, October 26, the childcare center will be closed pending further consultation with public health officials on the resumption of operations. At a minimum, the three classrooms that were directly affected will be closed for 14 days.

One of the employees was last at the center on October 22. The other two were last onsite on October 23. All three have been isolating at home since receiving notification of their individual test results. Of the three individuals, one employee is now symptomatic and two are currently asymptomatic; all three were identified through surveillance testing. At the recommendation of the Pasadena Public Health Department, the childcare center has required, since July, that all employees are tested every two weeks.

In coordination with public health officials and Student Wellness Services, the childcare center has notified all families using the center and is offering free testing for those interested. Anyone who is believed to have had close contact with these employees has been identified and notified, and if believed to be at risk of exposure, will be provided specific instructions for quarantining and self-monitoring.

Given the potential for this closure to impact individuals across the campus community, we are notifying all community members about these developments.

This brings the total number of known and reported COVID-19 cases among the Caltech community and off-campus Caltech facilities to 29, of which 24 are resolved. Individual health information is confidential and we ask all members of the community to be respectful of those privacy rights.

Through Student Wellness Services, Caltech provides free testing to faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and students who are believed to have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have otherwise engaged in activities that may place them at increased risk for exposure. In addition, with the start of the academic year, Caltech implemented a process for regularly testing higher risks groups, including undergraduates who are living in the community and reporting to work in research laboratories. The Institute continues to assess options for expanding testing capabilities and will provide updates on any such decisions as they are made.

Please remember that we must all continue do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you are ill or have a fever, or if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Use the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting application on the days you are scheduled to be on campus;
  • Wear a cloth face covering; and
  • Maintain a minimum of six-feet physical distance from others on campus.

More information about Caltech's response to the pandemic can be found on the Caltech Together coronavirus information website. Reports of illness, testing metrics, and confirmed case counts can be found on a dedicated dashboard that is updated by 2 p.m. PDT each weekday. Please note that JPL tracks COVID-19 cases separately and is not included in these data.

If you are interested in receiving an email notification for each new positive COVID-19 case reported to Caltech Student Wellness Services, please sign up online for our notifications.