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12/1/2020 - 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

In the past 24 hours, Student Wellness Services (SWS) has learned of three individuals from the Caltech community who have tested positive for COVID-19: 

  • A staff member who was tested off-campus, and last visited campus on November 19;
  • A staff member who was tested off-campus, and last visited campus on November 20;
  • A staff member who reported to SWS on campus this morning for surveillance testing and was subsequently screened out for reporting symptoms of illness. Based on these symptoms, SWS administered a rapid antigen test that came back positive.

All affected individuals are now isolating at home. In coordination with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), SWS will identify and notify anyone in the campus community who may have had close contact with any of 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 44. Please note that with the November 30 introduction of surveillance testing of individuals reporting to campus, we anticipate that the number of identified cases may increase in part due to an increase in detection of asymptomatic cases. 

SWS is consulting with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) about questions of community transmission related to one of the cases reported today; none of the other or previously known cases in the Caltech community appear to be epidemiologically linked. Individual health information is confidential and we ask all members of the community to be respectful of those privacy rights.

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

  • 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;
  • Use the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting application on the days you are scheduled to be on site;
  • Wear a cloth face covering; and
  • Maintain appropriate physical distance from others on campus.

More information about Caltech's response to the pandemic can be found on the Caltech coronavirus 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.