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12/16/2020 - 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 that six members of the Caltech community have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Four asymptomatic staff members were identified through the on-campus surveillance testing program on December 14. All four last accessed campus on December 14, and had tested negative through the surveillance testing program on December 10. 
  • Two symptomatic staff members tested positive at SWS; one on December 14 and the other on December 15. Both last accessed campus on December 11 and had tested negative through the surveillance testing program on December 10. 

All affected individuals are isolating. In collaboration 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 91 since March 2020, 46 of which were reported within the last two weeks. 

Given the recent surge in transmission activity in the broader community, it is difficult at this time to definitively establish whether campus-based transmission is occurring, although SWS and the PPHD continue to investigate the possibility of such epidemiological links for each case reported. 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, especially as we face increasing transmission and infection rates locally and nationwide.

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

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 that is updated by 2 p.m. PT each weekday. Please note that JPL tracks COVID-19 cases separately and is not included in these data.