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12/17/2020 - 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 two Caltech staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

Both individuals, who are now isolating, were identified through the on-campus surveillance testing program on December 15. One last accessed campus on December 15, the other on December 17. Both had tested negative through the surveillance testing program on December 11.

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 either individual. 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 93 since March 2020, 47 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. 

Winter break schedule: Daily updates will continue through December 23. Updates during the break will occur on December 28 and December 30. Daily updates will resume on January 4.