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5/25/2022 - Response to Recent COVID-19 Case Activity

To: The Caltech Community

From: Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs

David A. Tirrell, Provost

Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President

Date: May 25, 2022

Re: Response to Recent COVID-19 Case Activity

Over the past week and a half, the Institute has had an increase in COVID-19 cases among members of the campus community, with a daily average of 16 new positive tests recorded. While most of this activity appears to be the result of higher case counts in the broader community overall, we write to provide additional context regarding the most recent case activity, which indicates that as many as 37 graduates students tested positive in the past 48 hours. The majority of these cases appear to be traced to a single social event, the Graduate Student Council formal that was held this past weekend.

In response to this activity, Student Wellness Services (SWS) asked all GSC formal attendees to submit surveillance testing samples on Tuesday and to self-quarantine until they have a message from SWS that clears them or directs them to come in for confirmatory testing. They will be expected to submit additional samples to the Caltech COVID Surveillance Lab (CCSL) later this week. Additionally, roommates or close contacts of formal attendees also have been asked to submit surveillance testing samples for COVID-19 screening.

Anyone who tests positive will be provided specific instructions for isolation. As needed, students will be provided space in the rooms set aside in Caltech housing for that purpose.

Caltech will continue to require universal masking indoors for the foreseeable future. All members of the community are asked to exercise caution when gathering indoors, and to limit, outside of designated dining facilities, large indoor activities where food and drink are served and guests mingle unmasked.

We will be monitoring campus testing data and case activity and will update the community on any changes to health and safety measures based on that data.

As always, the safety and well-being of Caltech's students, staff, and faculty is a priority. All members of the Caltech community are expected to:

  • Notify SWS immediately if you are ill, have had a positive test for COVID-19, or have been exposed to anyone with a positive test for COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you are ill, have a fever, or have otherwise been instructed to quarantine or isolate.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

We also encourage everyone reporting on-site to participate and enroll in Caltech's surveillance testing program.