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4/23/2020 - Positive COVID-19 Case

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President; David A. Tirrell, Provost

Caltech Student Wellness Services (SWS) was notified today, April 23, that a graduate student living in a private residence off campus has tested positive for COVID-19. The student has been in self-isolation in residence under the guidance of SWS and Pasadena Public Health (PPHD) since being tested. 

PPHD, in collaboration with SWS, is notifying all individuals who may have had contact with this student, who reports not having been in close contact with any member of the Caltech community since April 1 and who has only visited campus once in the past three weeks. We believe that the risk to the Caltech community is low based on the information that we have been provided.

Given the growing number of cases in Los Angeles and in California, as well as increased testing availability and frequency, we must be prepared for additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Caltech community. Caltech will continue to work with local public health officials to monitor this situation and expeditiously contact individuals who may be at risk of exposure. Moving forward, we will update the broader community about these cases through the Caltech Coronavirus website and through Ion Caltech as the information becomes available. 

The family member of a graduate student who was previously reported to have a confirmed case of COVID-19 has completed the isolation period and recovered from the illness. 

In support of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of disease, we ask all Caltech community members to continue to abide by the Safer at Home order, which the county has extended through May 15. The order directs all individuals to limit all non-essential public activities, practice social distancing (maintaining six feet/two meters of distance between individuals), and continue to practice preventative hygiene measures. 

If a student or another member of your household or family who is living on or near campus becomes ill with respiratory symptoms or has a positive test for COVID-19, please contact SWS by phone (626-395-6393, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm; after hours, contact Campus Security at 626-395-4701), so that a medical provider can evaluate your situation and provide you with further instructions, as well as assess broader implications for the community.

If a non-student community member (faculty and staff members, postdoctoral fellows, or affiliates) becomes ill with respiratory symptoms or has a positive test for COVID-19, please contact the Disability and Leave unit by phone (626-395-3092) or email ( Disability and Leave will coordinate with Dr. John Tsai for further assistance with contact tracing and liaison work with PPHD.