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7/28/2020 - An Increase in Positive Cases in the Campus Community

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

This month there has been a sobering rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County and across the nation. Consistent with this trend, we have had seven new cases reported by the campus community in the last two weeks, bringing the total number of individual cases reported since March 2020 to 15.

Investigation of the confirmed cases has yielded no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 among members of our community. The cases appear to be independent of one another. Nevertheless, they serve as an important reminder of the need to remain vigilant and follow public health guidance on physical distancing (maintaining a minimum of six feet distance from others) and other preventative measures, including the consistent use of face coverings when outside your household. These practices should be followed at all times, on campus and off. Furthermore, it is critical that all activities on campus or at Caltech-managed facilities be limited to only those individuals who must be on-site to perform their essential work or research. If you are able to fulfill your responsibilities remotely, we continue to require that you do so.

We are actively monitoring developments across the Institute and in the community, and we are prepared to modify our operations in response to changing circumstances. This week we will initiate a pilot program for campus-based COVID-19 testing. In partnership with Fulgent Genetics, we will test several hundred employees with campus-based responsibilities that require interaction with other members of the community. The pilot will provide a basis for planning future testing programs on campus. The Institute will continue to evaluate the possibility of expanding campus-based COVID-19 testing and will update the community as we learn more.

Thank you for your continued adherence to Institute policies and guidelines established to slow the progression of COVID-19.