Claremont Colleges Students Test Positive For COVID-19, Close Contacts Asked To Quarantine

Several students at the Claremont Colleges, including a number of students from Claremont McKenna College (CMC), tested positive for COVID-19 in the Claremont area this week. According to the email sent by CMC this evening, “the cases are linked to a few recent Halloween parties held in the Inland Empire area the weekend of October 30th.” In the email, CMC administrators stated that each COVID-positive student would undergo a contact tracing process. People in contact with students who tested positive “will be contacted by a health professional and provided instructions regarding whether you need to get a test or quarantine.”

Once the Claremont Colleges announced an online fall semester, many students found off-campus housing in the Claremont area to be near students. According to one student wishing to remain anonymous, there have been parties Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the semester involving 5C students. But, the students remained in a large quarantine bubble where multiple groups sought to only interact with each other. This student also emphasized that everyone they knew who was potentially exposed immediately took quarantine and testing measures.

Only students “who may be residing. . . relatively near Claremont” received the email from CMC.

The email stated that “[i]t seems the cases are linked to a few recent Halloween parties held in the Inland Empire area the weekend of October 30th.” The CMC administration urged students to reach out if they had been in contact with infected individuals, stating that, “[o]ut of a modicum of caution, if you, or someone you know, attended such a gathering with Claremont College students in the past two weeks, please immediately contact Shivani Lal, CMC’s Hamilton Health Box nurse, and she will consult with you. If warranted, she will help you schedule a test (call 909-607-2301 or email covid19@cmc.edu).”

According to the email, the administration is providing isolation and quarantine support, testing, and medical monitoring for the infected students. Per the administration’s announcement, “the students who tested positive are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic at this time.”

The administration informed students that, “[r]egardless of where someone gets tested, all coronavirus testing locations in California are required to report positive tests to local County health officials to initiate contact tracing to identify the range of possible exposures,” and urged them to adhere to social distancing guidelines. “It is critically important,” the email read, “that [students] are each taking responsibility to adhere to the social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, wear masks, and wash hands regularly.” Students residing in the Claremont area can make use of the Hamilton Health Box for access to testing and other COVID-19 related needs.

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