Yesterday, the Covid Compliance Committee of Claremont McKenna College (CMC) notified students of an increase in COVID-19 cases following last week's increase and confirmed rumors of a link between last week’s outbreak and this week’s. Before this spike, COVID-19 cases on campus had been almost nonexistent, according to the weekly updates CMC provides via the COVID-19 Dashboard.
Earlier this week, students received an email from the Covid Compliance Committee (CCC) that “we have identified six new positive COVID-19 cases on campus, including five student cases and one employee case. At this time, none of these cases appear to be linked, although close contacts continue to be tested over the coming days.”
The Committee claims to have expected this increase, stating that “we anticipated recording some number of positive cases following the Thanksgiving recess due to the volume of travel outside of our community.” However, the CCC said that “we remain confident in the ability of our health and safety protocols to stem further spread here on campus. The success of our program, however, is wholly contingent on your cooperation and our shared commitment to one another.”
Despite its earlier claims that the cases did not appear linked, CMC stated in yesterday’s email that “we have confirmed six new positive COVID cases on campus, all in students. Five of the six cases are epidemiologically linked to one of the cases reported last week (with further investigation as to a link with the sixth case).” The college further stated that “[t]he outbreak involved vaccinated individuals in close contact, indoors, for more than 15 minutes, without masks, eating and drinking together at a private gathering before attending a larger event.”
Claremont McKenna has put in place many protocols to ensure COVID-19 rates remain low, including contact tracing and mandatory use of masks indoors. The school tests students weekly, and keeps track of those who avoid testing to ensure all students are getting tested. However, as the semester nears its end, cases are now increasing, and it remains unclear what protocols will be in place when students return in the spring.