5C students near Claremont test positive for COVID-19

Multiple 5C students who live near campus or who have recently visited the area have tested positive for COVID-19. (Courtesy: GoToVan via Wikimedia Commons)

Multiple 5C students living in or who recently visited the Inland Empire area near campus have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email sent out to students living in southern California this semester.

The students who tested positive, at least some of whom attend Claremont McKenna College, notified administrators, Dean of Students Dianna Graves and Sharon Basso, vice president of student affairs, said in the email. It’s unclear exactly how many total students have tested positive, which schools they all attend and how they caught the virus.

But Basso said, “it seems the cases are linked to a few recent Halloween parties held in the Inland Empire area the weekend of October 30th.”

The students who tested positive are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic at this time, the email said.

Administrators are working with these students to “perform contact tracing, provide appropriate isolation and quarantine support, provide testing, medical monitoring and support,” according to the email. 

All coronavirus testing locations in California must report positive tests to county health officials to “initiate contact tracing to identify the range of possible exposures,” Basso said.

Students were asked to immediately notify CMC’s Hamilton Health Box — an independent, licensed health clinic CMC contracted this year — if they had attended “such a gathering” as the Halloween parties in the last two weeks.

HHB medical staff will assist students with COVID-19 assessments, testing, symptom monitoring and contact tracing free of cost, according to the CMC Returns website.

“This virus spreads quickly and easily, and this is an illustration of why we ask that you all do your part to avoid situations which increase the risk to you and others, of contracting and spreading the virus,” Basso said. 

The email further reminded students to adhere to social distancing guidelines, avoid gatherings, wear masks and wash hands regularly.

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