A tenth of 5C students have tested positive since spring break

(Samson Zhang • The Student Life)

Updated April 10 at 5:33 p.m.

Ten percent of 5C students have tested positive in the three weeks since spring break, The Claremont Colleges Services spokesperson Laura Muna-Landa told TSL in a statement Sunday. In the week through Friday, the ratio of positive tests to tests conducted throughout the consortium was 3.71 percent, reflecting both the undergraduate and graduate institutions.

The statistic reflects a significant spike in COVID-19 cases at the 5Cs through the week. The number of cases since Monday now exceeds 264, according to a TSL analysis of messages from school administrators and COVID dashboards from Pitzer College and Harvey Mudd College.

On Thursday, Director of Student Health Services Prateek Jindal met with officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, who “provided additional guidance” and approved of the 5Cs’ currently implemented mitigation measures, Scripps College Interim Dean of Students Adriana di Bartolo-Beckman said in an email Friday.

According to Muna-Landa, the LACDPH experts said they expected the consortium’s cases to decrease “once the TCC community community reached 10-15% of the total student population testing positive in recent weeks.”

“We are pleased that with the suspension of cross-campus dining, indoor dining, and limited social gatherings along with our mask mandate and weekly surveillance testing we have met the requirements and recommendations from LACDPH,” di Bartolo-Beckman said. “We will continue to monitor our positivity rate and evaluate when it is safe for our community to return to a less restrictive environment.”

Positive test counts among Pomona students have fallen from the 57 reported Monday through Wednesday to nine reported on Thursday and three on Friday, according to a Friday update from Pomona College Dean of Students Avis Hinkson.

“Following our public health protocols, I’m hopeful we can bring down our case numbers and end the year on a positive note for all,” Hinkson said.

Harvey Mudd College and Pitzer College’s COVID dashboards, which are updated daily, show that 16 and 24 additional cases have been reported at the colleges since Wednesday, respectively. The total new case counts since Monday at each school now stand at 28 and 48, respectively.

Pitzer also recorded a decline in cases later in the week, the school’s leadership team said in an email Friday afternoon, with four cases added Friday after seven on Thursday.

“We continue to work closely with our healthcare providers, and they are optimistic that we will continue to see positive cases trending downward,” the team said. “We are staying the course with existing mitigation guidance, implemented in alignment with our doctors’ and L.A. County’s requirements.”

Scripps College’s COVID dashboard, which is normally updated weekly but was last updated on Thursday, shows that 10 new cases have been reported since Wednesday for a total of 65 new cases since Monday April 4.

Clarification: This article was updated April 10 to clarify that di Bartolo-Beckman’s original statement, “We are currently experiencing a 10% positivity rate in our student population at the undergraduate colleges,” refers to the proportion of students who have tested positive since spring break.

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