First on-campus case of COVID-19 reported at Scripps

Six orange trees stand next to a wall of a dorm.
A Scripps College community member’s positive test marks the first publicly known case of COVID-19 on campus at the Claremont Colleges. (HuxleyAnn Huefner • The Student Life)

A Scripps College student living on campus tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, spokesperson Rachael Warecki told TSL via email. The student has since departed the campus.

The positive test marks the first publicly known on-campus case of COVID-19 at the Claremont Colleges. Scripps is currently conducting contact tracing and will notify anyone who has been in close proximity to the student, Warecki said.

Scripps students living on campus learned of the diagnosis Thursday night, according to a student who spoke to TSL on the condition of anonymity. Warecki said the college learned of the case Thursday.

The students living on campus spoke individually with Student Health Services on Friday, the anonymous student said. They said not everyone living on campus will automatically be tested for COVID-19 for the time being.

In an email to the students Thursday, Scripps allotted designated times to pick up food and water, use the kitchen, discard trash and do laundry. The anonymous student said they have been instructed not to leave their rooms otherwise.

Warecki said that all students who remained on campus after March 18 were given single rooms that have their own air conditioning systems and restrooms. Meals have been delivered daily and all students were told to maintain social distance from other students and the community.

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Scripps has not yet revealed the identity of the infected person to those still on campus, according to the anonymous student.

“Consistent with federal and state laws governing patient confidentiality, we will not provide any information on the patients other than to confirm that they are a student or employee of The Claremont Colleges,” a statement on the Student Health Services website said.

SHS advised those who test positive to notify their school. 

“Going forward, any students, faculty or staff diagnosed with coronavirus or told by a medical professional they may have it should contact your campus student dean or human resources department to advise of your condition,” the SHS statement said.

A Pomona College student tested positive for coronavirus March 24, 13 days after leaving campus, becoming the first publicly known 5C student case. There were 24 total coronavirus cases in Claremont as of Thursday, according to the city website.

This is a breaking story and will be updated if more information becomes available.

This article was last updated May 1, 2020 at 4:58 p.m. to include a statement from Scripps.

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