New COVID Cases on Campus & an Important Message


Following Thanksgiving break, our testing identified three positive cases of COVID-19. This represents a significant and detrimental increase in our positivity rates that calls for a recommitment of our community to keep each other safe. Review our testing data

To the Oxy Community:

Yesterday we tested 220 students, faculty and staff upon their return to campus after Thanksgiving break. In this group, we identified three positive cases of COVID-19, two staff and one faculty. This represents a significant and detrimental increase in our positivity rates that calls for a recommitment of our community to keep each other safe.

I’d like to share that many of our positive cases have difficulty identifying how they may have contracted COVID. This does not mean that the individual was negligent, rather it speaks to the highly infectious nature of this disease and its ability to catch us off-guard. It is vitally important that all community members get tested regularly and when scheduled - to catch unsuspecting asymptomatic positives - and to follow the guidelines of mask wearing and social distancing at all times, even when we think we are among friends and colleagues.

Over the course of the fall semester our shared commitment to the health and safety of the community has contributed to Oxy maintaining a low case count - a total of nine since the start of the pandemic, plus these new cases. We must remember that each COVID-19 case has a significant impact on both the individual, their family, and the Oxy community. Not only does the individual who tested positive need to isolate, their family is at increased risk of positivity and need to quarantine away from their loved ones, and healthy individuals on campus who have been exposed need to quarantine and possibly miss work.

To  change the direction of this virus and return to a lively campus environment, we must be diligent and collectively practice a commitment to public health. It is through this shared responsibility that our community can grow and thrive, and not just survive this pandemic.

In regards to the recent positive cases, in keeping with our policy, the staff members will not return to campus until after a 10 day period of isolation/quarantine and a minimum of three days without symptoms or fever. Those who had close contact with the positive individuals have been notified and will be quarantining away from campus for 14 days and will be tested again before being allowed to access campus. If you have not been contacted about any of these cases, you have not been identified as being at risk of exposure.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has also been notified.

Thank you for all of your efforts to be considerate of the health and wellness of our community.

Be well,

Sara Semal, LPCC
Senior Director, Emmons Wellness Center