Over a dozen coronavirus cases have been linked to California college students gathering off-campus, according to officials.Dr. Kimberly Fodran, chief of medical staff at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) said in a statement on Tuesday that 17 students had tested positive for the coronavirus, including ten who live on campus and seven who do not. These cases were in addition to five students who tested positive on Saturday, four of whom live in the residence halls and one off campus.Those who tested positive were either not showing symptoms or had a mild case of COVID-19.
A stock image shows a group of students. Over a dozen coronavirus infections have been linked to a college in California.
Students “who placed themselves and our community at risk” may face disciplinary action, Fodran said.Staff on campus are monitoring students and the card system they use to enter their dorms, university spokesman Jeff Cook told the Long Beach Post. Students who break the quarantine risk being disciplined, including by being suspended or removed from housing, or by completing a paper discussing the illness, its dangers, and the importance of public health guidance, he said.Newsweek subscription offers >The Long Beach Post reported a further nine people who were not students tested positive for the virus after going to social gathering off campus, citing officials. Newsweek has contacted Long Beach mayor’s office for comment.After the cases were confirmed on Saturday, all on-campus residents were quarantined and were due to be tested, according to a letter from Jane Close Conoley, president of CSULB. In-person instruction has been paused for two weeks, and the number of employees on campus will be reviewed.The students living on campus who tested positive have been placed in quarantine, and those residing off campus have been asked to self-isolate in line with public health advice. “On-campus residents have been in quarantine since Saturday, with those community members who are positive now living in a separate building,” Fodran said.Those who have tested positive will be monitored for medical reasons. Some campus residents who tested negative chose to quarantine off-campus. A total of 206 of 328 residents were on campus, according to Fodran’s statement.CSULB worked with public health agencies to diagnose the students, carry out contact tracing of residents, and plans to set up a surveillance testing program.The Long Beach health department launched an investigation after a small number of cases were connected to a party off campus. It later emerged more partygoers were infected, including some linked to CSULB. Finegan said the parties were a wide range of sizes.A health department mobile testing unit screened 150 students on Monday, and plans to carry out more.There is potential for a large number of secondary infections, given the increase in a short period time, and the high number of infected students who said they came into contact with others at social gatherings, Finegan told the Press Telegram in a statement.According to the Long Beach Health and Human Services website, 11,900 coronavirus cases were identified in the city as of Monday.