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COVID-19 Outbreak Grows At Cal State Long Beach

Screenshot from Cal State Long Beach's website
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A COVID-19 outbreak among Cal State Long Beach students has grown to 22 confirmed cases, most of them students who live in campus dorms.

The university suspended in-person instruction over the weekend after five cases were reported. Of the 17 new cases reported on Wednesday, 10 are students living on campus and seven are in off-campus housing.

A spokesman said contract tracing revealed that the students had attended parties in the last month, in violation of rules Cal State set out for students living in dorms.

“The university is profoundly disappointed in the conduct of the students who violated public health guidance,” said university spokesman Gregory Woods.

The university directed students who live in the dorms to quarantine there. Students will receive meals in their rooms and those who test positive have been moved to separate dorms.
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The CSU Long Beach outbreak is significant because the university had restricted its dorm population to about 12% and limited in-person instruction to less than 3% of its usual class offerings.

“[The] university took a very conservative approach by vastly reducing the numbers of students in our residence halls and the number of classes offered on campus,” Woods said.

Chico State and San Diego State saw COVID-19 outbreaks among students soon after the semester began on August 24. Both campuses have significantly more students on campus than Long Beach State. Chico State had 750 students in the dorms; San Diego State had 2,600. At Chico, administrators cleared the dorms after the outbreak. San Diego State did not. Both stopped in-person classes.

At CSU Long Beach, more than 300 students had been living on campus and about 700 students had been taking in person classes.

Nearly all of the remaining students living on campus have been tested, Woods said, so the positive case tally may grow as results come in. In a statement, the university said that so far, “those who have tested positive for the illness are either asymptomatic or report mild symptoms.”


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