On-campus students at Cal State Long Beach must heed quarantine orders or they could face disciplinary action, a university official said Sunday, a day after the quarantine went into effect after five students tested positive for COVID-19.
The two-week quarantine for 328 students living at the campus residence halls began on Saturday, Sept. 26, following a handful of students testing positive for the virus. All in-person instruction was also on pause for two weeks, Cal State Long Beach officials said.
The five students attended an off-campus social gathering earlier this month that went against school guidelines, according to university officials. Four of them live in the residence halls.
“We are still conducting testing and contact tracing,” Jeff Cook, chief communications officer at the university, said in a Sunday afternoon email. “(Monday) is the day we are offering on-campus testing to our residential students.”
School officials also plan to review the number of employees who were on campus and will offer tests to those who need them.
University officials said they learned of the gathering on Friday evening, but did not disclose further details about it.
University officials said they plan to test everyone who lives on campus for COVID-19. Students agree to abide by any public health directives as a condition of living in the residence halls, Cook said.
“Staff and card-swipe monitoring aid in enforcement,” he said of the quarantine. “Students violating the quarantine are subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from student housing. Meals are delivered to residents.”
The number of students currently living on campus is a fraction of how many the university usually houses, Cook said earlier.
Other Southern California campuses have been hit by the virus. San Diego State University issued a similar quarantine this summer. SDSU has reported at least 819 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since its campus reopened Aug. 24.
As of Saturday, UCLA officials said 270 members of the campus community had tested positive for COVID-19 since March 16.
In late August, USC officials announced 104 positive cases among students living in off-campus housing over a four-day period and attributed the outbreak to small gatherings, including study sessions, dinners and a Monopoly game.
Because of the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Chancellor Timothy P. White announced earlier this month that the 23 CSU schools, including Long Beach, would continue primarily through virtual instruction during the Spring semester, which begins January 2021.