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A coronavirus outbreak at Cal State Long Beach has grown to include 17 confirmed, related cases, officials announced Tuesday evening, Sept. 29.

Officials first announced Saturday, Sept. 26, that five cases had been identified and that all on-campus students would be quarantined. The university also announced that all in-person instruction will be paused for two weeks while officials perform contact tracing.

That contact tracing has so far confirmed that 10 on-campus students and seven off-campus students have contracted the virus. Those who have tested positive are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, according to university spokesperson Jeffrey Cook.

Over the weekend, university officials said the cases were linked to an off-campus social gathering. But on Tuesday, Cook said officials “learned more about social gatherings attended by Beach students over the past month,” which led to the growth in cases.

According to the Long Beach Health Department, which partnered with the university to investigate the outbreak, the number of cases associated with the gatherings could continue growing.

“Given the increase in cases within a short period of time, and a high number of cases reporting exposing others at additional social gatherings,” city spokesperson Chelsey Finegan said in a Monday, Sept. 28, statement, “there is the potential for a large number of secondary cases.”

Some students who tested negative have elected to quarantine off-campus, according to Cook. Of the original 328 students who lived on-campus, 206 remain there, he said.

“While the university is profoundly disappointed in the conduct of the students who violated public health guidance and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate,” Cook said, “our priority continues to be their health and safety and that of all members of our community.”

Staff writer Emily Rasmussen contributed to this report.

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