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Positive COVID-19 Case at the Athenaeum
July 21, 2020

To: The Campus Community
From: Jennifer Howes, Executive Director of Student Wellness Services
Date: July 21, 2020
Re: Positive COVID-19 Case at the Athenaeum

Caltech Student Wellness Services (SWS) has been informed that a Caltech employee at the Athenaeum was tested for COVID-19 and received a positive result today. The employee, who is asymptomatic, is now isolating at home. Out of an abundance of caution, the Athenaeum is temporarily closed, pending further guidance from the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) and an assessment of the Athenaeum's operational needs. In the meantime, the facility will undergo a deep cleaning and disinfection.

The employee who tested positive worked at the Athenaeum on 7/15–7/18 and 7/20. Employees with possible exposure are being identified through contact tracing, will be directly notified, and will receive specific instructions for quarantine and self-monitoring. In addition, Athenaeum members who patronized the Rath al Fresco or ordered to-go meals on the days the employee worked will be notified, although PPHD has advised that these individuals are not likely to be at risk of having been exposed.

Following state and local public health guidance, the Athenaeum has been closed to indoor dining, and instead has provided to-go meals and outdoor dining via the Rath al Fresco. Employees have followed public health protocols and Caltech's hygiene and physical distancing guidelines, and have monitored and reported their own health daily via the Caltech COVID-19 reporting app. The facility has also maintained a strict enhanced cleaning regimen.

When information on the Athenaeum's reopening date is available, an update will be posted on Caltech's coronavirus information webpage.

A second Caltech employee, with no connection to the Athenaeum, also tested positive for COVID-19 and also reported it to SWS within the last 24 hours. This individual has not been to campus since 7/13/20 and has not come into contact with any members of the Caltech community since that time. This employee is also isolating at home.

These two cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases reported to Caltech within the last 14 days to five. As a reminder, individual health information is confidential and we ask for all members of the community to be respectful of those privacy rights.

Moving forward, members of the community may opt-in to receive timely email notifications of new positive COVID-19 cases among members of the campus community.

Please remember that we must all continue do our part to fight the spread COVID-19. Please:

  • Stay home if you are ill or have a fever;
  • Use the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting application on the days you are scheduled to be on campus;
  • Wear a cloth face covering; and
  • Maintain appropriate physical distance from others on campus.

Thank you for your continued efforts to support the health and wellbeing of the community.