IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) – Dominic Castro, a student at Concordia University in Irvine, was surprised Monday to hear 49 active cases of students with COVID-19 and another 16 cases by staff on campus had been reported to his school .
A campus update sent to the Concordia community last Saturday found the outbreak was revealed through routine antigen testing of students before the Thanksgiving break.
University President Dr. Michael Thomas expects confirmation from PCR testing from the Orange County Health Care Agency by Wednesday.
“These tests were not initiated by a symptomatic person. They were done out of caution to protect families. These additional tests on top of our routine tests associated with athletics, for example, explain the increase in positive cases.” Said Thomas.
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According to the update, those affected are either isolated or quarantined and given daily health checks, as well as meal and laundry services.
Courses switched back to online classes on Monday, November 23rd.
“The positive cases seem to have something to do with friend groups and roommate groups and maybe some athletic pods. We let students train in pods,” said Thomas.
Castro, a graduate student on the lacrosse team, said he felt confident about the protocols his pod was following, but was glad to be able to leave campus when the season is over.
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“We started just walking in masks and then went to groups of five, groups of ten, no contact and then contact. I felt like we did our part to make sure we were fine and us it can.” What we can do, but definitely now, at the end of autumn when the season is supposed to be in spring, it’s a little worrying, “said Castro.
Castro knows firsthand that it is easy for people his age to transmit the virus without knowing it. That was the case with his sister, an Arizona State University student.
“She had no symptoms, but she had them and is fine now,” Castro said, adding, “College students, we need to realize that although we feel nothing and are not really in danger, we could still spread, “said Castro.
Thomas said an additional 15 students had been quarantined as of Monday and the contact tracing was still ongoing.
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