Community Update: COVID-19 Positive Cases (10/07/21)

Dear Pomona College Community,

We have six positive COVID-19 test results among students this week, and at this point three of the cases may be linked to a social gathering last weekend. We are continuing to gather information on any additional connections between the cases.

We’ve prepared for the fact that we will face positive cases in the course of the semester, and all safety protocols are in place: 

  • Contact tracing is underway with our trained team 
  • COVID-positive individuals are in isolation (with meals delivered), under county guidelines 
  • We are carrying out targeted additional testing 

Los Angeles County has some of the nation’s most extensive COVID-19 safety protocols, and the College is adhering to them closely in consultation with our medical and public health experts.

Those steps include modified quarantine for asymptomatic students who are fully vaccinated but have been confirmed as having been in close contact with a positive case. Modified quarantine restricts activities to attending class and academic activities until a testing regimen is completed allowing release five days since exposure (or 10 days pass in cases where testing is not conducted). Due to the requirements of modified quarantine, Saturday’s home football game vs. Cal Lutheran is cancelled. 

For context, six positive results would amount to a roughly 0.3 percent positivity rate at our typical number of weekly tests. In the ongoing pandemic, however, the test results at this point in the week underscore the urgent need to remain vigilant with our ongoing safety measures. Those include: 

More than 99 percent of our students are fully vaccinated, but breakthrough cases remain a possibility, particularly with the delta variant. Our medical experts note that cases at colleges often are connected to indoor social gatherings, not the controlled setting of the classroom.

We urge students to remember to wear masks when gathering in residence halls and over meals while not actively eating.  Going into the weekend, we ask that everyone stay committed to community safety. We will provide additional updates as needed, and contacts and information are available on our return to campus web.

In the days ahead, we will be following up with information sessions with our medical team for anyone with questions on COVID-19 symptoms and safety. 

Best,
Robert Goldberg, vice president, COO and treasurer
Avis Hinkson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students