Cal State Long Beach announces quarantine, pauses campus instruction after COVID-19 outbreak

California State University, Long Beach administrators are scrambling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on campus after five students tested positive for the virus.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- All California State University, Long Beach, students who live on campus have been placed in quarantine after a number of students ignored COVID-19 guidelines and tested positive for the virus, including four who live at residence halls, officials say.

University President Jane Close Conoley said in a statement that the school became aware late Friday of students who did not heed guidance related to COVID-19 precautions and congregated socially off campus earlier this month. Five of those students have now tested positive for the illness.

All on-campus will be tested for COVID-19, and in-person instruction will be halted for two weeks. Officials said the university took a conservative approach to the fall semester by vastly reducing the number of students in resident halls and the number of classes offered on campus.

Conoley said in a statement, "These are the actions we are now taking to protect the health and safety of our community:
--We have placed all on-campus residents in quarantine and, in conjunction with Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, will be testing all of these students soon.
--As we engage in contact tracing on campus, we will pause in-person instruction for two weeks and review the number of employees on campus. Those who have the need to be tested will have a test offered.
--We will continue our partnership with public health officials to understand the ultimate scope of those who are impacted and assist with contact tracing in the broader community.
--We will be cleaning and disinfecting facilities as needed.

--We will be investigating related student conduct issues and addressing them appropriately.''

"Whatever is the safest, but we need to learn the 'new normal' so we don't have to shut it down every single time" said Sam Smith.

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 you know, we took a conservative approach to the fall semester by vastly reducing the number of students in our residence halls and the number of classes offered on campus,'' Conoley said. "Unfortunately, even with our proactive efforts we need to adapt and respond to this new challenge. We will keep our community informed as we learn more."

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.
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