COVID-19 outbreak at Concordia University infects almost 50 students, 16 employees  11/22/2020 04:47:01   Dan Albano

Nearly 50 students and 16 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Concordia University in Irvine, the school’s coronavirus dashboard for active cases showed on Saturday, Nov. 21.

One day after the university confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak, its dashboard for active cases showed that 49 on-campus students and 16 on-campus employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

“In the past few days, surveillance testing of our student population has revealed a number of positive COVID-19 cases among our students and employees,” the university’s COVID-19 Response Team said in an e-mail Saturday night.

“This testing was made available to our students who wished to be tested prior to returning home for Thanksgiving break. …The new active cases were revealed through surveillance, antigen (protein) testing.

“All the students have transitioned into isolation housing, and all are presently awaiting confirmation of the positive results through PCR (molecular) testing. Contact tracing, quarantine, and subsequent testing of close contacts is ongoing.”

The response team indicated that an additional 15 students were placed in quarantine in “accordance with the universitys health and safety protocols” and are receiving support.

Concordia University also announced Saturday that all athletic practices have been cancelled until the spring of 2021. The school competes in Division II athletics and has more than 500 athletes in 24 sports.

The university said classes will transition “back” to online instruction on Monday, Nov. 23 and remain in distance learning for the rest of the semester.

The university stated that nursing clinical rotations will continue while in-person science labs and studio arts activities could potentially remain.

The response team encouraged the university community not to travel out of state for the Thanksgiving holiday, an advisory also recently announced by California health officials. Concordia said COVID-19 testing appointments will be available at the Wellness Center starting Nov. 30.

Concordia has an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,645 students.

The outbreak arrives just days after Orange County moved back to the purple tier or widespread risk for COVID-19. Chapman University in Orange experienced a COVID-19 outbreak last month.

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