UPDATE 5:46 P.M. CHICO, Calif. - Chico State representatives confirmed 22 individuals at the university have tested positive for COVID-19 since August.
“We got confirmation today from the Director of the Wildcat Health Center that we have 22 cases total on campus since August,” said Media Relations Coordinator Sean Murphy.
Sandy Parsons, the interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students said a majority of those cases are students who live on and off-campus. Chico State says it will help accommodate on-campus cases to ensure there is no risk to others.
“We have staff that will arrange for them to get into isolation. We will do check-ins with them and make sure they have food delivery,” said Parsons.
According to Chico State’s website, two of those individuals spent time in Whitney Hall.
Chico State says the Butte County Public Health Department only notifies the university if the positive case is a student who lives on-campus or someone who works for the university.
The Health Department will not share the names of people in the community, even students who live off-campus due to privacy.
Therefore, Chico State relies on students to self-report if they have the virus.
At this time, Chico State does not know if the universities’ cases are connected to the outbreak at a nearby apartment complex that the health department mentioned this week.
Chico State plans to ensure that this won’t happen in the future.
If we have a student or a group of students throwing a party with blatant disregard to masking and social distancing, and they take no ownership then the sanction can be higher. We’re talking disciplinary probation, or possibly separating the student from the university though suspension or expulsion,” said Emily Peart, interim Director of Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities.
The University says there is a range of sanctions that include education.
Overall, the University relies on its students to abide by state guidelines and self-report.
Media Relations Coordinator at Chico State, Sean Murphy, tells Action News Now that 22 on campus cases have tested positive for the virus since August.
At this time, it's unknown if any of these cases are connected to the breakout at an apartment complex that Butte County Public Health mentioned this week. Chico State officials say a majority of the 22 cases are students.
On Chico State's website, officials confirmed that two cases involve individuals who spent time in Whitney Hall.
"The last days the individuals were on campus was Monday, August 24," officials posted on the University's website. "Pursuant to our protocol, Chico State’s Pandemic Manager has been in direct contact with the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) and affected individuals, and BCPHD has initiated its contact tracing procedures. Individuals who were exposed during the incidents per BCPHD’s analysis have been directed to self-quarantine."
University officials said the risk of infection to the larger campus community is low.
Additional details will be posted as we learn more.