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Coronavirus outbreak at Concordia University infects 49 students, 16 employees

A map shows the location of Concordia University in Irvine.
(Los Angeles Times)

A coronavirus outbreak at Concordia University in Irvine has infected more than 60 students and employees, prompting campus officials to cancel athletic practices and urge against out-of-state travel for Thanksgiving.

The active cases — 49 on-campus students and 16 on-campus employees, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard — were found through antigen testing that “was made available to our students who wished to be tested prior to returning home for Thanksgiving break,” officials said.

The “large majority” of affected students and employees are asymptomatic, officials added, and all are isolating.

The latest maps and charts on the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County, including cases, deaths, closures and restrictions.

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“All the students have transitioned into isolation housing, and all are presently awaiting confirmation of the positive results through PCR testing,” Concordia’s COVID-19 response team wrote in a campus update Saturday. “Contact tracing, quarantine and subsequent testing of close contacts is ongoing.”

Another 15 students “have been placed in quarantine in accordance with the university’s health and safety protocols,” officials said, adding that “all students in isolation and quarantine are receiving daily health checks, meals service delivered to their rooms and access to laundry service.”

As a precaution, all athletic practices have been canceled for the rest of the year, according to the university.

Officials also urged students and employees to abide by the terms of California’s recently issued travel advisory and remain in the state for Thanksgiving.

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County supervisors took Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration to task for the recent reclassification that sent the county into the state’s most restrictive reopening tier.

Word of the outbreak — which accounts for the vast majority of the 80 cumulative cases confirmed at the campus throughout the course of the pandemic — comes just days after Orange County officially moved into the strictest “purple” tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening road map.

As a result, many businesses and other public facilities had to suspend or severely limit their indoor operations.

Concordia, a private Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students, previously announced that most of its classes would move back to online instruction as of Monday.


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