Since the start of the semester, only two California Lutheran University students have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Associate Vice President of Planning & Services and Emergency Operations Director Ryan Van Ommeren.
Van Ommeren said that Cal Lutheran’s process for individuals who test positive includes a 10-day isolation period in the New West Complex, notification of county health officials and on-campus contact tracing performed by Health Services.
Health Services contacts all individuals who may have been exposed to the infected student and helps them move to isolation housing for two weeks. In addition, a notification is sent to Cal Lutheran students, staff and faculty every time a student tests positive.
Van Ommeren said there are 60 isolation suites in New West.
Kerri Lauchner, director of Health Services, said in an email interview that testing is free of charge for all Cal Lutheran students who are either sick or have received a recommendation from a health care professional.
Lauchner added that Health Services is working to set up a couple days of free testing sites where students and staff can voluntarily get tested whether they are sick or not.
Currently it takes about two to three days for students to receive their test results, but soon, results will be available in under 20 minutes, as Health Services recently purchased a rapid COVID testing machine, Lauchner said.
Lauchner said that if a residential student tests positive for COVID-19, a Health Services physician’s assistant will take them to their isolation room and show them what options are available.
Lauchner said that the Health Services Department has N95 masks and other necessary supplies, though they weren’t easy to obtain.
“It has been difficult finding PPE and testing supplies for COVID,” Lauchner said.
Lauchner said she urges the importance of following Cal Lutheran, county and state guidelines for preventing COVID-19.
“We ask that everyone at Cal Lutheran wear their masks when outside of their rooms or home and physically distance themselves,” Lauchner said. “We are all in this together.”