At 12:25 p.m. on Sept. 12, Vice President for Student Affairs Jim Terhune sent an email to on-campus Swarthmore students confirming that a Swarthmore student tested positive for COVID-19. The student is the first student to test positive since Swarthmore began mass testing protocols on August 31.
The college has already completed contact tracing protocols and has moved the infected individual into Mary Lyon Hall, a part of Swarthmore’s designated isolation housing. The infected individual is currently the only person residing at Mary Lyon. The infected student reported that while they are allowed to move within the dorm and certain outside areas near the dorm, their meals are delivered. Individuals who have close contact in the past 48 hours with the infected student have been moved into quarantine housing, which is The Inn at Swarthmore.
The infected individual was first made aware of their positive test results via their personal portal with the testing company Everlywell late at night on September 11. After receiving the test results, they immediately notified Casey Anderson, director of student health and wellness at the college. College officials contacted the student early in the morning on Sept. 12, and by noon the student and their close contacts had moved to their respective designated locations. Neither the student nor their close contacts have shown any symptoms so far.
It is currently ambiguous how and where the student contracted COVID-19. The student reported that they had not been part of any parties or mass gatherings and that they had generally followed Garnet Pledge guidelines; they did, however, take a shopping trip to Target in the past week.
According to the Testing Results section of the Swarthmore website, two college employees have also tested positive during the September 7 – September 13 round of testing.
We will publish a follow-up as soon as we receive more information.
Featured image courtesy of Emma Ricci-De Lucca for The Phoenix