COVID-19 cluster detected in CWU residence hall


Mitchell Roland, Editor-in-Chief

CWU announced early Sunday evening that six students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Wendell Hill B Residence Hall. The remaining residents of the hall will be required to self-isolate in their rooms.

In an email to the campus community, Associate Dean of Health and Wellness Shawnte Elbert said the cluster was detected after the university noticed a spike of cases in the residence hall. As of Sunday, Oct. 18, there were six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the hall, which is 3% of the residents currently in the hall.

This weekend, CWU’s COVID-19 taskforce consulted with the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) on how to proceed, and decided to implement a plan to quarantine residents of the hall in their rooms. The KCPHD labels breakouts of this size as a “cluster.” All students living in Wendell Hill will now be tested for COVID-19.

Residents will be tested at a testing center run by Student Health Services and Housing and Residence Life. The email said students will be required to quarantine for a minimum period of 48 to 72 hours until results come back, although this can take up to seven days.

The email says this self-isolation is “out of an abundance of caution and per Kittitas County Public Health guidelines.”

Students who are self-isolated will be delivered meals through the CWU Dining Meal delivery service and will not be permitted to attend in-person classes. Student Counseling Services and Housing and Residence life are planning “ongoing support and engagement” for the impacted students.

The email encourages all students to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, wash their hands regularly, complete daily health checks and participate in COVID-19 testing.