COVID-19 outbreak in Wendell Hill Hall B

Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor

Eight additional students have tested positive for COVID-19 following the testing of every resident of Wendell Hill Hall B, according to a statement released on the CWU website. 

This mass-testing of 169 students and staff began in response to what the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) called a “cluster” of six positive cases, all associated with the hall. The statement released by the university refers to the situation as an “outbreak.”

Two tests returned indeterminate results and will be redone for definitive results. 

Residents have been informed of their test results as of Wednesday afternoon, and those who tested positive will be instructed further on how to proceed. This includes entering isolation until KCPHD deems them safe to leave.

Students who tested negative, but share a suite with a student who has tested positive, will be required by KCPHD to quarantine for 14 days. This quarantine period begins the day the suitemate who tested positive is relocated for isolation.

All students and staff involved in the mass testing have been isolating since testing began on Monday, Oct. 19. Staff members have been contacted by Student Health Services with their results, which due to HIPAA cannot be disclosed by CWU.

Public health officials have begun contact tracing and conducting case investigations to alert community members who may have been exposed to the coronavirus through these cases. CWU and KCPHD said they will continue to work together to manage COVID-19.

CWU will retest all students who returned negative results on Monday, Oct. 26. Students who display symptoms of COVID-19 will be retested sooner.