A Santa Monica College student has tested positive for coronavirus, the college said Thursday night.
This is the first known case at SMC, said President Kathryn Jeffery. The student was last on campus Thursday and is now in isolation and receiving medical treatment. Faculty, students and employees who may have had close contact with the student have been directed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“We understand that this news may very well heighten anxiety and concern,” Jeffery said in an email to the SMC community. “The college has been active in its preparations before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and will continue to do everything possible to minimize the effects of this worldwide crisis on the SMC community.”
SMC will hold classes and support services online through June 16, Jeffery said. The college’s main campus on 1900 Pico Blvd. and all five satellite campuses — Bundy Campus, Emeritus College, the Performing Arts Campus, Airport Campus, and the Center for Media and Design — are closed to the public.
The college previously canceled classes Friday, Mar. 13 through Tuesday, Mar. 17 to provide time for faculty members, staff and students to prepare for the transition to remote instruction.
SMC remained open for business during that time and students were allowed to come to campus to access student services, computer labs and the library. Some classes that require in-person instruction continued and athletic events were held without spectators.
L.A. County confirmed Thursday that Santa Monica had two cases of coronavirus, but it is unknown if the student represents one of the cases. County officials said Wednesday that Santa Monica had three cases.
Additionally, employees in three Bergamot area offices also tested positive last weekend.
Officials announced 40 new cases across Los Angeles County Thursday for a total of 231, with four in Venice and 13 in Brentwood.
L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a press conference Thursday that the true countywide total is likely much higher, so people should assume they may be infected and that people around them may be infected.
“If we all take this mindset and act accordingly, it will slow the spread of COVID-19,” Ferrer said. “Everyone should remain at home as much as possible.”