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At least 20 students test positive for COVID-19 after Halloween party

(Daily Bruin file photo)

By Genesis Qu and Samantha Fredberg

Nov. 6, 2020 10:19 p.m.

This post was updated Nov. 18 at 1:17 p.m. with an additional statement from a UCLA spokesperson.

A group of at least 20 students has tested positive for COVID-19 after a Halloween gathering, a UCLA spokesperson said.

All 20 students attended the late-October gathering and some of the students are fraternity or sorority members, said UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez in an emailed statement. All of the students are now self-isolating, Vazquez said in the email. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health notified UCLA of the outbreak, he added. 

Vazquez said in a subsequent Nov. 10 emailed statement that nine additional people were infected because of the gathering. Vazquez did not specify if those nine were also at the gathering.

In an Oct. 30 email obtained by The Bruin, the UCLA Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life discouraged Greek life members from attending Halloween parties. The email also contained guidelines and recommendations from county and state health departments on how to celebrate Halloween safely.

[Related link: UCLA community discusses cautions students should take for safe Halloween weekend]

The email noted that LACDPH guidelines allow for gatherings of up to three households. However, the email added, the guidelines specifically exclude group living situations – such as dorms and fraternity and sorority houses – from its definition of a household.

Vazquez said all students must comply with UCLA, LACDPH and state COVID-19 guidelines. Violators can receive fines up to $1,000 and face imprisonment of up to 90 days under California law.

The outbreak comes on the trail of an increase in cases county-wide. The LACDPH reported Thursday the highest number of new cases in a day since mid-August excluding cases associated with a late October backlog of cases. The LACDPH reported 2,108 confirmed new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

UCLA has reported that 38 students tested positive for COVID-19 after Oct. 31, including 33 living off-campus and 5 living in university housing.

The UCLA Exposure Management Team has notified people who came into close contact with the students, Vazquez said.

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Genesis Qu | Editor in chief
Qu is the 2021-2022 Editor in chief. He was previously the 2020-2021 campus politics editor and a contributor for The Stack. He is also a fourth-year statistics and political science student at UCLA.
Qu is the 2021-2022 Editor in chief. He was previously the 2020-2021 campus politics editor and a contributor for The Stack. He is also a fourth-year statistics and political science student at UCLA.
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