Dozen Point Loma Nazarene University students test positive for coronavirus, school says

Point Loma Nazarene University

A dozen Point Loma Nazarene University students tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus this week and 50 others were identified as “close contacts,” or people who were within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, school officials said Oct. 14.

That raised the total number of active cases among students to 19 — five of whom are living off campus. The university also said 66 students are in quarantine or isolation.

Officials were awaiting test results on 98 students.

“We are in the process of testing identified contacts and will continue to test throughout the week in coordination with the county,” said Jill Monroe, a campus spokeswoman.

Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of San Diego County’s epidemiology department, said during a weekly COVID-19 briefing Oct. 14 that public health resources are headed to the campus.

“We will be deploying a surge testing capability to the campus ... to test the remaining number of students who need to be tested,” McDonald said.

PLNU opened classes in mid-August with 2,600 students, only 267 of whom were permitted to live in campus housing. The school wanted to make sure it could safely operate without large numbers of infections. PLNU added 526 students to its dorms in September. Two tested positive.

The small Christian university is trying to contain the surge to avoid taking more drastic action.

“The recent developments do not impact our current plans for continued residential living this fall,” Jake Gilbertson, PLNU’s dean of students, said in a statement to the campus community.

San Diego State is the only local university to report a major outbreak during the fall semester. At least 1,163 students have tested positive for the coronavirus since Aug. 24. The number of infections has slowed recently.


Get Point Loma-OB Monthly in your inbox every month

News and features about Point Loma and Ocean Beach every month for free

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Point Loma-OB Monthly.