Concordia University in California said more than 50 rapid COVID-19 tests offered to asymptomatic students and faculty came back with false positive results — sparking fears of a potential outbreak on campus.
The Lutheran university in Irvine reported six active cases — four students and two employees — as of Wednesday.
President Michael Thomas thought an outbreak was on the rise when he ordered the tests.
“We wanted to protect families so we offered the rapid, antigen test here at Concordia out of abundance of caution,” he told the Orange County Register. “It was the right thing to do for our students and their families.”
On Saturday, 48 students and 16 staff members tested positive in the last two days after they took the antigen exam, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The students self-isolated while waiting for their results from the PCR test, which can detect the virus’ genetic material within days.
The school then canceled sports practices until the spring semester, and urged students not to travel out of state for Thanksgiving.
University officials said students will return to remote learning on Monday until the end of the semester.
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