UCLA confirmed that 153 students and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, as of July 29. In July alone, the university was linked to 46 positive cases, the highest number of any month to date.

The second-largest university in California attributed the higher number of positive cases to increased testing and said in a statement, “Anyone identified within our campus community as being at risk of exposure from these individuals will be notified if they need to be isolated or tested.”

The first reported case was traced back to March 16, from a staff member who works off campus. On March 17, the first UCLA student recorded a positive test and the university confirmed the student lived off-campus, in non-university housing. The numbers have gradually increased since, but so has the testing capabilities in L.A. County, as more than 1.6 million tests have been administered in the county since the start of the pandemic.

In June, UCLA announced that it would be offering limited on-campus courses with daily symptom checks being administered to those on campus.

“The health of our students, staff and faculty is of paramount importance and guides our planning process,” Emily Carter, Executive Vice Chancellor said in a statement.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 6,600 positive cases have been linked to 270 colleges nationwide, according to The New York Times.

L.A. County saw a record high in COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday, with 91, but Public Health noted the high number was due to a backlog of reports from last weekend.

As of Wednesday, L.A. County has recorded a total of 183,383 positive cases, with a positivity rate of 10 percent, and 4,516 deaths. The highest number of positive cases have been attributed to people ages 30-49, with 31 percent of positive cases having affected the Hispanic/Latinx community, the highest number among recorded races/ethnicities.

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