Delta variant: Californian teenager tests positive for COVID breakthrough on move to University of Southern California

LOS ANGELES (KGO) – Today millions of students are moving from their homes to their dorms at colleges across the country. Bay Area freshman Edward Huang tested positive for COVID-19 on his first day on campus.

The San Mateo High School graduate spoke to ABC7 News anchor Kristen Sze on “Getting Answers” about his experience with the unexpected diagnosis.

According to the fully vaccinated 18-year-old, Huang began to experience a telltale symptom of COVID-19, a loss of smell, right after moving into his dorm at USC.

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“As I was getting my cleaning supplies ready, I realized I couldn’t smell anything. I put my shampoo in my nose and I couldn’t smell it, but my dad could. I realized that something thing was wrong. “

Alarmed, Huang convinced his parents to take him out of his newly furnished dormitory lest he be contagious. His family bought a rapid test from a local CVS, which immediately showed the freshman to be positive for COVID-19.

After spending hours online with the USC Student Health Hotline, Huang was booked into a nearby hotel by the university. He will isolate himself there for the next ten days until he is no longer contagious to others. He’s on the COVID floor, which is strictly for positive college students.

Huang received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine in March, but is now one of many vaccinated people who are experiencing a breakthrough case of COVID-19 due to the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

Although he was infected, Huang was still able to move into his dormitory on campus. He said USC recommended a test before move-in day, but did not require students to enter the school grounds. The university demanded a PCR test result three days after arriving in Los Angeles on August 22, which Huang had expected days after his positive self-diagnosed test result.

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“It would have been very easy for me to stay in my dorm and stay on campus, but I think I did the right thing… I don’t regret it, but I’m disappointed.”

Huang’s 10-day quarantine means missing out on all freshman orientation activities, as well as the first week of class.

As USC and colleges across the United States prepare for a week of orientation festivities, concerts and in-person classes, the freshman has expressed fears about a potential increase in cases. “I suspect there are a lot of students like me who might be symptomatic on campus and not know it. Don’t report it.”

Huang decided to share this story as an extension of his journey to become a journalist. Throughout the pandemic, he documented the lockdown and distance learning students experienced at San Mateo High School, repeatedly appearing on ABC7 News to share the work. Now a journalism student at USC, Huang offers this advice to ABC7 viewers, especially teens and college students.

“Wear masks. This thing is not over at all,” said Huang, “Even if you are vaccinated and you think you are fine – you have a good chance you will be fine – but please. , just wear masks to be safe. Because you could end up like me, who got infected with COVID just as I entered college. “

VIDEO: Back to school: Stanford doctor ranks best types of masks for kids in the classroom

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