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Current Policies and Operations Status

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Masks – As of April 22, 2022, Caltech requires the universal use of masks, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor settings on campus. High-quality masks (surgical, N95s, KN95s, or KF94s) must be worn in all indoor locations on campus, including athletic facilities. Exceptions to this rule can be made when an individual is alone in a space or is actively eating or drinking. Additionally, instructors, speakers, and performers may elect to remove their masks indoors when all other individuals in the space are masked.

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Vaccination/Booster – All students and employees must be fully vaccinated with a booster shot or have an approved exemption on file with the Institute. Individuals who are not yet eligible to receive a booster dose have 30 days from their date of eligibility to receive their booster and to document their immunization record in the Caltech Health Portal, managed by Student Wellness Services.

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Testing – All undergraduate students, graduate students living in Caltech-managed housing or participating in in-person learning, and employees with an Institute-approved exemption from COVID-19 vaccination are required to participate in twice-weekly surveillance testing. Faculty and staff involved in in-person instruction or reporting on-site are encouraged to participate in the program. Undergraduate and graduate students are required to adhere to spring break travel testing protocols.

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Illness Reporting – Any employee or student who experiences COVID-like symptoms must report their illness through the COVID-19 Reporting Application so that a member of SWS can follow up as appropriate.

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Isolation – 1) You have had no fever for at least 24 hours and 2) Your respiratory symptoms have improved or ended and 3) You have a negative proctored antigen test result on day 5 or later and 4) You have submitted your daily surveys. If you choose not to test, you must remain in isolation for at least 10 days since the date your symptoms first appeared or you received a positive test result, (whichever is earlier).

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Quarantine – If you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must report it via the COVID-19 Reporting Application and SWS will follow up. Quarantine instructions may vary depending on your vaccination status.

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Instruction – All Caltech courses are currently being conducted in-person.

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Remote Work – The Institute has returned to pre-Omicron staffing plans and no longer asks individuals to work remotely to de-densify campus spaces. Employees may participate in remote or hybrid work with the approval of their manager or supervisor and in coordination with Caltech Human Resources.

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Recreation - Braun Athletic Center has reopened.

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Athletics - Intercollegiate sports have resumed as usual.

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Meetings - Research and administrative groups are permitted to conduct in-person meetings indoors on campus.

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Dining – Indoor dining at campus eateries and the Athenaeum may resume at full capacity. The Lee F. Browne Dining Hall, the Red Door Café, and the Broad Café will scale up indoor seating and operations in the early weeks of the spring term and in accordance with community demand and staffing resources at each location. Student residential dining also will be scaled up gradually over the course of the term.

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Events – Until further notice, indoor social events on campus that bring together more than 50 people should be postponed where possible. This pause in activity is aimed at scaling back high risk social engagements; it does not apply to lectures, performances, or other official events held in campus event spaces such as the Institute's main auditoriums or Athenaeum where additional health and safety protocols are in place.


Campus resources


This week's COVID-19 news and updates

Week of August 8, 2022

  • The hours for confirmatory testing have changed. Confirmatory testing by SWS will now be conducted from 9-9:30 a.m., Tuesday - Saturday.
  • As we welcome more than 750 undergraduate students onto campus for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships and WAVE Fellowship programs and enjoy summer studies and research, please remember that we continue to require high-quality masks to be worn indoors.
  • As part of the Institute's continuing health and safety measures during the pandemic, all students participating in the program will be required to submit twice-weekly surveillance samples to the Institute's on-campus surveillance testing program. This is the first year that SURF and WAVE program participants will also have full access to the Institute's health and mental services during their stay.

Latest communications

August 8, 2022
Fall Term Plans

The Institute has announced that, effective Fall Ferm, instruction will largely resume being conducted as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Classrooms and lecture halls will no longer be operated at reduced capacity. A decision on rules for masking in campus buildings will be announced by September 20. Currently, high quality masks are still required in buildings on campus.

June 3, 2022
Early Campus Departure
To help reduce on-campus density and mitigate the potential for additional infection within the undergraduate residential communities, we are inviting students who can leave campus to do so as soon as they are able. 

June 1, 2022
COVID-19 in the Undergraduate Student Population
This week we have recorded a rise in COVID-19 cases in the undergraduate student population that is likely connected with a social trip taken by members of an undergraduate residence this past weekend.

May 25, 2022
Response to Recent COVID-19 Case Activity
Due to an increase of case counts on campus, many of which have been linked to a graduate student formal dance, SWS is asking all attendees of the formal to submit surveillance testing samples and self-quarantine until they receive a message from SWS clearing them.