Current Policies and Operations Status
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 KF95s) 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Meetings - Research and administrative groups are permitted to conduct in-person meetings indoors on campus.
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.
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.
This week's COVID-19 news and updates
Week of May 23, 2022
- Caltech's Student Wellness Services (SWS) and the Caltech COVID Surveillance Lab (CCSL) will close at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 27, and will remain closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day. Surveillance testing kits and samples will not be picked up nor dropped off during this time. Regular surveillance testing operations will resume on Tuesday, May 31.
- Amid rising numbers of COVID-19 cases on Caltech's campus, we are once again requiring high-quality masks to be worn indoors and suspending large indoor gatherings.
- The Institute's requirements regarding the participation in surveillance testing remain in effect. If you are participating in surveillance testing, please ensure that you are filling your sample tubes half-full with clear saliva, at least 30 minutes after eating, drinking or smoking. The lab has received numerous vials that contain insufficient saliva volume, food particles, and tubes that are over-filled.
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.
May 9, 2022
Changes to Surveillance Testing Notifications
As of May 9, individuals participating in the Institute's surveillance testing program will be contacted by 6 p.m. on the day following their surveillance sample submission if they need to participate in confirmatory testing.
May 6, 2022
Interhouse Party Plans
Institute leadership has approved limited plans for undergraduate interhouse parties to resume this weekend.
May 6, 2022
Approximately 472 samples from Thursday's surveillance testing have been delayed.
May 5, 2022
Lab Delays and Early Closure of the Pick-up Site
Approximately 306 samples from Wednesday's surveillance testing have been delayed. Also, due to unexpected staffing constraints, the kit pick-up site on Olive Walk will close at 1:30 pm today and resume normal hours tomorrow (May 6).
April 26, 2022
Contaminated Surveillance Testing Samples
Sample contamination resulted in a large number of individuals participating in routine surveillance testing being flagged as potentially positive for COVID-19. These individuals were asked to isolate until the results could be checked. The vast majority of them turned out to be negative. The error was identified and corrected.