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General FAQ

Updated February 23, 2021

In consultation with local public health authorities, all undergraduate instruction is currently being conducted online. In addition, for now and the foreseeable future, Caltech employees who can work remotely are asked to continue to do so. Those who must report to campus for work, research or instruction responsibilities are required to comply with public health orders and Institute guidelines on face coverings, social distancing, and symptom monitoring and reporting. All individuals who report to campus must also participate in a surveillance testing program that is intended to identify asymptomatic individuals in the community. Caltech also offers free COVID-19 testing to all members of the Caltech community who are either experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been exposed to an ill person.

Meanwhile, upgrades to campus so far have included a comprehensive assessment and maintenance of all HVAC systems to ensure that they are operating correctly and providing maximum air flow, the addition of hand sanitizer stations in all common employee area and building entrances, and the implementation of strict reporting procedures that limit campus facility occupancy to 25 percent of our normal capacity.

Moving forward, the Institute has been approved to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the Caltech community. More details will be available on the COVID-19 Vaccination at Caltech page.

The most current information can be found on the Caltech COVID-19 Dashboard, which will be updated every weekday by 2 p.m. PDT. You can also sign up to receive timely emailed updates from Caltech on COVID-19 cases.

Caltech will continue to work with local public health officials to monitor this situation and continue to employ rigorous contact tracing protocols to notify any campus community member who may be at risk of exposure.

If you are ill or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay home and contact your health care provider. Members of the Caltech community experiencing COVID-like symptoms should promptly report the illness through the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting App.

Caltech provides COVID-19 testing for all members of the campus community (faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and students through Student Wellness Services, and also has an on-campus surveillance testing program operating for all individuals currently reporting onsite. More information can be found on the COVID-19 Testing page.

Students who are experiencing any mental health concerns, including increased anxiety or stress related to the virus, should reach out to Student Counseling Services for consultation and support. Call (626) 395-8331 to seek help or to arrange an appointment.

After-hours crisis services and weekend response (for issues that cannot wait until the next business day): Call the Counseling Services main line (626) 395-8331 and press "2" to be connected to a clinician. You may experience a brief hold while your call is connected; please stay on the line.

Caltech employees and postdocs may utilize the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center. Please call (626) 395-8360 or email SFCC@caltech.edu.

Parking operations are still in effect at Caltech and regular parking fees still apply. All vehicles parked on campus must display a valid parking permit as per the campus parking regulations.

Individuals that wish to cancel their parking permits may do one of the following:

  1. Return the permit by mail to the address below
  2. Return the permit in person to the Security office located in the Holliston Parking Garage (open 24 hours)
  3. Send a picture of the destroyed permit (cut into at least 4 pieces with the permit number still visible) to: parking@caltech.edu

Parking fees will not be refunded.

Caltech's travel guidance strongly discourages all members of the community from participating in nonessential personal travel. Institute-sponsored travel is only permissible when deemed essential and approved, in advance, by the reporting division chair, vice president, provost, or president.

The Institute's preventative measures emphasize that all members of the community who are reporting to campus or an off-site location should be mindful of their behavior, including travel, and limit participation in high-risk activities, regardless of where they are located. Anyone participating in activities that take place indoors, do not support physical distancing between individuals from different households, or involve groups of individuals gathering from multiple households, or who are interacting with individuals without face coverings are at increased risk of exposure to the virus and thus are also more likely to spread the virus to members of the Caltech community.

Students and postdoctoral scholars in Caltech Housing may be required to quarantine prior to moving into their Caltech residence (subject to the local health department requirements ). While the Institute does not have a policy that requires members of the Caltech community going to the Pasadena campus to quarantine after travel, individuals are required to adhere to local public health orders. Caltech strongly discourages all members of the community from participating in nonessential personal travel.

Individuals traveling to or from Institute-managed, off-site locations should consult with the respective site leadership for directions or requirements that pertain specifically to that location.

For more information, see the Travel FAQ.