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Health and Safety FAQ

Updated February 23, 2021

Caltech employees who can work remotely should continue to do so. If you have to come to campus, review the guidance and instructions on the Going to Campus page. You will need to register for surveillance testing by contacting covid19@caltech.edu and register your visit by attesting to your health and recording all locations visited and in-person interactions within the COVID-19 Reporting Application. Once on campus, you will need to maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distance from others; follow one-way signage that guides traffic through campus buildings; and wear a face covering indoors and outdoors.

Throughout the pandemic, Caltech has consulted closely with colleagues and health officials at the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), which has direct jurisdiction over campus operation, as well as with the Los Angeles County Health Department and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which establishes guidelines for the region more broadly. Faculty researchers and experts have also provided counsel to health and government officials at the state and national level, and shared new technologies and research developments as they are advanced.

PPHD has commended the Institute for its careful management of its return to research operations and its plans for how Caltech can safely and reasonable manage a return to in-person instruction and residential living. And while the current health conditions and trajectory of the pandemic have thus far prevented a return of undergraduate students to on-campus instruction, we continue to actively assess, monitor, and plan for an eventual return to on-campus activities.

Student wellness services continues to serve students even if they are remote and engaged in distance learning. Services include one-on-one consultation, case management, and occupational therapy resources, as well as a number of groups and workshops. For international students in particular, it can be hard to have synchronous experiences with both class and with staff. Because of this, we have all of our workshops and groups available for students to download and stream whenever it's convenient for them. We also have a lot of different web-based resources such as online cognitive-behavioral therapy through SilverCloud, anonymous self-assessments, and work from home resources. Students may schedule an initial consultation with a Counseling Services clinician to identify needs and get recommendations for an appropriate treatment plan regardless of a student's location.

In addition, Student Wellness Services has weekly drop-in hours for both occupational therapy and counseling. For those programs, it doesn't matter where a student is across the world, they're welcome to join and connect with the other students and/or clinicians for support. We are launching a series on emotional well-being over Zoom. In the series, we engage some of our staff as well as providers from the local community to talk on a range of different issues. From things like struggling with ADHD, to relationship difficulties, to stress management, there is a whole range of different topics that are really designed to help give people coping strategies and skills that can help them through this time.

The requirement to have health insurance stands; it is important that all students have access to timely care wherever they reside. Students may elect to purchase the United HealthCare Student Resources plan, which provides coverage nationwide, or retain their family plan or other coverage as long as it meets the minimum benefit requirements.

Students who are traveling to Caltech from another country and moving into Institute housing are required to self-quarantine, which includes staying home and practicing social distancing for 10 days. Caltech will provide quarantine space to those students who have a Caltech housing assignment that does not meet the minimum guidelines for quarantine. For guidance on living in residence, please see our COVID-19 Self-Quarantine Information page.

The Graduate Student Community Health and Hygiene Policy outlines the expectations for the graduate student community regarding efforts to mitigate the spread of disease. It is imperative that all members of the community are clear about the need for compliance. These measures are intended to keep everyone safe.

If you are found to be in violation of public health guidelines or Institute policies, you will be reminded of the expectations. If the problem persists, the Graduate Dean's Office will be notified. Under the policy, the Graduate Dean or their designee will determine the appropriate sanctions.