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1/28/2021 - COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Suspended Friday Due to Inclement Weather

To: The Campus Community
From: Jennifer Howes, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Wellness

Tomorrow's rain storm has forced a temporary suspension of Caltech's COVID-19 surveillance testing operations on Friday, January 29.

Caltech's surveillance testing site, operated by Student Wellness Services (SWS), has been staged outdoors on Beckman Mall under large tents to ensure that there is appropriate ventilation of the space and to minimize impact on other areas of campus and on research operations. Unfortunately, this safety measure—meant primarily to mitigate any potential spread of the virus at the testing location—also leaves us open to the weather.

While the tents were chosen to be large enough to protect the testing site from light rain, Friday's forecast calls for heavy downpours that could swamp our operations and potentially create unsafe conditions for testing staff and individuals receiving tests.

Surveillance testing:

  • If you were scheduled to participate in surveillance testing on Friday, January 29, you are excused for this day only and may report directly to your work site. Please report as usual for your next scheduled surveillance testing appointment unless advised to do otherwise by SWS.

Symptomatic testing:

  • Members of the Caltech community who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms or who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should continue to promptly report the illness through the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting App; Student Wellness Services' clinic will remain open for testing of symptomatic/exposed individuals.

We apologize for any concern that this temporary suspension of surveillance testing operations might create, but the safety and well-being of Caltech's students, staff, and faculty remains our top priority.

A follow-up email will be sent to you tomorrow to advise you of the status of Caltech's testing facilities. If you do not receive an email, check Together.Caltech.edu for the latest updates. Unless you hear otherwise, please assume that testing will resume next week as normally scheduled. For more details about Caltech's testing programs, visit the testing page of the Together website. Information on any changes to the status of Caltech's testing facilities will be shared by email and posted on Together.Caltech.edu.

While regular testing is an important aspect of Caltech's risk-mitigation efforts, it is not our only prevention measure to combat the spread of COVID-19. All members of the community are expected to adhere to all preventative health measures (including maintaining a minimum of six feet of distance from individuals outside of your household, wearing a face covering, and washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), as well as to attest to their health, report all locations visited, and log close campus contacts for every day they are on campus or at a Caltech-managed offsite facility through the COVID-19 Web Reporting Application.