03/31/2023 - Spring Term Health and Safety Protocols
To: The Campus Community
From: Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs
David A. Tirrell, Provost
Date: March 31, 2023
Re: Spring Term Health and Safety Protocols
As we prepare for the start of the spring term and the return of students to on-campus residences, we write to update you on the health and safety protocols in place to limit the likelihood of COVID transmission.
Caltech's campus-sponsored surveillance testing program marked its final day on March 17. Since then we have moved to an infection-control model that emphasizes individual symptom screening and proactive reporting. In this new phase, the following guidelines and expectations are in effect.
Personal Health Screening and Reporting
All members of the community have a responsibility to work together to limit the spread of infection on campus. To that end, we expect:
- Students to report promptly any and all symptoms of illness or a positive COVID-19 test result via the COVID-19 Reporting Application. All reports submitted through the app will be reviewed by a health professional in Student Wellness Services (SWS) and reporting students will receive personal follow up.
If students are ill, they will be instructed to stay home until they have recovered. SWS may also instruct students to come into the health center for a COVID-19 test.
If an SWS COVID test, an at-home COVID test, or a provider-administered COVID test is positive, students will be required to isolate in residence until symptoms resolve and students have completed at least day 6 of their isolation period.
- Employees (faculty, staff, postdocs, and campus affiliates) to conduct a personal health screening before coming to work, attending a class, or engaging in a campus activity. If an individual has symptoms of illness, they should notify their supervisor or division of absence due to illness and should refrain from coming to campus until all symptoms have abated.
Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should promptly report illness through the COVID-19 Reporting Application.
The Institute will record all reported COVID-19 cases on the COVID-19 Dashboard. The daily case activity graph will be updated accordingly.
Spring Break Travel Return To Campus Protocol
Students who traveled during spring break are expected to self-test for COVID-19 before returning to campus. The Institute provided antigen tests to all students to facilitate this requirement. Any student who receives a positive test result must delay their return to campus and report the result through the COVID-19 Reporting Application.
Students who remained in campus residences during spring break were instructed to follow the personal health screening and reporting guidelines outlined above, report any signs of illness, and test for COVID-19 if symptomatic.
The use of N95 masks in all instructional spaces is required. However, should we maintain a low level of case activity over the first two weeks of the term (similar to that reported before spring break), we expect to convert the mask requirement to a strong recommendation for continued mask use in instructional spaces. Any change in the Institute's masking requirements will be communicated at that time.
In all instances where masks are not required, use is voluntary. Please continue to respect individual preferences for mask use.
Thank you for your continued efforts and commitment to maintaining the health and safety of the Caltech community. We wish everyone well in the term ahead.