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6/01/2022 - COVID-19 in the Undergraduate Student Population

To: The Caltech Community

From: Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs

David A. Tirrell, Provost

Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President

This week we have recorded a rise in COVID-19 cases in the undergraduate student population, with 36 cases recorded in the past two days. Student Wellness Services (SWS) has determined that this increase in activity is likely connected with a social trip taken by members of an undergraduate residence this past weekend. All students who participated in the trip have been asked to self-quarantine until they are cleared through surveillance testing, and all members of the residence have been asked to submit additional samples for testing later this week.

With these new cases, there are now 42 students in isolation in spaces set aside in Caltech housing for that purpose.

This week's activity in the undergraduate community follows last week's increase in COVID-19 cases among members of the graduate student population—an occurrence that appeared to be connected to the Graduate Student Council formal.

In response to both of these incidents, the Institute is implementing the following health and safety measures:

  • For the remainder of Spring Term, all student social activities where food and drink are served and individuals unmask must be held outside and allow for distancing among attendees.
  • Masking will continue to be required in indoor spaces on campus, and is encouraged in large outdoor events or crowded spaces.
  • All attendees at, and participants in, Caltech's Commencement Ceremony on June 10 also will be required to wear a mask while seated for the event.

Staff members in student affairs continue to monitor the campus isolation space and will work to create additional isolation spaces as needed.

We will be monitoring campus testing data and case activity and will update the community on any changes to health and safety measures based on that data.

As always, the safety and well-being of Caltech's students, staff, and faculty is a priority. All members of the Caltech community are expected to:

  • Notify SWS immediately if you are ill, have had a positive test for COVID-19, or have been exposed to anyone with a positive test for COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you are ill, have a fever, or have otherwise been instructed to quarantine or isolate.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. 

We encourage everyone reporting on-site to participate in Caltech's surveillance testing program.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.