skip to main content
Home  /  Updates  /  General Updates  /  9/3/2021 - Mandatory COVID-19 Surveillance Program

9/3/2021 - Mandatory COVID-19 Surveillance Program

From: Jennifer Howes, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Wellness
Re: Mandatory COVID-19 Surveillance Program

This message includes important information about your mandatory participation in the COVID-19 Surveillance Program. Please read it carefully and right away, as the information is time-sensitive. We appreciate your attention to this important matter. 

Please note: You will receive detailed instructions on how to use the saliva self-collection kit when you pick it up. 

As a resident in one of Caltech's properties, you are required to participate in the COVID-19 Surveillance Program; this requirement is effective as of Tuesday, September 7. If you have not yet picked up a self-collection kit, you must do so between the hours of 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday, September 7 – Thursday, September 9, at the distribution table in front of Lloyd House on the Olive Walk.

Students should submit at least one sample between September 7 and September 9 at any one of the three drop-off locations (in front of Bechtel on the Moore Lab breezeway, in the Beckman Institute courtyard, and in front of Lloyd House on the Olive Walk). While you may submit up to two samples in this first week, we are only requiring one sample from everyone in order to allow for individuals who have not yet picked up their kits to be fully on-boarded into the program. Samples may be dropped off between the hours of 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. There is no sample collection on Monday, September 6, or Friday, September 10. Please plan your kit pick-up and sample drop-off accordingly.

Beginning Monday, September 13, all students living in Caltech-owned properties (all undergraduate residences, Catalina apartments, and leased properties) must submit two samples per week. Individuals who do not comply will be referred to the relevant deans' office and, in the case of ongoing non-compliance, may lose housing privileges and jeopardize their enrollment.

You may also receive important notifications and messages from the surveillance laboratory (CaltechCCSL) via email and/or text message. Please be sure to read these messages carefully as they may provide updates or information on modifications to the program or testing schedule.  

When your sample is received for processing by the laboratory, you will receive notification from the laboratory. But you will not receive a report on or notification of your results. In the event that your test is flagged for follow-up confirmatory testing, a staff member from Student Wellness Services will reach out to you through your preferred phone number (as indicated in access.caltech) the day after you submit your sample. Please do not contact Student Wellness Services with questions about your individual results; if you are not contacted the day after you submit your sample, no action is required and you should continue to submit twice-weekly samples.

Please note: Undergraduate student athletes and participants in the Freshman Summer Research Institute program should continue to submit samples under the direction of their program coordinators. If you are a student athlete or FSRI participant, please contact your coach/athletic trainer or program coordinator for assistance. 

Thank you for your cooperation. We must all work together to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 within our community. The surveillance program is one important piece, as are masking, self-monitoring for symptoms, and physical distancing. Please visit the website for the latest information on campus protocols. If you develop symptoms of illness, please report through the COVID-19 reporting application and minimize your contact with others until you are contacted by a member of the Student Wellness Services unit for further instructions.