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11/28/2020 - L.A. County's Targeted Safer at Home Order

To: The Caltech Community
From: David A. Tirrell, Provost 
Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President

The County of Los Angeles issued a targeted Safer at Home Order yesterday that will take effect Monday, November 30 and remain in effect through Sunday, December 20, 2020. 

The temporary order, implemented in response to the recent and continuing surge in new COVID-19 cases, will require additional safety measures limiting both nonessential movement around the county and interactions of individuals across households. In the new order, county residents are advised to stay at home as much as possible and to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others. Additional safety modifications in the order prohibit all public and private gatherings, except for faith based services and protests, and implement occupancy limits on businesses. The full order can be viewed on the county's health department site

In June, Caltech's return to managed research and business operations was authorized in accordance with the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Public Health Department's reopening protocol for office workspaces. In consultation with Pasadena Public Health, we have determined that Caltech can maintain laboratory research operations in compliance with the county's new temporary order and in accordance with the Pasadena protocol. Pasadena Public Health, which has direct jurisdiction over the campus, has yet to update its order but is likely to adopt some of the county's measures.

With this authorization, the permitted on-site functions for the Caltech community include: experimental research; distance learning and the operation of student housing and dining facilities; custodial, security, payroll, and student wellness services; and other necessary maintenance and management of laboratories and facilities. The Athenaeum will continue to provide to-go services and outdoor dining, in accordance with Pasadena's protocol. Outdoor recreational activities also are permitted when limited to members of a household, and when physical distancing and face covering guidelines are followed. Caltech has been approved to operate at this level because of the campus' stringent compliance with preventative health measures and our ability to date to maintain a relatively low level of infection and to mitigate transmission within the community. If the situation were to worsen, however, it is possible that further restrictions to operations may be required.

Those individuals who need to conduct work or research on-campus must do so in accordance with the Institute's face coverings, physical distancing, and preventative hygiene and hand-washing guidelines. Importantly, all individuals regularly reporting onsite for essential work, research, or instructional activities are required to participate in the Institute's mandatory surveillance testing program, which will begin on November 30.

Staff, faculty, students, and postdoctoral scholars who are able to do their work from a remote location should continue to do so. If you are unsure about your options or the transferability of your tasks to a remote location, please consult with your manager or supervisor.

Thank you for your continued efforts to mitigate risk and the spread of COVID-19. We must all continue to act in a manner that respects and supports the health and well-being of everyone in our community.