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3/2/2022 - To Graduate Students: Spring Break Travel

To: Graduate Students 

From: Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs
David C. Chan, Dean of Graduate Studies

In looking ahead to Caltech's spring break recess from March 17–25, we write to provide guidance around graduate spring break travel. 

Although the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County and among members of the Caltech community has recently been on the decline, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still circulating at elevated levels across the United States. We must remain vigilant in our preventative health practices to ensure the well-being of the community. 

Caltech recommends that all graduate students refrain from unnecessary travel away from campus during spring break. Graduate students who travel during spring break, and who will be enrolled in any spring term course that meets for in-person learning, will be expected to adhere to the following requirements:

  • Register travel by submitting a Reporting Temporary Absence from Surveillance Testing form by March 10. For the purpose of travel registration, any overnight stay away from campus, whether or not air travel is involved, qualifies as travel. 
  • Upon returning to campus, comply with a specific arrival testing protocol that may be distinct from and in addition to the usual surveillance testing required of all students. Additional details on arrival testing requirements will follow.  

Furthermore, all graduate students who choose to travel are strongly urged to return to campus by Monday, March 28. This will both allow for us to re-establish our campus "bubble" as quickly and effectively as possible after the break and support a smooth transition to the start of the spring term. 

Graduate students who are currently required to participate in the campus surveillance testing program, and who remain on campus and do not travel over the break, should continue participating in surveillance testing at least twice a week during the break, but will not be required to undergo any special testing at the start of spring term. 

Any student who fails to follow any of these guidelines and protocols for students who travel or remain on campus will be subject to potential disciplinary consequences, in accordance with the Student Health and Hygiene Policies

These travel planning measures are meant to support the Institute's commitment to in-person learning and research, and to prevent any need for more restrictive measures around student activities and events through spring term. 

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and adherence to these protocols.