Home  /  Updates  /  Updates for Students and Parents  /  03/17/2023 - Guidance for Illness Reporting, Isolation Protocols, and Spring Break Travel

03/17/2023 - Guidance for Illness Reporting, Isolation Protocols, and Spring Break Travel

To: Caltech Students 

From: Lesley Nye, Interim Dean of Undergraduate Students
David C. Chan, Dean of Graduate Studies
Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs

Re: Guidance for Illness Reporting, Isolation Protocols, and Spring Break Travel

In an earlier communication to the campus community, the Institute announced that today, Friday, March 17, 2023, would mark the end of the Caltech-sponsored surveillance program and the Institute's twice-weekly testing requirement for all undergraduate students and graduate students in teaching environments.

In support of this transition to an infection control-model that emphasizes individual symptom screening and proactive reporting, I write to provide information about the Institute's plans and expectations of students in this next phase of supporting campus health and safety.

Personal Health Screening and Reporting
It is important that we continue to work together as a community to keep one another safe. To that end, all students should promptly report 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); reporting students will receive personal follow up from one of the providers, who will provide further direction on next steps.

If you are ill, you will be asked to stay home until you have recovered. You may also be instructed by SWS to come into the health center for a COVID-19 test.

If you test positive for COVID-19 at SWS, through an at-home test, or through another test provider, you will be required to isolate in your residence until the following conditions are met: 

  • It is at least day 6 of your isolation period and you have tested negative, or symptoms have abated.


  • 10 days have passed since the onset of your symptoms. 

Isolation Guidelines
Moving forward, students will be instructed to isolate-in-residence and to follow the new isolation-in-residence guidelines found here. These guidelines emphasize the need to avoid contact with others, whenever possible, and promote the adoption of additional preventative measures, such as masking and personal cleaning and disinfection, to mitigate the spread of disease.

Additionally, current planning will allow roommates of students who test positive for COVID-19 to elect to be temporarily relocated in Caltech Housing for the duration of their roommate's isolation period. Information on the relocation process may be found here

Spring Break Travel and Return to Campus Protocol
All students who travel away from campus for Spring Break are expected to self-test for COVID-19 before returning to campus. Antigen tests are available for pickup from RLCs. 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 remain in campus residences during spring break should follow the personal health screening and reporting guidelines outlined above, reporting any signs of illness and testing for COVID-19 if symptomatic.

Thank you for your continued cooperation in supporting the health and well-being of our campus community.