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9/4/2020 - Self-Monitoring Instructions

To:  Incoming Graduate Students
From: Jennifer Howes, Executive Director of Student Wellness Services

Welcome to Caltech! While the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated many changes to the typical start of your experience as a new graduate student, we are committed to helping you transition to the campus community while maintaining a high priority on safety protocols. Your cooperation and commitment are an integral component of how we can keep viral transmission low at Caltech and keep our community members healthy and able to work, study, and do research. 

Please review the Caltech Health and Hygiene Policy and the Caltech Community Commitment. All graduate students are expected to follow these guidelines in order to work on campus and access resources, recreation, and housing. 

Upon arrival in the Pasadena area, and prior to beginning work on campus:

  • All students should complete a 14-day self-monitoring period and have a negative COVID-19 test prior to accessing campus facilities and laboratory space. 
    • Students living in Caltech housing have been provided instructions for testing and for their quarantine period in the dormitories prior to moving to their permanent assignments. Once students have transitioned to their permanent housing (on approximately day 8), they should complete the remainder of the 14-day self-monitoring period.
    • Students living off campus should schedule a COVID-19 test at the end of their 14-day self-monitoring period; call Student Wellness Services at 626-395-6393 to make an appointment. Results are returned within 24-48 hours. 


During the 14-day self-monitoring period, please remember:

  • If you develop fever, cough, or other symptoms of illness, please call Student Wellness Services at 626-395-6393 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; email  covid19@caltech.edu; or report through the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting Application, found at access.caltech.edu
  • For urgent health concerns or life-threatening emergencies, please call 911 (off campus) or, if on campus, Caltech Security at Ext. 5000; Caltech Security will direct emergency medical assistance to your location.
  • Do not access public areas of campus or enter campus buildings. Students may seek medical care at Student Wellness Services by appointment only.  

Once cleared to access campus facilities, all students are expected to complete the daily health attestation in the Caltech COVID-19 Reporting Application, found at access.caltech.edu. (Please note, you must log in to your access account.) This is an integral part of the Institute's illness reporting protocol, and helps facilitate accurate contact tracing. Individuals should complete the attestation every day on which they access campus facilities, and log any locations visited for 15 minutes or longer. 

Even after your 14-day self-monitoring period, if you develop symptoms of illness or have a known or suspected exposure to someone who is ill or tests positive for COVID-19, use the "Report an Illness or Exposure" button in the reporting application to alert the COVID-19 Response Team. A medical professional will contact you and initiate the contact tracing process, as well as provide you with information about isolation, quarantine, and scheduling a COVID-19 test.

Students should communicate with their adviser, division operations officer, or option administrator for any division-specific instructions about accessing laboratory space and academic buildings.

Thank you for your attention to these important instructions. If you have questions, please contact covid19@caltech.edu for further assistance.