Recent Community Updates
Updated March 31, 2020
Pomona College continues to take measures to support public health efforts in response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On March 24, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health placed Claremont for the first time on the list of communities with a known coronavirus (COVID-19) case (with no additional details provided).
In line with national and state measures, good public health practice dictates that the College reduce the number of people on Pomona’s campus as much as possible.
Since most of our students have moved off-campus, we recognize the loss and disruption this brings, and that this required public health step hits at the very center of who we are as a residential liberal arts college. The reality we face is that Pomona is not equipped to support an on-campus population in the face of a pandemic of this nature.
To our students, please know that we continue to provide financial and other support to each student who has asked. Beyond covering travel costs for all who request help, we will continue to offer support for those who need it, by:
- paying all student employees through the end of the semester, regardless of whether they are able to continue working.
- providing prorated refunds of room and board to all students moving off campus.
- providing free laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots for all students who requested technology support as we move to online classes.
- storing students’ belongings until the fall at no cost.
To our broader community, we want to share that as of today, most students have now moved off campus.
Students remaining on campus will be able to stay through the semester but will need to adhere to public health requirements that allow for only essential travel (this should allow for purchase of essential items) under the new stay-at-home orders. Maintaining social distancing and limiting back-and-forth travel between various settings are crucial steps in this public health crisis.
To carry out necessary social distancing at Pomona, all academic buildings are now closed, including Rains Center. Meetings between faculty and students should be conducted remotely with the College temporarily shifting to online coursework, with a remote instruction starting the week of March 30.
Commencement originally scheduled for May 17 has been postponed for the fall. The 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) has been suspended.
On March 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a sweeping new statewide stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Around the same time, Los Angeles County issued similar new restrictions that will necessitate the temporary closure of many businesses and require social distancing measures, among other steps.
To this end, all staff members who can work from home must do so until further notice. Any staff members who are on campus today and are able to work remotely should prepare to work from home starting March 23. If they haven’t done so already, supervisors should contact staff members today to determine the best ways to stay in communication during this period.
We understand there will be many details to work out, and we’ve begun to answer questions in our teleworking FAQ.
In this fast-moving situation, we know faculty, staff and students will have many questions, and we have begun to answer them in our FAQ. We will continue to provide additional details as soon as we have them.
Staff or faculty members diagnosed with coronavirus or told by a medical professional they may have it should contact Human Resources Assistant Vice President Brenda Rushforth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students should contact Dean of Students Avis Hinkson at email@example.com.
It bears saying again: Anyone who is ill should not come to work. Any student who is ill and still on campus should stay away from others. If you have a fever together with a cough and/or respiratory trouble please treat the situation as though you have the virus, contact your healthcare provider and self-quarantine.
We are deeply grateful to our entire community for your endurance and adaptability in the face of today’s difficulties. We will be working continuously to help get our community back to a sense a normalcy when this crisis has passed by, and we are truly thankful for your help.
For more information, please see the College’s latest update to the community.
As the coronavirus continues to spread in communities in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to take precautions now. It is also important to work against discrimination and rumors.
The CDC also indicates the main symptoms are: fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Please contact your healthcare provider if you need non-emergency medical assistance or call 911 for a medical emergency.
For our students on campus, Student Health Services at The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS) is providing information about the outbreak, resources and medical assistance. Students can reach the health center at (909) 621-8222, or after hours or weekends, call Campus Safety at (909) 607-2000.
Important Additional Steps You Can Take
- Avoid contact with others if feeling ill and symptomatic.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.