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Pomona Safe Update on COVID-19 Testing (1/8/21)

Dear Pomona College faculty and staff,

I hope all of you had a restful holiday season. We are writing to update you on new Pomona Safe public health protocols that the College is implementing to help keep our community safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. These updates include:

  • An expansion of routine COVID-19 testing to faculty and staff who are working on campus on a regular basis;
  • Changes in regulations governing how we notify members of our community if there are multiple positive COVID-19 cases;
  • Protocols for when you receive a COVID-19 test outside of our on-campus HHB Clinic;
  • The process for obtaining COVID-19 tests for family members; and
  • Information on town hall meetings that we will hold to discuss these and other aspects of our public health response to the pandemic.

Expansion of Faculty and Staff Testing

Last fall, we began routine testing of staff members who are required to work on campus. We are now ready to expand our testing program to faculty and staff who plan to come to campus on a routine basis.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, faculty and staff who come to campus on a regular basis will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis as a condition of their presence on campus.

The College will use the following methodology to govern COVID-19 testing:

  • Faculty and staff who come to campus one day per week will not be required to test routinely;
  • Faculty and staff who come to campus two or three days per week will be required to test once per week;
  • Faculty and staff who come to campus four or more days per week will be required to test twice per week;
  • Faculty and staff who come to campus intermittently, on an irregular schedule, will not be required to test at this time.

To facilitate this process, faculty and staff members who plan to be on campus on a routine basis will be asked to obtain approval to work on campus on a specific schedule. We will initiate this process in the coming days. This is important to (1) ensure that we know who will be on campus on a given day, (2) facilitate contact tracing and (3) efficiently allocate COVID-19 tests for those who are required to be on campus, who will maintain a regular presence on campus and those members of our community who are symptomatic or believe they have been exposed.

All routine testing will be done at the Hamilton Health Box clinic located in Rembrandt Hall on Bonita Avenue. Faculty and staff members will be provided with specific times in the morning to test during the week and will receive test results directly from the lab within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are on campus two or three days per week, you will be tested once on the earliest day you are on campus. If you are on campus four or more days per week, you will be tested on a Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday schedule.

Tests will only be performed within scheduled hours; those faculty and staff who fail to get tested as scheduled will be expected to leave campus and to consult with their supervisor and VP on next steps.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by HHB Nurse Stephanie Garcia-Barragan, who will provide further instructions for quarantine or isolation. Garcia-Barragan will also initiate contact tracing and will alert those who may have been exposed.

Given the contagious nature of COVID-19, we are asking faculty and staff who are on campus routinely to stick to their approved schedules. Should a schedule change, faculty and staff members will be expected to consult with their supervisor and VP, who will let HR know of the change.

In the next few days, your VP will be reaching out to inventory who plans to be on campus and to document specific on-campus work schedules.

Changes in notification procedures

New legal and regulatory mandates will bring new notifications to members of our Pomona College community if there is an outbreak. California’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health now mandates notice be given within one business day to all employees who occupy an “exposed workplace” when there are multiple COVID-19 infections or outbreaks in a single location. As a result, you may receive notices from the College from time to time as we track COVID-19 cases in our community.

As a reminder:

A COVID-19 case is defined as a person who has tested positive, is subject to an order to isolate from a health professional or public health official or who has died from COVID-19.

You are at risk for exposure if you were within six feet of the person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more, with or without the use of face coverings, over a 24-hour period, or had unprotected contact with the person’s body fluids and/or secretions (for example being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils or saliva) or provided care without using appropriate protective equipment.

We will be sending out notices within one business day to faculty and staff who work in a particular workspace in cases of multiple COVID cases in a single location. If contact tracing reveals that you are at risk of exposure, you will be contacted by HHB Nurse Stephanie Garcia-Barragan.

Outside Testing

If you test for COVID on your own, outside of the College and receive a positive result, you must immediately report that result to both HHB Nurse Stephanie Garcia-Barragan and Carol Saldivar in Pomona’s Human Resources Office at covidsafe@pomona.edu. This is required so that we may report to the State of California, as well as our workers’ compensation carrier, per changes in state laws effective Jan.1.

Testing Family Members

Our on-campus clinic is available to family members of Pomona faculty and staff. If a member of your family needs to be tested, please contact Stephanie.Garcia-Barragan@pomona.edu. Please note that, effective Monday, January 18,  you will be charged $75.00 for each test for each family member.

Town Halls

We will be hosting town halls for faculty and staff on Thursday, Jan. 14 and Friday, Jan. 15 between noon and 1 p.m. Pacific to discuss these updates and to answer any questions you may have. On hand will be our partners at Hamilton Health Box and Dr. Rekha Murthy, the Cedars Sinai epidemiologist who has been consulting with us as we manage through the pandemic.

Open Forums | Pomona Safe - COVID 19 Response

Jan 14, 2021, noon Pacific Time
Join Zoom Meeting:
(see campus email for link)

Jan 15, 2021, noon Pacific Time
Join Zoom Meeting:
(see campus email for link)

These are challenging days as we seek to protect the health of the campus and focus on a better future. We appreciate the willingness of our entire community to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect and take care of one another.

 

Sincerely

Rob Goldberg
VP, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer

Brenda Rushforth
AVP, Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer