Dear Pomona College Community,
In recent days, we have seen a significant spike in the number of students testing positive for COVID-19. Last week, 33 students and one faculty member tested positive; so far this week, 27 students and one faculty member have tested positive. We had anticipated a rise in cases after spring break. In fact, to account for this likelihood, we agreed to maintain in place key public health protocols, including indoor masking and mandatory testing, at least through April 4, two weeks after the end of spring break.
While we anticipated a spike in cases, the numbers at this point are a bit larger than we expected. We will continue to carefully monitor our positivity rates in the coming days. In the meantime, we are asking all members of our community to ensure they follow these important measures:
- Wear a mask indoors in all settings, including classrooms, dining halls, and in the residence halls. Until further notice, this means that students, faculty and staff should wear their mask during meetings, when working in cubicles or other spaces inside, and when walking through buildings;
- Wear a mask when attending large gatherings outdoors (more than 50 people);
- Continue to get tested for COVID-19 once per week; and
- Ensure that organizers of indoor and outdoor events follow our health protocols for events.
Over the next week or so we will reduce indoor seating capacity in our dining halls and will increase grab-and-go options for students. We urge students and other members of our community to eat outside whenever possible.
We will continue to monitor our positivity rates and, should they remain high over the next week, we will consider the next appropriate steps.
Thank you for your support.
The COVID-19 Planning and Response Group
G. Gabrielle Starr, President
Robert Gaines, VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
Fernando Lozano, Professor of Economics and Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee
Jade Star Lackey, Associate Professor of Geology
Hans Rindisbacher, Professor of German
Kenneth Baxter Wolf, John Sutton Miner Professor of History and Professor of Classics
Avis Hinkson, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Robert Goldberg, VP, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer
Christina Ciambriello, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Robert Robinson, AVP for Facilities and Campus Services
Alexis Reyes, Assistant Director of Sustainability and Chair of the Staff Council
Natalie Hughes, Academic Coordinator, Physics and Astronomy
Selena Lopez, Class of 2022
Nathan Tran, Class of 2023