Message to the Pomona College Community -- Coronavirus Precautions/Planning (3/5/20)

Dear Pomona College community:

Developments in response to the coronavirus are moving quickly around the globe and on our Pomona College campus.

We are writing to offer an overview of actions the College is taking and to discuss the overarching values that will guide our approach during this unusual time. Pomona.edu/coronavirus will be the source for continued campus-specific updates beyond this message.

First, some specific steps:

  • We have instituted new travel policies to help us protect one another while carrying forward our core educational mission. The College will not sponsor or reimburse travel to countries designated at a U.S. State Department level two or higher travel advisory for coronavirus risk. Beyond that, we are curtailing non-essential air travel, domestic and international.
  • We have detailed plans in place for a range of scenarios, including the need to isolate ill individuals, delivery of food outside of dining halls to avoid large assemblies and conducting classes online if that becomes necessary.
  • We are continually reinforcing health precautions; people who are ill should stay home and everyone should engage in frequent, thorough hand-washing. We also have increased the frequency of cleaning of areas such as residence halls and classrooms.
  • We are planning for additional contingencies if they become necessary, involving social distancing, reassessing campus events and telecommuting in some roles that do not directly work with students. College leaders have been meeting daily to plan for contingencies in this area, and we are coordinating closely with our colleagues at the neighboring Claremont Colleges and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
  • Anticipating more students will stay on campus for spring break, we are increasing resources in areas such as dining and residence halls. We are also working to assist students, particularly international students, who face concerns about the challenges of returning home when the semester ends.

In each step we take, we will work closely with and seek guidance from public health officials as we support the wider community in effectively reducing the harm and reach of the virus. We also will work to quell rumors and fight discrimination.

We need everyone working together to help reduce the risk for one another. For our students, Student Health Services at The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS) is providing information, resources and medical assistance. Alumni and families also can contribute to the global effort by practicing recommended health precautions. We also should recognize and thank the many members of our extended community working on the front lines in the medical and public health fields.

In this rapidly-changing situation, our Pomona community can be a voice for good information and effective practices, whether on campus or around the globe. We will continue to update you on our planning and precautions on campus.

Sincerely,

G. Gabrielle Starr, president
Robert Gaines, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college
Robert Goldberg, vice president, COO and treasurer
Avis Hinkson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students