In-Person Classes Return January 31 (1/21/22)

Dear Pomona College Community,

We are writing with important news: In-person classes at Pomona will resume on Monday, January 31.

As a reminder, please note that all students need to be back on campus by January 26. This allows students who are still away time to receive on-campus COVID-19 testing and results, which are required before attending in-person classes.

So far this week, 3.1 percent of student tests (out of 1,253) are positive for COVID-19.

With the arrival of the highly contagious Omicron variant, this positivity rate is higher than what we experienced in fall semester. At the same time, it is currently far lower than our medical experts projected and far lower than the rates experienced by institutions in our region that began their semester earlier this month.

The staff and faculty test positivity rate this week is 2.6 percent (out of 384 tests).

For context, the test positivity rate for Los Angeles County as a whole was reported at 17.6 percent yesterday.

Our community is continuing to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

We are adding additional outdoor classrooms and are providing upgraded masks to everyone in our community who requests them, among other safety steps.

Staff members are working constantly to respond to the demands of the Omicron surge, and please be aware that in some instances we will face temporary staffing shortfalls and supply constraints.

We will address the challenges: To supplement our existing dining options for students, we will have food trucks on campus next week (details will be emailed to all students). Starting January 31 with the return of in-person classes, our dining halls will discontinue grab-and-go service and return to the more regular service, with primarily outdoor seating.

Under public health guidelines, students who test positive must enter isolation, and we are currently making use of roughly one-third of our available isolation capacity. All isolation housing is clustered on campus, with staff members providing meal and supply deliveries for the students.

In response to the latest guidance, students can reduce their time in isolation from 10 days to six days if they test negative on an antigen test administered by Student Health Services. Details on testing and related topics are found on our FAQ.

As we maintain our multi-layered approach to safety, please get your booster vaccination by January 28 if you are eligible and have not already done so. Also, please be aware of the latest mask guidance – cloth masks are no longer permissible on campus.

A more detailed message for students will be coming shortly but we do want to reiterate the need for students who are not yet on campus to fill out our form to schedule their arrival.

Thank you for your flexibility and help in protecting our community at this point in the pandemic. We look forward to the return of in-person classes on January 31 as we press ahead with our academic mission.

 

Sincerely,

G. Gabrielle Starr, president
Seth Allen, vice president for strategy & dean of admissions and financial aid
Christina Ciambriello, chief of staff and secretary to the Board of Trustees
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
Mark Kendall, chief communications officer
José Rodriguez, vice president and chief information officer
Maria Watson, vice president for advancement