Update on COVID-19 Testing for Students, Faculty and Staff (9/12/22)

Dear Pomona College Community,

We are writing to let you know that the start-of-semester COVID-19 testing requirement for students, faculty and staff has ended and testing is now voluntary, with some exceptions noted below.

Testing will remain available, and anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is still required to test. (Students, staff and faculty with COVID vaccination exemptions also must continue to test.)

The transition to voluntary testing comes by agreement of the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges, and in consultation with our medical advisors and Pomona’s COVID-19 Planning and Response (CPR) group comprised of faculty, staff and students.

Case rates currently are dropping in Los Angeles County and have been stable on campus for the last two weeks. We appreciate your commitment as a community to preventing and containing COVID-19.

Required testing may return if, for example, we see a spike in cases on campus or our demand for student isolation housing becomes too high. Depending on case rates, we will need our community to be able to quickly respond to changes in testing and safety requirements to support our academic mission and commitment to in-person education.

While much of the national guidance has shifted to focus on individual responsibility, we want to stress the importance of considering our entire community as each of us makes choices regarding testing and other safety measures. If you have COVID symptoms, please test promptly.

Student Testing

While weekly mandatory testing has been suspended for students, it may resume at short notice depending on case rates and other factors.

Free testing will continue to be available at Tranquada Student Services Center and by vending machines across the 5Cs, including our own Walker Lounge.

Students are encouraged to voluntarily test regularly, and required testing will return after travel periods, including after fall break, Thanksgiving, winter break and spring break.

Additionally, in any week where we do not have testing results from 15% of our students, a cohort or class of students will be required to test. Please keep an eye on your email for these notifications.

Students who experience COVID-19 symptoms must test within 48 hours of onset. (Please do not assume that these symptoms are an allergy, cold, etc. and delay testing.) If the test is negative, students are required to test every 24 hours until symptoms disappear. Students must also wear a mask while symptomatic and waiting for test results.

If you have an approved religious or medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination, you are still required to test on Tuesday and Friday every week. Testing also will continue for students participating in musical performing groups.

Please note that isolation requirements remain for those who test positive, and timely, prompt testing starts the clock for students to be able to “test out” of isolation with a negative result at day 6 or day 8.

Staff and Faculty Testing

All faculty and staff will continue to have access to weekly testing at the Hamilton Health Box (HHB) Clinic on 8th Street. (Please note that if you are approved to be on campus and are unvaccinated, weekly testing continues to be required.)

The HHB testing clinic for faculty and staff is open 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays.

Additional Steps You Can Take

  1. Indoor masking is strongly recommended for the foreseeable future. (It remains required for those with COVID-19 vaccine exemptions.)
  2. Please stay aware of COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. We will offer updated information on the new COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster in the days ahead.

Thanks to all for your continued help in supporting our community’s health.

 

Respectfully,

Dean Hinkson, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Bob Robinson, Assistant VP for Facilities & Campus Services

Melanie Wu, VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty