Time-sensitive COVID-19 Testing Steps for Pomona Students (8/16/21)

Overview:

  • Students should arrive on campus with proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken three days before arrival
  • Students who are not able to get a PCR test in advance instead will be tested in their first days on campus
  • All students will be part of a testing routine to help contain the spread of COVID

Dear students and families,

Following up on last week’s overview of COVID-19 safety plans, we are writing with details and time-sensitive action steps regarding required COVID-19 testing for students.

Our plan is based on the latest recommendations from our consulting medical team and public health officials in this evolving situation, with the delta variant spreading rapidly. The purpose is to promote safety and sustain the in-person education and residential life we all value.

Here are the next steps:

  1. We are requesting that all students get a PCR test three days prior to arrival on campus and provide proof of negative results when checking in for housing. This new recommendation comes in response to the surge in cases and will provide our team with important baseline information to start the year. (We also recognize it will be impractical for some, due to timing of travel or other factors.)
  2. Students who do not arrive with a PCR test will be tested in their first days on campus. Instructions will be provided when a student checks in for housing. The combination of PCR tests before arrival from many and early on-campus testing for others will provide an important baseline of information.
  3. All students will be tested regularly. Vaccinated students will need to be tested once per week, and the small number of students who are unvaccinated (due to valid exemptions) will be tested twice weekly. Details on testing procedures will come from the Dean of Students Office when students arrive on campus.

Testing for students will be conducted at The Claremont Colleges’ Student Health Services until Aug. 24, when testing for Pomona students also will be available at Walker Hall lounge.

We recognize the PCR test request is new information based on updated recommendations in a changing situation. Due to our very high campus vaccination rate, students who do not arrive with a PCR test will not have to isolate as they await their campus test. We will, however, need them to act quickly to get tested on campus and we will make sure they have all the information they need to do so as they arrive at Pomona. (Students who arrived at Pomona early for activities such as preparing for fall sports are already part of the testing system.)

The small number of unvaccinated staff and faculty will be tested twice weekly as well. Vaccinated faculty and staff also can request to be test once per week. Details will be provided in a separate message to faculty and staff.

Our COVID-19 vaccination requirement creates a layer of protection; testing will be another important layer. We will all need to work together for safety in the days ahead. We are grateful for the responsiveness of our community and are so excited to see our full student population return to campus.

 

Respectfully, 

Dean Hinkson