Frequently Asked Questions

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This page was updated on August 4, 2022.

Questions not covered here may be emailed to the COVID-19 Taskforce.

For COVID-19 regulations, who does Whittier College receive guidance from?

Whittier college receives guidance from the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health, State of California Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

How are COVID-19 guidelines delivered to the Whittier College community?

COVID-19 Guidelines are delivered to the Whittier College Community by College leadership, the COVID-19 Taskforce, and weekly COVID-19 e-newsletter.

What are the consequences of not following the guidelines?

Students who fail to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and requirements will be restricted from classes and extracurricular activities and subject to the conduct process as necessary. Student-athletes who fail to comply with required testing will not be permitted to participate in intercollegiate athletics until compliant. Employees may be subject to disciplinary action.

What can I expect for fall 2022?

Face masks continue to be mandatory indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status. Per Los Angeles County protocol we are strongly recommending students wear a medical-grade mask, KN95, KF94, or N95 respirator.

Individuals released from isolation or quarantine are required to wear an upgraded mask indoors and outdoors for a full 10 days from the beginning of their isolation or quarantine period. If you need a medical-grade mask you can obtain one at the Health and Wellness Center.

All employees and contracted workers are required to upgrade from cloth masks to a well-fitting medical-grade mask or respirator (surgical, KN95, KF94, N95).

Requests for masks can be submitted to administrative assistants who will place orders through the PPE/Supply Request Form

 

What are the guidelines for on-campus events, gatherings, and non-curricular activities?

  • No indoor events (except for athletics which are covered by different protocols per Los Angeles County Public Health and NCAA)
  • No large events (including outdoor events)
  • No Faculty House events
  • No club, student organization, or society events (on- or off-campus)
  • College departments may occasionally organize small outdoor gatherings to support residential student wellness (i.e. outdoor yoga). 

There will be virtual events and community meetings scheduled and posted on Engage for the next few weeks to help us come together as a Poet community. 

What mental health and wellness resources are available to students?

Students who need support can reach out to the Dean of Students’ office at 562.907.4233; Director of CARE and Case Management, Marysol Mendoza, 562.907.5118; and/or Counseling Center

Are students required to test for COVID-19 before returning to campus?

  • All residential students returning to campus in late August are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 24 hours of arrival. 
    • Students unable to test before arriving on campus may receive a rapid test from the Student Health and Wellness Center.
       
  • All student-athletes returning to campus in mid to late August are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 24 hours of arrival. 
    • Students unable to test before arriving on campus may receive a rapid test from the Student Health and Wellness Center.
       
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of your arrival date and have not already informed the Health Center, you must:
    • a) inform us through the screening form, and
    • b) upload your test result to the student health portal. Individuals recovering from COVID-19 infection in the last 90 days are not required to test. 

 

Are employees required to test for COVID-19 before returning to campus?

Employees and contracted workers are no longer required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Employees and contract workers who are unvaccinated or overdue for the booster dose are required to test weekly unless they have tested positive in the prior 90 days.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

All students, faculty, and staff—including those studying and working remotely—must self-report a diagnosis of COVID-19 using the online form. These reports will help us monitor the health status of our community and determine which follow-up test is appropriate for you.

Please promptly report symptoms and stay home if you are ill.

What happens after I report a positive COVID-19 result?

Please ensure that you check your email regularly and respond to any requests for more information.

If you tested on campus, reported that you have COVID-19, and/or reported that you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms on the health screening form, a member of the Student Life or Human Resource team will reach out to you. Individuals who test positive are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 5 days.

If I am a residential student and test positive, can I isolate off-campus (at home, nearby relative’s house, etc.)?

Yes, please make sure to contact the Health and Wellness Center to give you more guidance. 

If I have COVID-19 symptoms but have taken a test and it was negative, am I allowed back on campus?

Students must be cleared first by the Health and Wellness Center before returning to campus. Employees must be cleared by Human Resources.  

What are the Whittier College Vaccination Requirements?

To be considered fully vaccinated all eligible individuals must have the booster shot. According to the Los Angeles Public Health Department everyone ages 12 or older should get a booster dose. A Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is preferred. See more information on the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website. Individuals can schedule an appointment to receive a free booster shot by contacting their healthcare provider or by visiting myturn.ca.gov

  • Students must upload proof of booster vaccination to the Student Health Portal.
  • Employees must submit proof of booster vaccination (photo or scan) to Human Resources.

Individuals who are not currently eligible for the booster must submit proof within two weeks of their eligibility date.

Employees and contract workers who are unvaccinated (exempt) or booster eligible but are overdue for their booster shot are required to test weekly. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not required to test for 90 days following their positive test result.

If someone was infected with COVID-19, do they have to wait to receive the booster?

According to LA County, if you have been infected with COVID-19 and are eligible for the booster, you can receive the booster dose after completing the required isolation period and symptoms have resolved. If your doctor advises you to wait longer, you must submit a doctor’s note to the Health and Wellness Center (students) or Human Resources (employees).

What if I want to request an exemption for the booster shot?

Those who have already received an exemption for the vaccine do not need to submit a new exemption for the booster shot. Non-vaccinated individuals must continue weekly testing. New requests for exemptions must be submitted by January 21. Students should email Tracy Ocampo, interim health director, to get the appropriate application. Employees and contracted workers can email Human Resources for more information.  

Is the flu vaccine also mandated for the campus community?

We strongly recommend receiving the flu shot as combined cases of Coronavirus and the flu have been detected. You may receive your flu shot at the same time as the booster if offered by the provider. Please also upload your flu shot information.

Is testing available on campus?

Testing is available on campus weekdays at A.J. Villalobos Hall. Please verify the testing schedule and comply with mandatory testing dates as they are communicated. Staff and students who are overdue for their booster shot will be required to test weekly until proof of the booster shot is submitted. Unvaccinated, exempt individuals will continue to test weekly as required.  

What are the current masking guidelines?

Face masks remain mandatory indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status. Per Los Angeles County protocol we are strongly recommending students wear a medical-grade mask, KN95, KF94, or N95 respirator.

Individuals released from isolation or quarantine are required to wear an upgraded mask indoors and outdoors for a full 10 days from the beginning of their isolation or quarantine period. If you need a medical-grade mask you can obtain one at the Health and Wellness Center.

All employees and contracted workers are required to upgrade from cloth masks to a well-fitting medical-grade mask or respirator (surgical, KN95, KF94, N95).

Requests for masks should be submitted to administrative assistants who will place orders through the PPE/Supply Request Form

Properly Wearing a Respirator

  • When choosing a respirator (KF94, KN95, N95), observe how well it fits and read the manufacturer's instructions. These instructions should include information on how to wear, store, and clean or properly dispose of the respirator. 
  • To work well, respirators need to make a tight seal on your face. Find the right size, style, and model. 
    • Respirators with straps that go around the back of the head provide a better seal than those with ear loops. 
    • Respirators may not fit as well if you have facial hair.
    • Keep track of your respirator so that you do not mistakenly use someone else's respirator.
  • Check the seal each time you put one on. See NIOSH instructions for how to put on, take off and check the seal of a respirator. This video may also be helpful.
  • If you have breathing difficulties check with your doctor before wearing a respirator. 
  • Do not wear an N95/KN95 with another mask (i.e., do not double mask). 

Guidance on reusing respirators             

The CDC suggests limiting the number of reuses to no more than five total uses per respirator. Consider rotating your respirators. Number them and store them in a paper bag between uses to keep the respirator clean and dry.