COVID-19 Testing, Health and Safety Updates


Sara Semal offers additional, more specific guidance on COVID-19 testing as it relates to vaccination status and travel.

Dear Oxy,

In a follow up to President Elam’s message earlier this month regarding Oxy's latest health and safety protocols, I would like to offer more specific guidance on testing as it relates to vaccination status and travel. Please use the following guide as a resource for when to call Emmons for consultation, when testing may be recommended and for travel recommendations. 

I’m pleased to report that over 94% of students, staff and faculty are fully vaccinated at this time, and that this number will continue to grow by the start of the semester. Even with this high level of vaccination, it is important that the College has clear testing protocols for all individuals. Of course, as always with the changing pandemic, these rules and recommendations may change. We will be sure to keep you updated with the latest protocols as they emerge.

Testing for Vaccinated Individuals

  1. As previously communicated, Oxy, consistent with County guidance, is not conducting regular surveillance testing of vaccinated individuals.

  2. Fully vaccinated individuals who experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should first speak to a medical provider to determine the best course of action (up to and including testing). Please consult with your primary care physician or call Emmons at 323-259-2657 to speak with a medical provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, when the symptoms are new, minor, or consistent with allergies or colds, and there is no known exposure to a person infected with COVID-19, Emmons may recommend over-the-counter medications to see if the symptoms resolve themselves. If they do not, a COVID-19 test will be recommended. In other cases, the provider may proceed with a COVID-19 test based on the severity of the symptoms, as well as other testing--such as for the flu or strep--to rule out other infections.

  1. Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested following an exposure to someone with COVID-19. If symptoms emerge 3-5 days following exposure, testing is recommended and available at Emmons.

  2. Fully vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 10 days.

Testing for unvaccinated individuals

  1. As communicated previously, unvaccinated individuals must be tested routinely, twice per week, using a PCR test. These are provided at Emmons on Monday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

  2. Unvaccinated individuals who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be tested immediately using a rapid test. Rapid testing is available at Emmons from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call Emmons at 323-259-2657 in advance to arrange a rapid test. Walk-up testing requests are not available.

  3. Unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to a confirmed positive infection must get tested at least 24 hours after exposure and again in seven days.

Regardless of vaccination status, if you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

Travel

  1. Vaccinated individuals travelling domestically are not required to get tested before or after travel.

  2. Vaccinated individuals travelling internationally from outside the United States are required to get tested three days before travel by air (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months), three-five days after air travel, and quarantine for 10 days post arrival.

  3. Vaccinated individuals travelling from the United States to international destinations must follow the testing rules established by the country they are traveling to.

  4. Unvaccinated individuals travelling domestically are required to get tested three days before travel by air and seven days after travel. Unvaccinated individuals will need to quarantine in their destination for 10 days without a second COVID-19 test, or seven days with a test.

  5. Unvaccinated individuals travelling internationally are required to get tested three days before travel by air and seven days after travel. Unvaccinated individuals will need to quarantine in their destination for 10 days.

  6. Children under 12 must follow the full unvaccinated travel guidance, regardless of their parents' vaccination status.

Masking

  1. Current Oxy guidelines, consistent with L.A. County guidance, requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask indoors in professional environments, unless in a private office or room with the door closed.

  2. Non-public, shared workspaces and shared residence hall rooms may be unmasked spaces if all parties present are fully vaccinated.

  3. Masking is not required outdoors for vaccinated individuals, but is recommended for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physician distance. All community members must have a mask on hand at all times.

  4. Making is recommended for vaccinated individuals who are immune compromised, experiencing asthma or allergies, or have been recently exposed to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Staying home

  1. Staying home when you feel unwell and experiencing symptoms of any kind is required. Understanding that mild symptoms may not deem you unable to complete your work, it is best to stay home and connect with your supervisor for any potential remote work arrangements that can be made until the symptoms are resolved. 

  2. Staying home to temporarily care for a loved one or child who becomes infected with COVID-19 or is required to quarantine may also be expected in the coming months. Work with your supervisor and HR to make accommodations for remote work during those extended periods.

  3. There is not a clearance process for returning to work through Emmons. However, as noted above, if you are having any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call Emmons to arrange a medical consultation and potentially a COVID-19 test.

As always, Emmons is here to help answer any of your COVID-19 questions and concerns. You can reach us by phone at (323) 259-2657 or by email at emmons@oxy.edu. Testing hours at Emmons are as follows:

  • Mondays and Thursdays, routine PCR salivary testing, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Monday - Friday, symptom-based rapid testing, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., call ahead consultation required.

Thank you for your attention to this important health and safety information. As I mentioned above, if anything changes in the current L.A. County or CDC guidance that impacts Oxy, we will notify the community as quickly as possible.

Best,

Sara Semal, LPCC
Senior Director, Emmons Wellness Center