Get the full update on COVID-related safety protocols that will be in place on campus this fall.

To the Occidental Community:

As we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2026 and returning students back to campus this fall, Oxy’s COVID Operations Group (COG) continues to monitor campus and community levels of COVID and the latest pandemic developments. The guidelines for the fall semester below reflect the latest guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the CDC, Emmons Student Wellness Center staff, and Oxy's epidemiological consultant, Dr. Kim Shriner '80 H’22.

After more than two years of COVID, we know that everyone is experiencing pandemic fatigue. Still, we urge your continued vigilance. We are grateful for your flexibility and active participation in our collective effort to keep Oxy healthy.

Oxy’s COVID health and safety guidance for fall 2022 is as follows:

We will continue last year's masking protocols. Specifically:

  • Masking is required in all indoor spaces. 

  • Exceptions include when eating (indoor dining is allowed), brushing teeth, showering, or when in an office alone. Students who live on campus do not need to be masked in their room.

  • Masks must be surgical grade or higher (N95, KN95, KN94).

Up-to-date vaccinations are required. Specifically: 

  • All Oxy students, faculty, and staff, including contracted employees who work indoors, must be up-to-date on COVID vaccinations–defined as having the initial vaccine series plus at least one booster dose.

  • If you haven’t already done so, please upload your proof of vaccination and booster(s) to the MyHealth Portal at

  • Religious and medical exemptions must be approved by Emmons (for students) or by Human Resources (for employees).


Pre-Arrival Testing for Students

  • Students must provide proof of a negative COVID test before arrival on campus:

    • PCR tests must be completed within 48 hours prior to arrival.

    • Antigen tests (including at-home tests) must be completed within 24 hours prior to arrival.

    • Upload negative test results to

  • If a student tests positive for COVID, they must stay home and provide proof of a negative test before they arrive on campus.

On-Campus Testing

Oxy’s fall 2022 testing falls into three categories: Required, Indicated, and Discretionary. (Details about specific testing locations, dates, and times are forthcoming). 

  • Required Testing

    • All students must do a PCR test on campus within the first 14 days of arriving at Oxy. 

    • Weekly testing is required for Oxy community members who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated (e.g., those who have a valid medical or religious exemption on file with Emmons or HR, and those not up-to-date on COVID vaccinations, having received the initial vaccination series but who are currently ineligible for the booster).

    • Weekly testing is required for cohorts who are at higher risk (these cohorts were identified using last year’s testing data). Students who are part of these cohorts will be alerted to the testing requirements for their group.

  • Indicated Testing

    • Anyone experiencing COVID symptoms should get tested. 

      • Students who are experiencing COVID symptoms should get tested on campus.

      • Employees who are experiencing COVID symptoms should stay home and get tested by their primary care provider, off-campus testing site or pharmacy. If an employee begins to display COVID symptoms while at work, they should test on campus right away and then go home until a negative test is confirmed. 

    • Any Oxy community member who was exposed to, or in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID should get tested.

  • Discretionary Testing

    • Opt-in testing is available for those who want to test prior to traveling, attending events, or for personal reasons.


Los Angeles County Public Health requires a 5-10 day isolation period for anyone who tests positive for COVID. The length of isolation depends on the severity of illness and symptoms. Oxy will continue to follow Los Angeles County guidelines for contact tracing and exposure management when we identify positive cases on campus.

  • Employees:

    • Employees who test positive should not come in to work, and should isolate for 5-10 days, based on LA County guidance.

  • Students:

    • Students who test positive and live off campus should isolate at home.  

    • Students living on campus will be moved to an isolation room, and may be placed in a room with another COVID+ student. 

    • Students living on campus in a single room with their own bathroom may isolate in their room.

    • Students who live on campus, and are able to, may find their own off-campus isolation accommodations or isolate at home if feasible.

    • If all campus isolation rooms are occupied, COVID+ students will be permitted to isolate in place (in their room). Roommates will be allowed to stay in the room, following all masking and exposure management guidelines. Shared bathrooms in residence halls will have health and safety usage guidelines in the event students must isolate in place in the residence halls. Alternatively, we will try to find an on-campus accommodation for roommates. 

Visitor and Event Guidelines

  • We strongly recommend that Oxy visitors be fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID test within 48 hours before arriving on campus. 

  • Visitors must be masked at all times indoors. Masks must be surgical grade or higher.

  • Visitors with COVID-like symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID should not come to campus.

  • Food may be served at campus events held indoors and outdoors.

  • Food service staff must remain masked when serving food.

  • Individual event planners may choose to implement additional restrictions based on the specific nature of their event and/or audience.

Outdoor Spaces

Oxy will maximize the use of outdoor areas on campus for meeting spaces, some teaching and learning, and other activities. 

  • We will maintain five tents as outdoor learning and performing spaces. Tent plans are based in part on last year’s tent utilization data.

  • We will add more tables with umbrellas near the Johnson Student Center and the AGC to expand spaces for outdoor dining.

As always, our protocols are subject to change based upon how the pandemic continues to evolve on and off campus. Thank you for your observance of Oxy's guidelines.


COVID Operations Group (COG):

Harry J. Elam, Jr., President
Sharla Fett, Faculty Council President, Professor of American History
Rob Flot, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Amos Himmelstein, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Nora Kahn, General Counsel
Devon Sakamoto, Assistant Dean of Students for Emmons Wellness Center
Wendy Sternberg, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
Jim Tranquada, Director of Communications
James Uhrich, Vice President for Information Technology Services & Chief Information Officer