A summary of health guidelines and precautions following winter break.

To the Occidental Community:

Happy New Year! To help ensure a healthy return to campus for the spring semester, the COVID Operations Group (COG) wants to provide some reminders about safety precautions we can all take to help keep campus positivity low.


  • Masks remain one of our strongest mitigation tools to stop the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses that are circulating at high levels, including flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and to prevent a post-holiday surge in cases at Oxy. 

  • In line with L.A. County guidance, we strongly recommend wearing a high-quality mask indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces at all times, but particularly during your first 10 days back on campus from winter break.  

  • Masks continue to be required in healthcare settings (Emmons, AGC test site) and on Oxy transportation.


  • To reduce the chance of a post-holiday COVID surge on campus, we strongly recommend testing for COVID before returning to Oxy.

    • Do not return to campus if you receive a positive test result.

    • Tests are readily available over the counter and insurance companies are required to reimburse the cost of eight tests per month per member. For more information on testing, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests.

  • Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms or if you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID.

    • The AGC is open for PCR testing Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Other Preventative Measures

  • As COVID rates in L.A. remain high, we encourage washing hands frequently.

  • Oxy community members should stay home when sick. 

    • Even if you test negative for COVID, other respiratory illnesses can cause serious illness, hospitalization, and death, and are easily spread to others.

  • Get the most recent COVID bivalent booster and an annual flu shot.

We are grateful for your active participation in our campus-wide effort to keep Oxy healthy, and to promote and maintain our community of care. Thank you for a fantastic fall semester, and we’re looking forward to a healthy and safe spring. 

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