L.A. County Extended Safer at Home Order and Travel Quarantine

Updates from President Elam about Los Angeles County's extended Safer at Home order and measures we are asking our community members to comply with in order to keep everyone safe.

Last week, Los Angeles County extended its existing “Safer at Home” order for as long as the State stay-at-home order remains in effect and issued a new quarantine requirement for anyone arriving in L.A. County from outside of Southern California. Anyone who has traveled outside of the Southern California region (defined as the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura) must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. Consistent with this new directive, Occidental staff and faculty who fall into this category may not come to campus until they have completed this quarantine period. Please contact your supervisor if there are essential functions that you believe require your presence on campus during the quarantine period.

Los Angeles County is now experiencing a huge surge in coronavirus cases that is expected to get worse before it gets better. Half of the 800,000 cases reported since the start of the pandemic have been reported since Dec. 1. Hospitals are overflowing, with adult ICU bed capacity at zero.

At Oxy, despite limited campus activity, we continue to see increases in test positivity among asymptomatic faculty, staff and students through routine testing. Ten of the 16 total cases detected among faculty, staff and off-campus students at Oxy since the beginning of the pandemic came just last month.

We ask each member of our community to take this moment to express the deepest care for one another by doing the following:

  • Avoid non-essential travel. If you have traveled outside of the Southern California region you must follow the County’s required 10-day quarantine period and may not come to work. Please notify your supervisor if this applies to you.  

  • Complete the daily health check.

  • Those students returning to campus housing for the spring semester have received arrival guidelines from REHS and Emmons -- and will quarantine upon arrival. 

  • Students living in off-campus residences near Oxy who have left the L.A. area for the holidays should strongly consider delaying their return. If you do return, you must follow the County's required 10-day quarantine period.

  • Do not attend gatherings with others outside of your household.

  • Ensure that all essential activities are moved to remote, virtual or outdoor venues (when in-person is necessary) in order to conduct these activities more safely when possible. 

  • For all staff and faculty, do not come to work if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Even minor symptoms can be a sign of infection and a negative test does not exclude COVID-19 infection or other cold or flu infections. 

As a reminder, compliance with public health measures and Oxy’s health and safety protocols is mandatory. Unfortunately, instances of individuals who have not adhered to these safety measures have contributed to additional exposures on campus. To prevent widespread infections, all students, faculty and staff must play a role. For the sake of our community, we all must take these common sense measures seriously.

Each of us can make a difference in turning the tide as we face this crisis. Thank you in advance for making decisions that help protect our community. Saving the lives of others is in all of our hands right now.

Stay safe and stay well.

President Elam