The COVID Operations Group announces a number of updates regarding campus access this summer.

Oxy Community:

Given the continuing decline of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County and the corresponding easing of restrictions by local, state and federal public health officials, the COVID Operations Group is announcing a number of updates regarding campus access. These guidelines reflect current conditions, meaning that they may change over the summer, especially once we determine how California’s June 15 statewide reopening impacts higher education institutions, particularly in L.A. County.  Also, with only moderate activity on campus this summer, we know many of you understandably are interested in fall guidelines. However, it is too soon to say how our current guidance will or will not change by the start of the fall semester in August. 

Opening Campus: The “Campus Closed” signs that have been up since March 2020 have been removed. While important health and safety guidelines will remain in place, this change means that all Oxy community members and their families, as well as non-Oxy neighbors and visitors, will be able to access our campus grounds. Limitations will remain in place for indoor access, described in more detail below. Campus Safety will resume normal operations, and will not be conducting any specific monitoring of who is on campus.     

Vaccination and Access: Our new COVID-19 vaccination policies also have implications for how we will handle campus access for indoor spaces. Please refer to last week’s message explaining this clearance process. In short, all community members, vaccinated and unvaccinated, will be required to have a clearance email from in order to access campus facilities. Effective Monday, June 14, all cleared students, staff, and faculty will be able access campus buildings as they normally would pre-COVID. As a reminder, vaccination status reporting is due by Tuesday, June 15 via for all students, faculty and staff. 

Masking: It is important to note that rules on masking may evolve over the summer as public health guidance changes. Here is our current policy on masking:

  • All members of the Oxy community must carry a reusable or disposable face covering or other appropriate face covering while on campus.  
  • Indoors: All students, faculty, staff, and contractors must wear masks at all times when they are inside campus buildings. Exceptions include:
    • When one person is alone in a private space (e.g., in an individual office or in a private bedroom or bathroom); 
    • Roommates in a residence hall when both are vaccinated
    • When eating or drinking
  • Outdoors: Fully vaccinated individuals are only required to wear a mask outdoors when they are in crowded settings. (Any community member may choose to wear a mask outdoors as they see fit, even if they are fully vaccinated.)
    • Unvaccinated students, faculty, staff, and contractors must wear a mask outdoors even when they can maintain a physical distance of at least six feet. 

Campus Visitors

Visitors are permitted on Occidental property within specific limitations. While we are opening the campus grounds to all visitors, we are maintaining strict limitations on building access. All visitors using any Oxy buildings must be hosted and/or invited by a College employee, department, or registered student, and must follow the guidelines in our interim visitor policy as well as Occidental's health and safety protocols. On the visitor policy page you will find a link to visitor health check form that must be submitted in advance of your visitor’s arrival. At this time, we are not checking visitors’ vaccination status, and all visitors will be required to follow the current masking policy.

Additional Operations

The Library, Marketplace, and Oxy Bookstore are now open to all students (on and off campus), faculty and staff, subject to current hours, posted regulations and daily health check clearance. (The Bookstore is also open, at 50% capacity, to the general public.) The Postal Center has curbside pickup service available for any Oxy community member without a health check clearance. Curbside pickup also remains an option at the Library.

Event guidance: We expect public health guidance regarding events to evolve significantly over the summer, especially as state guidelines change after June 15. You can expect more details on this topic later in June. In the meantime, for the limited number of events happening this summer, continue to work with the offices you would normally work with to plan events, as they are working directly with Sara Semal and the rest of the COVID Operating Group to address questions that may exist regarding outdoor or indoor events.   

Each step we take has been carefully considered with the health and safety of the community in mind, and in alignment with the guidance from public health officials. We are appreciative of everyone’s efforts thus far to keep our campus community safe.

Should you have any questions on these policies, you can email them to - an email address that is managed by the Office of Marketing & Communications.

Marty Sharkey

COVID Operations Group

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

Sara Semal, Senior Director - Emmons Wellness Center

Marty Sharkey, Vice President of Communications & Institutional Initiatives

Wendy Sternberg, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

James Uhrich, Vice President for Information Technology Services & Chief Information Officer