Quarantine & Isolation Plan

Occidental College is working diligently to ensure all community members remain as safe as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have tested positive for Covid-19, please contact HR or Sara Semal ASAP to notify us so that appropriate cleaning in the areas where you last were can take place, contact tracing and quarantining can be conducted, and community notices can be made (if warranted). Please note that your personal information and diagnoses will remain confidential. Read more

To minimize health risks and make our campus as safe as possible, we will be implementing health and safety requirements for those who will be living or working on campus (e.g., mandatory mask-wearing, socially-distanced classrooms, outdoor teaching spaces, daily symptom checks, testing).

View the full list of campus health & safety requirements

Based on the latest guidance from local, state and federal public health officials, these are the protocols Oxy will follow in the event that an exposure or infection of COVID-19 takes place on campus.

Exposure Protocol

Exposure to COVID-19 can pose a serious risk to the health of the individual and those they may come in contact with. For this reason, a series of important steps must be taken for any person who believes they may have been exposed to or contracted COVID-19.

Please follow the following steps if you believe you may have been exposed or at risk:

  1. Call your local Emergency Room (near Oxy call Glendale Adventist at 818-409-8202 or Kaiser Permanente at 323-783-4011, depending on your individual health insurance). They will ask you to describe your exposures and symptoms. If warranted, they will ask you to come in to be tested for COVID-19. If symptoms are not present or exposure is not deemed high risk, you may not be tested immediately while tests remain in short supply. However, you will be expected to quarantine for the 14-day incubation period.
  2. If you are told to come into the hospital for testing, ask the hospital for medical transport. If they are unable to provide this, ask a friend or roommate whom you have already been in physical contact with to drive you. Be sure to wear a mask or cover your face when leaving your room to avoid exposing others.
  3. Call the Occidental Confidential Helpline immediately and inform them of your exposure. They will connect you with the Director of Wellness, Sara Semal, who will initiate college protocol to contain the exposure. Sara Semal or a college official will contact you with next steps.
  4. If you are at the hospital and have been tested positive for COVID-19, please remain at the hospital until an isolation room on campus has been arranged for you. 
  5. If you do not get tested but can confirm your exposure, please shelter in place until a designated quarantine space is made available for you.
  6. Make a list of all individuals you have been in contact with since your exposure. Occidental officials and the LA Department of Public Health will utilize this list to extend the quarantine to affected individuals and contain any further exposures.
  7. Employees who have been exposed should follow the same protocol. Those who do not have a place to stay that would put family and loved ones at risk will be offered college housing through their quarantine/isolation and recovery.
  8. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health will be working with the College and providing ongoing advisement through any potential COVID-19 threat.

It is critical that all individuals associated with Occidental College who have been exposed or who have contracted COVID-19 immediately notify the College, whether on campus or not, via the Confidential Helpline at 323-341-4141. Occidental will keep an accurate accounting of all community members affected by COVID-19 locally, nationally and internationally. 

In the event an exposure or confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified on campus, all potentially exposed individuals will be notified immediately. Once the risk has been contained, an advisory bulletin will be posted with the measures the College has taken and planned future steps meant to ensure the health and well-being of all community members. 

Definitions: Self-Quarantine, Mandated-Quarantine and Mandated-Isolation

Self-quarantine involves remaining in your home or residence with limited public contact due to symptoms of infectious disease (cold or flu), international travel or travel to an area with a high occurrence of COVID-19.

If an individual has active cold or flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sneezing, vomiting, intestinal issues, or shortness of breath, they should choose to quarantine themselves until such symptoms are no longer present for a minimum of 48 hours. In this circumstance, the individual should do their best to keep six feet of distance with any others in their home environment, limit contact to as few individuals as possible (as few as 1-2), and use antibacterial disinfectant after each restroom use, especially for shared restrooms. 

If an individual has recently traveled internationally or to a region with a high occurrence of COVID-19 cases, but show no symptoms of illness themselves, they should choose to quarantine themselves for no less than 14 days. In these instances, quarantine should be limited to 4 persons with the same exposure per space, per restroom. 

Mandated Quarantine involves remaining in your home or residence with limited public contact due to confirmed exposure to COVID-19. This is usually determined by the Department of Public Health through investigation and surveillance of current active COVID-19 cases. Such mandated quarantine involves no less than 14 days of confinement in a space shared with no more than 4 persons with the same exposure. There should be at least one restroom per 4 individuals.

In the instance of self or mandated quarantine on the Oxy campus,the individuals shall receive meals delivered to their door, cleaning supplies for their restroom and living space, once weekly laundry service, and daily telemedical check-ins with an Emmons medical provider

Mandated Isolation involves remaining in your home or residence with zero public contact due to a positive COVID-19 test, with or without active symptoms. In this circumstance, the individual shall receive meals delivered to their door, cleaning supplies for their restroom and living space, including a daily change in bed linens, and twice-daily telemedical check-ins with an Emmons medical provider. The amount of time spent in isolation will be dependent on the length of illness, presence of symptoms and medical provider’s guidance.

Quarantine and Isolation Protocols

Oxy Community members who are considering self-quarantine will follow these procedures:

  • Students living on campus must notify Emmons Wellness Center at 323-259-2657. Emmons providers will determine if self-quarantine is necessary given the circumstances (during non-business hours, please call the Oxy Helpline at 323-341-4141 and the triage nurse will connect the student with the Emmons staff on call).
  • Students for whom self-quarantine is deemed beneficial will be connected with REHS to receive a temporary housing assignment, Campus Dining to arrange meal delivery, and Facilities to receive cleaning supplies and schedules.
  • Students in self-quarantine will have a daily check-in with an Emmons medical provider.
  • Employees who require self-quarantine and will miss work or will need to arrange to work from home must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence.

Oxy Community members who require mandated-quarantine will follow these procedures:

  • Students living on campus must notify Emmons Wellness Center and provide documentation from the hospital or medical provider of recent positive testing for COVID-19 BEFORE returning to campus (during non-business hours, please call the Oxy Helpline at 323-341-4141 and the triage nurse will connect the student with the Emmons staff on call).
  • Emmons providers will work with REHS to identify a temporary housing assignment for the student to go to directly upon their return to campus.
  • Campus Dining will reach out to the student to arrange meal delivery, and Facilities will reach out to provide cleaning supplies and schedules.
  • Students in mandated isolation will have twice daily telemedical check-ins with an Emmons Medical provider; more if deemed medically necessary by the provider or referring physician.
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence and shall not return to the Occidental campus for any reason. Employees may not send their family members or friends who they may have exposed to the virus to campus to retrieve any belongings. The employee or their proxy may reach out to the individual’s supervisor to arrange pick-up of possessions by a non-exposed third-party. 
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and require an environment to recover in that does not expose family or others to the illness may request to stay in isolation housing at Oxy. Please call the Oxy Helpline at 323-341-4141 and the triage nurse will connect the student with the Sara Semal, Senior Director of Student Wellness, who will initiate on-site arrangements.
  • Any employee who is infected with COVID-19 or otherwise ill for any reason are encouraged to take care of themselves and focus on healing.
  • Students living on campus must notify Emmons Wellness Center at 323-259-2657 BEFORE leaving the medical office providing guidance and BEFORE returning to campus. Students should obtain documentation from identifying hospital or public health agency indicating the need for mandated quarantine and provide said documentation to Emmons Wellness Center (during non-business hours, please call the Oxy Helpline at 323-341-4141 and the triage nurse will connect the student with the Sara Semal, Senior Director of Student Wellness, who will initiate on-site arrangements).
  • Emmons will work with REHS to identify a temporary housing assignment for the student to go to directly upon their return to campus. 
  • Campus Dining will reach out to the student to arrange meal delivery, and Facilities will reach out to provide cleaning supplies and schedules.
  • Students in mandated-quarantine will have a daily check-in with an Emmons medical provider.
  • Employees who are mandated to quarantine and will miss work or will need to arrange to work from home must notify their supervisor and Human Resources of their absence.
  • Employees who are mandated to quarantine and require a place to stay that does not expose family or put others at risk may request to stay in quarantine housing at Oxy. Please call the Oxy Helpline at 323-341-4141 and the triage nurse will connect the student with the Sara Semal, Senior Director of Student Wellness, who will initiate on-site arrangements).

Medical Monitoring of Impacted Students and Community Members

Emmons and REHS staff will retain a roster of students and community members who are in quarantine and isolation, their room location, insurance information and their emergency contacts. If and when emergency response is required to those students, responding Oxy staff will wear N-95 masks, gloves and gowns. Whenever Campus Safety, Emmons or REHS staff are aware of an emergency response by external first responders to such a student, those Oxy staff will inform the external first responders of the student’s status in quarantine or isolation.

Emmons will provide daily monitoring of all students and community members who are in quarantine or isolation on Oxy’s campus. Individuals will be given a medical kit that will include a thermometer and over-the-counter prescriptions that can help with mild symptoms. Individuals will be asked to take their temperature and record their symptoms thrice daily. Emmons will provide an online form to record this information and it will be reviewed with the medical provider through telemedical care daily.

Provision of Food Services

Oxy Dining staff will prepare meal boxes (three meals/day) for all community members in quarantine or isolation on campus. The GET app (connected to the meal plan) will offer the ability to choose their meals according to their dietary restrictions and preferences. Menus will be tailored to those who are ill, in recovery, or otherwise unable to come to the dining facilities. Employees who stay in mandated-quarantine or isolation housing on campus will be set up with funds for meal boxes to be ordered via the GET app.

Provision of Sanitary Supplies

Oxy Facilities staff will provide individuals in quarantine and isolation biohazard trash bags, soap, disinfectant spray and towels, washcloths, bath towels, sheets and blankets. All trash should be put into the biohazard bag and will be picked up daily. Quarantined individuals will have their towels and sheets changed every three days. Isolated individuals will have their towels and sheets changed daily. A designated bag will be given to individuals to put their dirty towels and sheets. A separate designated bag will be given to individuals to put their personal laundry, which can be sent out for laundering once a week if requested.

Academic Accommodations

If necessary, Dean of Students Office staff will contact students in quarantine and isolation to review options for students to continue their schoolwork. Students in quarantine or isolation that do not have any signs or symptoms of illness are expected to continue classes through telelearning as established. Students in quarantine or isolation that are experiencing illness may request academic accommodations, including extensions.

Information for Staff and Faculty

Employees in quarantine or isolation who can work from home may also talk with their supervisor regarding the feasibility of telecommuting. Employees who work remotely will be paid for all work time. For those employees who are unable to work remotely (because of the nature of their work, and either a medical condition, age restriction or other permitted reason), for this week and until further notice, they will be paid for their regular work hours in accordance with their normal schedule.  Employees who self-quarantine or are quarantined outside of guidelines adopted by the College will use available paid leave as provided in Occidental College policies and relevant collective bargaining agreements. A “regular” employee who lacks adequate accrued paid leave to cover the necessary period of absence will be advanced paid leave time (equivalent to 14 calendar days). Casual employees or other employees who do not accrue sick time could not be advanced sick time, as there is no mechanism for the advance to be resolved.  Employees should also reference existing institutional policies on sick leave and family leave.

Human Resources will retain a roster of all faculty and staff who will be on campus, working from home, and home on paid leave. It is important for all staff to report to their supervisors if they are absent from work or telecommuting so that the school can accurately tally the number of individuals on campus at any time in the event of an emergency.