Claremont McKenna College

Dear CMC Community,

I hope this message finds you well. As the College prepares to resume operations next week, I am writing to share information regarding the return to campus.

The President’s Cabinet and the COVID Compliance Committee have been monitoring public health conditions within LA County during the winter closure.  LA County Department of Public Health officials hosted a telebriefing call with institutes of higher education this past week. They indicated that institutions in LA County can proceed with residential, in-person operations for the spring semester.  They will be providing updated health officer orders regarding mask quality, reduction of isolation periods in certain situations, and they are closely monitoring hospitalization rates.  Earlier today, you received a forwarded email that was sent to all students indicating much of this information.

But with rising rates of COVID-19 positive cases and the increased spread of the Omicron variant, the College is implementing several proactive measures to reduce the chance of exposure within our community.

First, wherever possible without compromising essential operations, we will temporarily reduce worksite density on our campus. Therefore, on January 3rd, managers will make a determination as to which staff members are required to perform their work on campus, with the goal to have as many staff members as possible work remotely. Managers will reach out to their staff before the end of the day on January 3rd to communicate these decisions. For those staff members that cannot work remotely, managers will still continue to support flexibility in approving hybrid schedules. Schedules may need to be adjusted to meet the needs and demands of the department.

We will continue to monitor positivity rates and adjust from remote work to working back on campus as the situation improves. We will provide an update to the community no later than January 31st.

Second, in accordance with requirements and recommendations from LACDPH, the College has secured additional masks that meet the new guidance about the more effective masks at protecting against Omicron. Public health officials have determined that surgical, N95, KN95 and KF94 masks are much more effective at preventing spread. Those working on campus will be provided a supply of surgical masks. Those who want N95 masks must first be fit tested by HHB. If you are interested in an N95 mask, we will provide more information about dates and times HHB is available for this fit testing. If and when we secure reliable KN95 or KF94 masks (which do not require fit testing), we will send notice.

Third, staff and faculty members who return to campus and have provided proof of vaccination will be required to test once weekly. Staff and faculty members who return to campus and have not provided proof of vaccination will continue to be required to test twice weekly. Staff and faculty members who work remotely may still access HHB testing (surveillance and diagnostic testing). As a reminder, if you are experiencing any symptoms, you must contact HHB for a diagnostic testing appointment.

Fourth, any employee (faculty or staff) working on campus in January, must provide a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before your return. We are working to expand testing hours through HHB and will communicate the January schedule soon. In addition to testing, all employees (faculty and staff) will be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status unless alone in your office.

While CMC’s faculty and senior administrators are meeting next week to discuss any adjustments needed to our academic and co-curricular programs, for faculty members with verified medical reasons that affect them or a family member needing care who are seeking an accommodation to teach remotely, please notify me of your request no later than Friday January 7th.

To assist managers in the implementation of remote working, we have scheduled a managers-only meeting on Monday January 3, 2021 at 11:00 am, to address any questions or concerns. Zoom information will be sent to managers separately.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly

All the best.