Asst. News Editor
On March 11, 2022, Whittier College sent out an email to all students about protocol in regards to returning back to campus from spring break. Students will have to test before coming onto campus, and have uploaded their vaccination (with a booster!) cards, and to keep wearing masks in order for increased safety on the campus due to the fact that “many venues are lifting masking requirements.”
On March 4, 2022, Los Angeles County put out new COVID-19 requirements stating that “masking will continue to be strongly recommended, but no longer be required, in most indoor settings” due to the county’s decrease in COVID-19 cases. As of March 17, the County reported over 1,189 new cases. In response to this, and the upcoming spring break, Whittier College sent out updated protocol to ensure the health and safety of the community. The most notable being that the College will “require all students to test for COVID-19 after Spring Break.” Students are able to test either from a certified testing facility or on campus. For on campus testing, students will go to A.J. Villalobos Hall “the week of March 28 and [testing] will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, as the College will observe the César Chavez holiday on 3/31/22.” The email also states that “individuals who received a vaccine exemption or who are overdue for their booster dose must test weekly for COVID-19. Students who fail to test weekly will be subject to a Code of Conduct violation. Employees who fail to test weekly will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment for non-compliance.”
If students would like more information about how to travel during the pandemic, they can consult the Travel Advisory guide put out by Los Angeles County. Highlights of this include that for domestic travel and if you or one of your traveling companions is not vaccinated, before the student should “get a COVID-19 viral test [unless have had COVID-19 in the past ninety days and are asymptomatic] 1 – 3 days before travel and only proceed with travel if your test is negative,” and after should “get a viral COVID-19 test 3 – 5 days after you return to California. You should quarantine for 5 days and monitor for symptoms for 10 days post travel.” If everyone including the student is vaccinated, the student should before “get a COVID-19 viral test 1 – 3 days before travel and only proceed with travel if your test is negative,” and after “get a viral COVID-19 test 3 – 5 days after you return to California. You should quarantine for 5 days and monitor for symptoms for 10 days post travel.” For international traveling, anyone who is unvaccinated should not travel. For vaccinated travelers, they “must [beforehand] get a COVID-19 viral test from a sample collected no more than 1 day before the flight’s departure.” And after they arrive in the United States again, students must “get a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status,” and “self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days. Isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.”
Whittier College also requires that “all eligible students, employees and contracted workers . . . be vaccinated and booster against COVID-19.” If a student does not submit their proof of vaccination to the Student Health portal, they will be subject to registration or degree holds. If an employee does not submit their proof of vaccination or applicable medical/religious exemption to Human Resources, they will “be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”
The College will be “continu[ing] to require masking in all shared indoor spaces.” The email also states that the “College administration will reevaluate this policy in early April to assess infection rates after the return from Spring Break.” If you would like more information on mask requirements and protocols, you can read Mask Mandates and Repercussions at Whittier College on the Quaker Campus website.
Whittier College also urges all students, faculty, employees, etc. to fill out their health screening before coming on campus each day. If you have any questions in regards to policies surrounding COVID-19, you can contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at 562.464.4548.
Featured Image: Brianna Wilson / Quaker Campus