I am pleased to share that on April 5, LA County qualified to move into the orange tier for reopening. As we continue to review the guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), we are hopeful that the downward trend of positive cases and hospitalizations in the county continues and that the increase in vaccinations across the nation will result in the re-opening of our campus residence halls.
As we continue to plan for your safe return, we are making important updates to our Stay Safe at Mudd policies to reflect the changes in the guidance from the county. While we make these updates, I want to share three important changes that you should be aware of in preparation for a safe return to Mudd:
Students who wish to live on campus and in Arrow Vista in the fall must be fully vaccinated from COVID-19. Exceptions will be granted to those students who have proof of a medical condition that prevents them from safely getting vaccinated or who hold a sincerely held religious belief or practice that prevents them from getting vaccinated. For those who will not be able to access the vaccine where they live, we are working with Student Health Services to help you get vaccinated as soon as you arrive on campus for move-in. Please submit your proof of vaccination on the SHS portal at your earliest convenience by going to the SHS website and upload your form(s).
According to updated guidance from LACDPH, students who have been vaccinated and who are a close contact to a confirmed case are not required to quarantine and test for COVID-19 if they meet all of the following criteria: (1) are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine) and (2) are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series and (3) have remained asymptomatic since last contact with the infected person.
We are also looking at our current mandatory twice a week testing protocols and may be changing that for those who have been vaccinated.
Because we expect that almost all of the members of our community will be vaccinated and due to the testing protocols we plan to continue to implement, we will no longer need to keep the strict “Mudd bubble” for our students. We will have some modifications in terms of the dining program and some social activities to still be 1C, but we expect students to once again have physical access to other campuses in terms of classrooms, recreation and other programs and services.
Please note that these changes related to vaccines and testing are for fall opening and not for our summer residents. We understand that vaccines are not going to be as widely accessible by May 17, and in anticipation that many of you may not be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by then, you will be expected to participate in our mandatory testing protocols.
I want to thank the members of the VPSA Advisory Board for their continued work on helping us plan for your safe return to Mudd. I encourage you to attend our upcoming Inside Mudd session for students scheduled for Noon PDT, Thursday, April 8. We will continue to have these monthly sessions to keep you informed of what to expect for fall semester.
Thank you all for your patience. I know that the last year has been difficult, and I am proud of how you have managed to stay focused and engaged and to build community in spite of the remote environment in which we have been. Please remember that there are resources available to you including our 7C health, our academic deans and our DSA staff. I, along with members of Cabinet and the DSA look forward to having you back on campus.
Be well and stay safe,
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students