HMC COVID-19 July 2022 Update to the Community

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As we begin early preparations for the start of the fall semester, we are seeing another wave of COVID-19 infections spreading rapidly in Los Angeles County. Per the LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), the county crossed into the “high” community transmission level on July 14. LACDPH says that if the level stays high for the next two weeks, they anticipate reinstating the indoor mask mandate as early as July 29.

Once this happens, Harvey Mudd College will revert to its prior guidance requiring masking indoors at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking in an office with the door closed or unless you are eating in Hoch Shanahan Dining Hall (Wear a well-fitting medical-grade mask, surgical mask, or a medical procedure mask or respirator. Cloth masks are not acceptable on campus. HMC will provide suitable masks for all students, faculty or staff who request them). Faculty and staff who would like to request a mask may contact Theresa Lauer (tlauer@hmc.edu)and students may contact the dean of students (dean_of_students@g.hmc.edu).

We do not anticipate requiring face coverings outdoors. However, you should be aware that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the newest Omicron variants do appear to spread more easily than previous strains, so we would strongly recommend you wear a mask when outdoors as well, particularly if you are in a meeting with others for an extended period of time.

In addition to the anticipated return to indoor masking, there are a number of other decisions/issues we’ve received questions about. While we anticipate guidance may continue to change over the coming weeks, we wanted to share the following updates with you now so that you may begin preparing for fall:

Instruction and Outdoor Classrooms

At this point, we anticipate beginning the semester requiring masking indoors. The College will continue to offer outdoor classroom spaces for faculty who would like to reserve them. Tom Donnelly, dean of faculty, will be working with Chair of Faculty Susan Martonosi and the Faculty Executive Committee and will share additional information with faculty about the academic program via a separate email.

COVID-19 Pre- and Post-entry Testing for Students

All students will be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus to check in to their residence halls. In conjunction with the other undergraduate Claremont colleges, we also will be conducting entry testing for all students at the beginning of the semester and for the first two weeks of classes as well as offering optional testing to students (at no cost) after that. A separate communication will be sent to students outlining the testing requirements. If you need assistance obtaining a COVID-19 test to meet the 72-hour, pre-arrival testing requirement, please contact the dean of students at dean_of_students@g.hmc.edu.

COVID-19 Testing for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff who would like to be tested will be able to test through Student Health Services up to twice a week at no cost. A description of the testing program is available as part of the College’s COVID-19 Testing Policy. Faculty and staff who have already completed the required consent paperwork to be tested by SHS do not need to do this again. If you have not yet completed the consent forms, you will need to complete the TCC Consent for COVID-19 Testing and the TCC-HMC Authorization for Release of Medical Information and return both forms to hr@hmc.edu or to Jose Barajas at jbarahas@hmc.edu.

COVID-19 Testing Location

All testing will occur at the SHS Tranquada Student Services Building (757 College Way, Claremont, CA 91711).

Hoch Shanahan Dining Commons

We anticipate Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons will be open this fall and that we will once again allow 5C cross-campus dining. Should that change, or should we be required to place limitations on the numbers of people dining indoors, we will update the campus community.

Guests and Visitors

Guests and visitors are welcome to campus. Once LACDPH reinstates the indoor mask mandate, all visitors and guests will be expected to adhere to the county’s requirements.

Symptom Screening

The College does not currently require use of the Symptom Screening Questionnaire. We ask that all members of our community continue to monitor themselves for new or unusual symptoms prior to arrival on campus or to class each day. If employees have symptoms, they should report them to their supervisor and not come to campus. Employees must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to report to work on campus. Students who have new or unusual symptoms should contact the dean on call or email the dean of students at dean_of_students@g.hmc.edu if they have symptoms.

Vaccination Policy

As a reminder, the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires that all faculty and staff (including contract workers) who are employed at HMC and for whom the COVID-19 vaccine is approved/authorized by the FDA, must be fully vaccinated and have a booster shot against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination and booster shot, unless an exemption from this policy has been granted as an accommodation or otherwise. Likewise, students also are required to be fully vaccinated, including having received the first booster shot. Faculty and staff who have questions should contact the Office of Human Resources at hr@hmc.edu and students should contact the dean of students at dean_of_students@g.hmc.edu.

In closing, we thank you for your ongoing commitment to the College and to our shared mission. As we learn more information, we will share it with you. We encourage you to continue monitoring the College’s COVID-19 website and to reach out to any member of the President’s Cabinet if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you,

The President’s Cabinet

Maria Klawe, President
Karen Angemi, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Thyra Briggs, Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid
Tom Donnelly, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
Andrew Dorantes, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer
Timothy Hussey, Chief Communications Officer and Assistant Secretary to the Board
Hieu Nguyen, Vice President for Advancement
Marco Antonio Valenzuela, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Joseph Vaughan, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Computing and Information Services