Guide for Faculty, Staff and Student Employees Returning to Campus

Last Updated August 16, 2021.

This guide is for faculty, staff and students who are employed in some capacity at Harvey Mudd. Students who are not employed should refer to Residential Requirements in Response to COVID-19. We will continue to update the guide as needed.

Guiding Principles

Harvey Mudd College’s resources and procedures for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are deeply rooted in the College’s educational mission while promoting the safety and well-being of our faculty, staff and students. We want to provide an environment where our faculty and students may continue engaging in learning together as safely as possible while providing the high-quality educational experience our community treasures.

We are deeply committed to open and ongoing communications on the status of our efforts as well as the opportunities to adjust and improve them as the situation evolves. We realize that as we continue reopening our campus we will need to be flexible and adapt to whatever changes occur in the status of the pandemic. As such, this is considered a “living document” that will be updated as needed moving forward.

College Expectations and Guidelines

Area vice presidents, in conjunction with leadership teams in their respective areas, will assess and coordinate staffing so that we can provide a robust curricular and co-curricular experience, can better manage access to required research, classroom and work environments, and access on-site resources necessary to conduct our work in support of the College’s educational mission. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated through your respective vice president.

Based upon the rise in COVID-19 transmission and an increase in daily new cases in Los Angeles County, staff who have positions that are conducive to telecommuting may request of their supervisor and area VP that they be allowed to voluntarily postpone a return to campus from August 1 to August 30, 2021. Staff who work directly with students, as well as other staff identified by their area VP who need to be on campus, are still expected to return to campus by August 24. In-person instruction resumes for faculty and students on August 30. If you are interested in continuing to work remotely through August 30, 2021, contact your supervisor or area vice president. As we continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission and daily new cases, we will adjust plans accordingly.

Once decisions to expand on-site staffing in certain areas have been made, faculty, staff and student employees should follow the guidelines detailed in this document for returning to campus. It is the expectation that individuals approved to work remotely are working from California. Questions may be directed to your respective area vice president or to the Office of Human Resources.

Health and Safety Guidelines

All faculty, staff and student employees have a responsibility to protect themselves as well as other members of the Harvey Mudd College community. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with a person with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 in the past 10 days, it is critical that you do not come to campus and that you contact your immediate supervisor as soon as possible to inform them. If you are fully vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID-19, and you have developed COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact your supervisor as soon as possible to inform them. If you are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms, you do not need to quarantine.

Faculty, staff and student employees who are pregnant or who have been instructed to return to work on campus and have a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group should contact your direct supervisor or the Office of Human Resources to discuss your options, including requesting ADA Reasonable Accommodations.

Health and Safety Practices

Personal Symptom Monitoring

Faculty, staff and student employees who are working on campus should conduct symptom monitoring each day when reporting to campus. You must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to report to campus and if you are unvaccinated, you must not have been in close contact (e.g. within 6 feet) and without a mask, with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

Face Masks/Cloth Face Coverings

Face masks or face coverings that are worn over the nose and mouth must be worn indoors by all employees regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are not required indoors if you are actively eating or drinking or alone in a separate room or office. Masking outdoors is strongly encouraged, unless actively eating or drinking. The College has a supply of disposable masks located at the Office of Facilities and Maintenance and other personal protective equipment necessary for the safety of employees upon request. Employees exempted from wearing face coverings due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability shall wear an effective non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom, if their condition or disability permits it.  If you need assistance, contact Theresa Lauer, senior director for facilities, emergency preparedness and safety. To learn more, visit: Use Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19.

Physical (Social) Distancing

Per Cal OSHA requirements, individuals not wearing masks or alternate approved face coverings should continue to socially distance if they are unvaccinated or not being tested twice a week. HMC recommends maintaining at least 6-feet of distance between all individuals.

Hand Hygiene

While not a requirement, it is important to frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (All College-provided hand sanitizers available in stations across the campus are in compliance with CDC recommendations).

Gloves and Other Personal Protective Equipment

Employees in dining services and those carrying out specific cleaning roles as well as faculty and students in certain laboratory situations should use gloves as part of PPE (personal protective equipment). Faculty, staff or student employees who have questions should contact Theresa Lauer, senior director for facilities, emergency preparedness and safety.

Enhanced Cleaning of Campus Buildings

Cleaning is conducted on a regular basis by our trained building attendant staff. Including disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, handles and bathroom surfaces.

Personal Disinfection

Disinfecting cleaning supply stations are available in each academic and administrative building for your convenience. Although cleaning is conducted on a regular basis, you are encouraged to wipe down surfaces in workspaces that might be used by someone else, including things like copiers, telephones, break room surfaces, etc. After each use of a break room or space, employees are encouraged to clean the shared surfaces. In this way, each faculty, staff or student employee can help one another by disinfecting shared surfaces that F&M may not realize have been used during your time on campus.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and wash your hands immediately afterward.

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination

Screening Testing

The College requires twice weekly COVID-19 screening testing for all unvaccinated employees who regularly come to campus. Vaccinated faculty and staff may choose to be tested up to once a week. If you plan on getting tested on campus, consent forms must be signed in advance, and approval from your area VP should be transmitted to HR. As a reminder, you may obtain the consent forms by emailing In addition to the Student Health Services test location at the Tranquada Student Service Center, HMC is planning to host a TCCS COVID-19 testing site at the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons-Rose Hills dining room and adjacent patio to make the testing process as simple as possible for our faculty, staff and students. Further details will be provided soon.

Recently the CDC has changed its stance from a position that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to test, to a position that fully vaccinated individuals who come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested within 3–5 days after exposure. The College is recommending that anyone, regardless of vaccination status get tested after exposure to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive individuals.

Note that if faculty and staff have symptoms, they should not go to Student Health Services (SHS) for testing, as SHS is not their primary care provider. Testing should be obtained from their health care provider or elsewhere. Students experiencing symptoms will be evaluated by SHS. For students, if COVID testing is recommended by the provider, then it will be performed by SHS, along with any other testing and/or treatments recommended by the provider.

To learn more or request to be added to regular testing, consult your area vice president. For further details on the testing program, visit COVID-19 Testing Policy for Faculty and Staff.

Vaccination Policy

Harvey Mudd College has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy. 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 vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination, unless an exemption from this policy has been granted as an accommodation or otherwise. Once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants full approval to one of the vaccine candidates currently authorized for emergency use (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson), HMC will no longer recognize philosophical objections and all employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to exemptions due to medical contraindications or sincerely held religious beliefs only. For more information, visit COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

Accommodations for Employees

To request an accommodation or an exemption to the College’s vaccine requirement we encourage you to complete and submit the COVID-19 Accommodation or Exemption Request Form The College’s Disability Accommodations Policy provides guidance and procedures for when faculty and staff require an accommodation due to a qualifying disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Faculty and staff seeking an accommodation in response to COVID circumstances should contact their immediate supervisor or human resources. All medical information obtained in connection with a request for reasonable accommodation, including information about functional limitations and reasonable accommodation needs, will be kept confidential. HMC prohibits retaliation against any faculty and staff member who makes a request for reasonable accommodation and against participants in the reasonable accommodation process.

COVID-19 Exposure and Quarantine

Faculty, staff and student employees who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home or in their residence hall room until they have recovered and should contact their supervisor who will coordinate with human resources. If you test positive, your physician or Student Health Services must clear you to return to campus.

The Office of Human Resources, Division of Student Affairs, Student Health Services or Los Angeles County Public Health officials will conduct a phone interview with the individual who has tested positive to conduct contact tracing. Human resources or potentially other health officials may contact the supervisor if further contact tracing of the COVID-19 positive individual is needed; however, the actual test result (and any other protected health information) will not be disclosed.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with a person with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 in the past 10 days, it is critical that you do not come to campus and that you contact the office of human resources at and your immediate supervisor as soon as possible. All supervisors have a responsibility to exclude symptomatic employees from campus, as soon as they are made aware.

If you are fully vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID-19, and you have developed COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact your supervisor as soon as possible to inform them. If you are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms, you do not need to quarantine. CDC advises testing if exposed to someone with COVID.

Unvaccinated employees with close contact, who do not develop COVID-19 symptoms, may return to work when 10 days have passed since the last known close contact. If the unvaccinated employee develops symptoms, the person can return if they meet criteria required to return a COVID-19 case (24 hours passed since a fever of 100.4 or higher has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications; COVID-19 symptoms have improved; and at least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared).

The College recommends that you review guidance recommended by Los Angeles County Public Health. This guidance is available online in English, Spanish and a number of other languages.

Home Quarantine Instructions for Close Contacts of COVID-19

Home Quarantine Instructions for Close Contacts to COVID-19 | Instrucciones sobre cuarentena en el hogar para contactos cercanos con la Enfermedad del COVID-19.

Home Isolation Instructions for People with COVID-19

Home Quarantine Instructions for Close Contacts to COVID-19 | Instrucciones de Aislamiento en el Hogar para Personas con la Enfermedad del COVID-19.

What to Do if You are Sick

Learn About Symptoms & What To Do If You Are Sick | Qué hacer si está enfermo.

Taking Care of Someone Sick

If you cannot work because you are caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order, or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19, please contact the Office of Human Resources at HR will partner with faculty and staff on available options. California continues to require employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, until September 30, 2021.

Being on Campus

Symptom Screening Questionnaire

Harvey Mudd College has developed a Stay Safe At Mudd Symptom Screening questionnaire that all faculty, staff, and student employees must successfully complete each day they are coming to campus, regardless of vaccination status, even if they will be working solely outdoors. You must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to report to campus.

The confidential questionnaire will ask you about any symptoms you might be experiencing and will confirm your clearance to be on campus. The College will work with staff to determine sick leave eligibility and we will work with faculty and students to identify alternative arrangements.

Campus Signage

We encourage you to pay close attention to posted signage and to follow the instructions carefully to protect all members of our community.

Building Access

Entry to buildings may be monitored to aid in contact tracing when necessary. Your Harvey Mudd College identification is required for entry to all buildings. In order to support contact tracing efforts, the College has decided to leave all exterior-facing academic and administrative building doors set to card-access only mode for the fall. Any invited visitors would need to be met at the door by their HMC point of contact, who invited them.

Business and Personal Travel

As of July 1, the College allows College-sponsored, business-related travel with approval from your vice president/Cabinet member. Given the successes we have seen in using alternative measures for meetings with constituents outside of Claremont, we encourage departments/offices to carefully review and discuss whether travel is truly necessary. Based on your vaccination status, we encourage you to review the latest travel information and travel-related notices from the CDC and U.S. Department of State. Keep in mind that any international travel still carries a risk that you might be quarantined or prevented from returning to the U.S.

Meals on Campus

In an effort to manage the area on campus that will be the most heavily visited, for the fall semester, Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons will be limited to Harvey Mudd students, DSA staff who live on campus, and the dining staff who prepare the food. Dining hall resources will need to be focused on providing meals to students due to constrained resources resulting from limited staffing as well as ensuring compliance with LA County and other agency regulations. As a result, catering services will be extremely limited. Food will be available for purchase at the Cafe; eating will not be permitted inside the Cafe. Food should be eaten outdoors or indoors if dining alone behind closed doors.

All others (e.g. faculty, staff who do not live on campus, non-HMC students, guests and visitors) will have some meal options available (e.g., beverages, pastries, breakfast items and lunch items) to order and purchase from the Cafe. Food may be ordered and purchased at the Cafe or pre-ordered via a mobile app and picked up at the Cafe. (Instruction on the mobile app will be communicated to our community prior to students returning to campus). However, seating will not be permitted inside the Cafe. Food may be eaten outdoors or by an individual alone in an office behind closed doors. HMC faculty, staff and students should limit meal gatherings to outdoors and in groups of 10 or fewer. HMC also advises HMC constituents that if they meet off campus for a work-related meal, that they limit gatherings to 10 or less.

Reservations of Private Dining Rooms (PDRs) will be limited to students during times when the dining hall is open. Faculty and staff will not be permitted to use these rooms until further notice. Additionally, until further notice, the dining hall will not be providing catering services. We will monitor the situation, reassess and pivot as necessary.

Meetings, Gathering and Events

In order to protect all members of our community, including the unvaccinated, we strongly encourage community members to reserve in-person contact to those activities associated with our central work of academic instruction and support of students. Business and social gatherings should be virtual whenever possible, particularly when groups would exceed 10 people. As we reopen, holding to these guidelines will let us first focus space, technology support, and other staff and resources toward the academic needs of our campus.


Visitors must believe themselves to be free of COVID-19 symptoms and must wear a face mask indoors and are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask outdoors. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and will adjust our policy if considered necessary.


Approved vendors will be allowed on campus; however, they must check in advance with the staff/faculty they are meeting or performing work for. The area vice president and department leader is responsible for ensuring they are following HMC’s protocols for safety. Vendors must believe themselves to be free of COVID-19 symptoms and must wear a face mask while on campus.

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Faculty and Staff

Harvey Mudd College participates in the Optum Employee Assistance Program to provide mental and emotional well-being resources to faculty and staff. Information on the program, including how to access the benefit, is available on the Benefits page of the human resources website. If you have questions about how to access this benefit, please contact the Office of Human Resources. Additional resources for coping with stress during the pandemic are available on the CDC website.

Student Employees

Student employees needing assistance are encouraged to contact Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services at 909.621.8202. For after-hours emergencies, call the number and dial “1” when prompted to be connected with an on-call therapist.