April 6, 2022
Dear Pitzer Community,
We are writing to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 cases on campus. We are currently experiencing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases here at Pitzer and at The Claremont Colleges.
As of this morning, we are reporting at least 24 new positive cases, up from 7 new positive cases yesterday. We currently have a total of 61 positive cases, with 44 in isolation on campus and 17 in isolation off campus. These are nearly all student cases with transmission occurring among friend groups and close contacts, including students living off-campus. About half of the cases are asymptomatic, and others are varying levels of symptoms, with no hospitalizations to date. We anticipate a large number of students previously in isolation from last week’s positive caseload to be released from isolation by the end of this week.
NOTE: There is typically a 1-2 day delay on reporting positive cases on the Pitzer COVID-19 dashboard, and the dashboard only shows Student Health Services diagnosed cases. As our Student Affairs team prioritizes immediate care for impacted students, please note there will also be a delay in notices to faculty.
We continue to work closely with our healthcare providers, and they are optimistic that we will start to see a decline in cases and student isolations as early as next week.
While this new information may be alarming to the Pitzer community, in consultation with our doctors this wave is to be expected given our case numbers last week, and we are hopeful that with the mitigation efforts Pitzer implemented last week and enhanced 5C mitigation efforts, we will soon see a decline in cases.
We will post further updates on the Pathway Forward webpage. For faculty support, please email [email protected].
Below are reminders and the resources available to the community:
- If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, please review this guidance: https://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/covidquarantine/
- At-home rapid tests can be ordered for free through the USPS order form: https://www.covidtests.gov/
- N95s, KN95s or double surgical/procedure masks are required. Single layer cloth masks are not acceptable. Masking outdoors is optional, except as required for outdoor events/programs or faculty outdoor classroom guidance, but highly encouraged in denser outdoor settings. N95s and other masks are available for free in the Office of Student Affairs, Dean of Faculty Office, Facilities, and the nurse clinic.
- Physical distancing remains a very effective health measure while we navigate the current surge.
- Pitzer staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to participate in surveillance testing regardless of vaccination status, especially those with high student contact outside of the classroom.
- Masks will continue to be required in classrooms, labs, and studios. The College Presidents have decided to keep this mask mandate in place across the consortium.
It is critical that even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, the expectation is that you continue to get tested as part of your mandatory COVID-19 screening. To prevent continual spread, it will require continued collective communal effort in our testing, masking, as well as adhering to the ever-evolving health guidelines.
5C Cross-Campus Dining & Pitzer Grab-and-Go Dining
Effective today at dinner, 5C Cross-Campus Dining is suspended until further notice and the Student Deans Committee will re-evaluate this next week in consultation with providers. Indoor seating will continue to remain closed for all Pitzer food service venues: McConnell Dining Hall, Pit-Stop Café, and Shakedown. Hours of operation will remain the same and students may continue to take out their meals from McConnell in a green reusable box or paper to-go box. Additional Pitzer dining updates are forthcoming.
We strongly recommend only eating outdoors in groups no larger than 10 and that you are always masked when in a gathering with others, with the exception of when you are consuming food.
Outdoor Masking at Events, Student Events and Programming Updates & Student Gatherings
At this time, all Pitzer, 5C parties, and 5C student club and organization events and programs are cancelled until further notice. We strongly recommend students only gather with members of their household during this time. Student gatherings will be limited to groups no larger than 10 and must be masked.
Only approved office-led and faculty-led programs will be allowed to continue at this time. This includes faculty lectures, Admitted Student Day and Diversity Program limited to invited participants only with adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
We will continue to monitor case trends, Los Angeles County guidelines, and seek guidance from our healthcare professionals. Thank you for continuing to be mindful of each other and taking the steps to help protect ourselves, each other, and our greater community.
We appreciate your continued support and efforts to keep our community safe and healthy.
Pitzer Leadership Team