Mindful Monday—Nurse Notes for Employees - 08.29.22

August 29, 2022

Good morning,

Thank you to everyone who has been in the clinic in the last few weeks—and to those new to Pitzer who I cannot wait to meet! As we start a new semester, I would like to remind everyone that testing is available to both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and can be used anytime you would like or need a test.

The testing clinic is in West Hall living room Q222. Testing hours are 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Monday/Wednesday and 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 13 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday.

Testing:

As campus life has increased the past week, COVID-19 testing is encouraged weekly. Testing is available on campus and is free to all Pitzer employees.  Appointments can be made through Healthy Pitzer, detailed instructions can be found below.

Daily Health Screening:

On the Healthy Pitzer website, you will also find the Daily Health Screening. This is a COVID-19 screening tool available for community members and guests. This tool is to be used whenever you develop symptoms or as needed.

COVID-19 Testing Instructions: 

How to make an appointment:

  • Routine Testing: Please make an appointment for testing through Healthy Pitzer. After logging in, you will see Appointments on the second tab. The first time that you log into Healthy Pitzer you will be required to sign Pitzer and HHB consent forms; these forms must be completed prior to testing. 
  • Please bring your phone to your appointment and be ready to log into Healthy Pitzer; we will use the barcode found in the top right corner of the homepage for testing. 
  • The test will be a self-administered nasal swab and the process only takes a few minutes. 
  • You will receive your test results directly via text message and/or email 24–48 hours after testing. 

If you have been exposed or have symptoms: 

  • If you have symptoms, please do not make an appointment with Healthy Pitzer and instead email [email protected] explaining your situation, and we will get you scheduled for diagnostic testing.  
  • This is important so that we can determine if you are safe to work on campus and so that we can test symptomatic individuals separately from others to reduce the risk of exposure. 

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Best,

Zephyr

Monkeypox Update and Information - 08.19.22

August 19, 2022

Dear Pitzer Community,

As we near the start of the fall semester, we want to share information and resources concerning the nationwide outbreak of Monkeypox, which the Biden administration has declared a national public health emergency. Pitzer, in partnership with Student Health Services (SHS) at The Claremont Colleges, is closely monitoring the situation. Pitzer College participates in weekly higher education-specific briefings with public health experts at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH). 

Please visit Pitzer’s Pathway Forward site for updates and resources, including:

As with the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect public health guidelines and protocols for Monkeypox to continue to evolve. Pitzer will continue working with SHS and the County to help keep the campus community informed and as safe as possible.

Sincerely,

Laura A. Troendle, CPA, MBA
Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & Treasurer

Allen M. Omoto, PhD
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Faculty

Sandra Vasquez, EdD
Vice President for Student Affairs

Important COVID-19 Updates and Guidelines - 08.08.22

August 8, 2022

Dear Pitzer Community,                                                                                                          

As we look forward to Move-In Days and the start of the fall semester, we want to share some COVID-related information that will guide us in the coming weeks. More guidelines, developed in consultation with Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force and public health agencies, will be forthcoming.

  • All students must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations (meaning they’ve received all doses of the primary vaccine series and all recommended boosters) and must upload their COVID-19 vaccination record to Student Health Services (SHS) at The Claremont Colleges prior to arrival at Pitzer.
  • Students are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test three to five days before they plan to travel to Pitzer and must provide proof of a negative test result upon their arrival. Students experiencing testing access barriers (including students coming from international locations) or who have tested positive over the summer, should contact [email protected] by Monday, August 15.
  • Any individual who tests positive or is experiencing COVID symptoms should not come to campus. Students testing positive should contact [email protected].
  • Students will also need to test two to three days after their arrival and once a week through the first two weeks of classes. Ongoing testing protocols include regular voluntary screening. More details are available in Pitzer’s COVID-19 FAQs or on the Student COVID-19 Testing page.
  • Every individual entering campus will be required to mask indoors during Move-in Weekends. Outdoor masking will be optional. 
  • After Move-in, Pitzer will follow Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidance, and masking will be encouraged but generally not required indoors. Exceptions may apply in some classrooms, offices, and programs. 
  • We anticipate starting the semester with cross-campus dining and student activities available across the five Claremont undergraduate colleges (the 5Cs), with some possible modifications. 

Please visit our symptoms, close contact protocols, and support page and the Frequently Asked Questions section of our COVID-19 Pathway Forward page for additional information. 

The College’s COVID-19 guidelines have evolved along with the changing nature of the pandemic—and they will continue to do so. We thank you for your patience and for prioritizing the health and safety of everyone on campus. As always, we are truly grateful for our entire community and its commitment to being “Mindful of Each Other.”

Sincerely,

Jill A. Klein, Interim President 

Yvonne Berumen ’97, Vice President for Admission & Financial Aid

Jim Marchant, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Community Relations

Allen Omoto, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Kimberly Shiner, Vice President for College Advancement & Communications

Ulysses J. (UJ) Sofia, Dean of the Keck Science Department

Laura Troendle, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer

Sandra Vasquez, Vice President for Student Affairs

Monkeypox Update from The Claremont Colleges Services - 08.05.22

As you all may be aware, the Biden administration declared monkeypox to be a public health emergency in the U.S. on August 4, 2022. Both California as well as Los Angeles County have also made similar declarations recently.

First, I would like to share with you a few current facts regarding monkeypox:

  • Monkeypox is a viral infection
  • As of August 4, 2022, there have been more than 6,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico
  • While this is a cause for concern, thankfully, monkeypox is rarely fatal and no deaths have been reported in the U.S. so far. However, there have been eight reported deaths from this disease across the world during the current outbreak, primarily in Africa and other regions where the health systems aren’t as robust
  • Early signs may include fever, muscle aches, headache, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion. A rash may also develop, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, including the hands, feet, eyes, mouth and/or genitals. This rash can sometimes be quite painful in nature
  • Infection can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed, usually 2-4 weeks
  • Current transmission/spread is primarily through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact
  • There is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infections. Treatment for monkeypox infection is mainly supportive care (e.g., easing the symptoms by taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever or pain)
  •  However, since monkeypox virus and smallpox virus are genetically similar, antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may sometimes be used to treat and prevent monkeypox virus infections, currently only in those at highest risk
  • Vaccine supplies to prevent monkeypox remain limited currently. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has established priority criteria to administer first dose of vaccine to as many people who are at higher risk for monkeypox exposure as possible. When supply improves, they will make second doses available. Vaccines are not currently available for administration to private clinics such as Student Health Services

As with the last public health emergency declared in the U.S. in January 2020 in response to COVID-19, Student Health Services (SHS) at The Claremont Colleges continues to closely monitor the situation and is in touch with our local public health officials at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for regular updates. SHS current response includes:

  • Keeping our staff up to date on the latest monkeypox information
  • Keeping up to date with our laboratory partner on proper methods of collecting and submitting samples from suspicious lesions for testing
  • Creation of a webpage with more detailed and regularly updated information to keep the campus community informed on monkeypox
  • Reinforcing proper cleaning and hygiene habits, both within our department as well as across the consortium

Prateek Jindal, DO

AVP for Health and Wellness

The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS)

Link to update on Student Health Services site

Summer Session and Masking - 05.24.22

May 24, 2022

Briefly:

  • Indoor masking generally is no longer required on campus, effective May 23rd.
  • Specific offices, programs, and individuals may require masking in their respective spaces.
  • Faculty instructors will determine if masking is required in their Summer Session class.
  • Individual students may request that all students mask in their class.

Dear Pitzer Community:

As summer begins, we want to wish you all well and thank you for your continued vigilance regarding the well-being of our community.

As of May 23, 2022, indoor masking generally is no longer required on campus. However, Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force, with appropriate consultation, has determined that specific offices, programs, and individuals will be able to determine the masking policies for their spaces on campus.

This practice includes Summer Session courses. For example, if an instructor decides masks will be required in their classroom, then all students in attendance will be required to mask. Furthermore, if a student requests everyone in their class to mask, all other students and the faculty instructor must mask.

The Pitzer COVID Clinic and Student Health Services (SHS) will remain open for COVID-19 testing this summer as follows:

  • Students, at SHS:  Monday−Friday, 8:00 a.m.−5:00 p.m. (Closed daily noon−1:00 p.m.)
  • Faculty and Staff, at Pitzer COVID Clinic:  Monday/Wednesday 9:00 a.m.−1:00 p.m.;
    Tuesday/Thursday 9:00 a.m.­−noon and 1:00−3:00 p.m.

More information on SHS is here.

Below are reminders of COVID-19 guidance and resources that remain current: 

The College continues to ask all persons to complete the Healthy Pitzer online screening questionnaire prior to coming to campus. Screening is still recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in its Exposure Management Plan for higher education institutions.

Consistent with public health guidance, well-fitting, high-quality medical masks should be worn when required. N95 and other masks are available for free in the Office of Student Affairs, Dean of Faculty Office, Facilities, Gold Student Center, Dining Hall, and the Nurse Clinic.

If you are a close contact with someone who has tested positive, follow these quarantine guidelines.

Students that have tested positive and remain in the local surrounding area and are accessing Pitzer and/or The Claremont Colleges during the summer are responsible for adhering to medical guidance, including isolation directives from SHS and/or their off-campus medical provider. 

The Office of Student Affairs can be reached during normal business hours at (909) 621-8241. Staff and faculty may reach Nurse Zephyr at (909) 607-2180 during the Pitzer COVID Clinic hours shown above.

More information on Pitzer’s COVID-19 protocols, case numbers (the dashboard), and tier levels can be found at COVID-19 Dashboard – Pathway Forward (pitzer.edu). Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our community healthy and safe. 

Summer COVID Clinic Information for Faculty and Staff - 05.16.22

The testing clinic is in West Hall living room Q222, testing hours are 9 am-1 pm Monday/Wednesday and 9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-3 pm Tuesday/Thursday.  Please see testing instructions below for more details.  

The clinic will be open this Friday 05/20/2022 from 9 am-12 pm for anyone who would like a test. Please remember to monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, as there have been large events at the end of the semester.

Testing Schedule: 

  • Testing is available on campus and is free to all Pitzer employees.  Appointments can be made through Healthy Pitzer, detailed instructions can be found below.  
  • If you have recently had a COVID-19 infection, please reach out to [email protected] to discuss your testing schedule, as you may be exempt from PCR testing for 90 days post a positive COVID test. 

COVID-19 Testing Instructions

 How to make an appointment:

  • Routine Testing: Please make an appointment for testing through Healthy Pitzer, after logging in you will see Appointments on the second tab.  The first time that you log into Healthy Pitzer you will be required to sign Pitzer and HHB consent forms, these forms must be completed prior to testing. 
  • Please bring your phone to your appointment and be ready to log into Healthy Pitzer, we will use the barcode found in the top right corner of the homepage for testing. 
  • The test will be a self-administered nasal swab and the process only takes a few minutes. 
  • You will receive your test results directly via text message and/or email 24-48 hours after testing. 

If you have been exposed or have symptoms: 

  • If you have symptoms, please do not make an appointment with Healthy Pitzer, and instead email [email protected] explaining your situation and we will get you scheduled for diagnostic testing.  
  • This is important so that we can determine if you are safe to work on campus and so that we can test symptomatic individuals separately from others to reduce the risk of exposure. 

Testing at an outside facility: 

  • If you would prefer to test off-campus or if you need testing on a holiday or weekend, please check LA County testing sites or Kaiser testing sites.  
  • If you need assistance finding or making an appointment, please let us know!
  • If you are getting diagnostic testing at an outside facility for symptoms or an exposure you must get a PCR test, a rapid/antigen test will not clear you to return to campus. 
  • If you get tested an outside facility you can report your test results to [email protected]

Best,
Nurse Zephyr

SHS Summer Schedule Starting May 16 - 05.11.22

Students: Saliva COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered at Tranquada from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with closures for Memorial Day, Juneteenth, and Independence Day. This goes into effect starting Monday, May 16.

SHS Summer COVID Testing
Friday Nurse Notes - 05.09.22

May 6, 2022

Dear Community,

Happy Friday! As we come to the end of the semester, I would like to thank everyone in the community for always being kind and patient with one another regarding COVID-19.

Students, please remember to continue mandatory weekly testing until leaving campus. Summer hours will be available for students who would like a test, with adjusted hours listed below. Staff/faculty, please continue to get tested regularly; weekly, if coming to campus.

Please be mindful of your symptoms and remember that minor cold symptoms are also symptoms of COVID-19. Before attending large events such as commencement, consider taking a rapid antigen test.

COVID-19 Testing Summer Hours:

Students:

  • The summer COVID saliva testing will take place at Tranquada Building between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. 
  • The site will be closed for Memorial Day (May 30), Juneteenth (June 20), and Independence Day (July 4).

Staff/Faculty:

  • Continue to get tested regularly; weekly, if coming to campus. Please make an appointment at the campus COVID Clinic through Healthy Pitzer
  • Clinic Hours will remain the same:
    • The testing clinic is in West Hall living room Q222, testing hours are 9 am-1 pm Monday/Wednesday and 8 am-12 pm and 1 pm-3 pm Tuesday/Thursday. 

See below the COVID case numbers for the week, as of 05/06/2022:

Day ofStudents PositivesStaff & Faculty Positives
05/05/202220
05/04/202231
05/03/202231
05/02/202200

As always, please reach out if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Sincerely,
Nurse Zephyr

Booster Monday from Nurse Zephyr - 05.02.22

May 2, 2022

Good afternoon, everyone!

As we start a new week, I would like to remind everyone of our hours, and encourage weekly testing!

The testing clinic is in West Hall living room Q222, testing hours are 9 am-1 pm Monday/Wednesday and 8 am-12 pm and 1 pm-3 pm Tuesday/Thursday.  Please see testing instructions below for more details.  

Booster Monday: Booster shots are available in the Clinic! We will be having a booster day, Monday, May 9 during our regular scheduled hours, 9 am-1 pm. Family members are welcome! Make an appointment here: Pitzer Clinic. If these hours do not work for you, please reach out to me and we can make arrangements.

Daily Health Screening:  The Daily Health Screening is required every day that you come to campus, if you have any symptoms or have had an exposure to a positive case email [email protected] or call (909) 607-2180 before coming to campus.

COVID-19 Testing Instructions

How to make an appointment:

  • Routine Testing: Please make an appointment for testing through Healthy Pitzer, after logging in you will see Appointments on the second tab. The first time that you log into Healthy Pitzer you will be required to sign Pitzer and HHB consent forms, these forms must be completed prior to testing. 
  • Please bring your phone to your appointment and be ready to log into Healthy Pitzer, we will use the barcode found in the top right corner of the homepage for testing. 
  • The test will be a self-administered nasal swab and the process only takes a few minutes. 
  • You will receive your test results directly via text message and/or email 24-48 hours after testing. 

If you have been exposed or have symptoms: 

  • If you have symptoms, please do not make an appointment with Healthy Pitzer, and instead email [email protected] explaining your situation and we will get you scheduled for diagnostic testing.  
  • This is important so that we can determine if you are safe to work on campus and so that we can test symptomatic individuals separately from others to reduce the risk of exposure. 

Testing at an outside facility: 

  • If you would prefer to test off-campus or if you need testing on a holiday or weekend, please check LA County testing sites or Kaiser testing sites.  
  • If you need assistance finding or making an appointment, please let us know!
  • If you are getting diagnostic testing at an outside facility for symptoms or an exposure you must get a PCR test, a rapid/antigen test will not clear you to return to campus. 
  • If you get tested at an outside facility you can report your test results to [email protected]

Best Regards, 

Zephyr

Zephyr Dowd-Lukesh – RN (She, Her, Hers)  

Hamilton Health Box 

COVID-19 Requirements at Commencement - 05.02.22

May 2, 2022

Like much of the country, Los Angeles County has recently seen a significant increase in COVID-19 infections, and our campus has been impacted. While the County and the State of California do not currently require masks at large outdoor events, Pitzer College, in consultation with medical consultants and the College’s Covid Task Force (a committee of faculty, staff, and students), has determined that masks will be required at commencement ceremonies on campus this month. In addition, like many other events held in the region, Pitzer will require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test in order to attend the ceremonies.

These decisions were made in the interests of the health and well-being of our community and guests, driven by Pitzer’s core value of social responsibility. Three of the factors that contributed to this decision were:

  1. Size of the event – over 2,000 people typically attend commencement on campus
  2. Duration of the commencement ceremonies – approximately two hours in length
  3. Ventilation limitations –the large, mostly enclosed commencement tent will provide limited fresh air and no filtered air

Pitzer is committed to keeping our community and guests as safe as possible as we celebrate the success of our students. We look forward to seeing you at Commencement.

For more information about Commencement, visit www.pitzer.edu/commencement