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Information for Faculty, Postdocs, and Staff

Updated May 28, 2020

The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty are our top priorities. Here are the measures the Institute is taking in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and our duty to the Caltech and Pasadena communities.

  • We have shifted to online teaching for spring quarter for undergraduate and graduate students alike. To support online teaching during spring break, Caltech has created teach.caltech.edu.
  • In compliance with "Safer at Home" orders from the County of Los Angeles and the City of Pasadena, we are limiting campus activity to essential functions only. These include: distance learning and the operation of student housing and dining facilities; custodial, security, payroll, and student wellness services; and the maintenance and management of laboratories and facilities with unique agents and equipment.
  • We have directed all employees not involved in these essential functions to defer activities or transition work to remote locations (home office, private space within their residence, etc.).

Caltech's infectious disease task group is monitoring the situation closely in collaboration with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), and will keep you informed via Ion Caltech emails and updates to this website.

What Caltech Is Doing to Keep You Safe

Caltech has convened an infectious disease task group that is in regular communication with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will follow any updated guidance and recommendations from PPHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they are released.

As much as possible, employees have been directed to work remotely. To support staff members who are telecommuting, Caltech's Human Resources, Information Management Systems and Services (IMSS), and the Office of the Provost have created a Caltech Telecommuting website, which includes telecommuting guidelines, information on connecting remotely to Caltech systems, a set of tools for collaboration, and guidelines that explain how to handle work calls remotely.

Certain key staff members still need to report to campus to keep critical Institute functions running. To ensure the safety of anyone still on campus, custodial teams on campus have introduced enhanced cleaning techniques that include the daily sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces like tables and door knobs using antimicrobials that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed as effective against COVID-19.

Those employees who need to conduct essential on-campus functions should do so in accordance with health professionals' guidance on social distancing, which includes maintaining a distance of six feet per person, staggering personnel schedules, and following preventative hygiene measures to the greatest extent possible.

More details can be found in the 3/19/2020 memo on Caltech's response to the Safer at Home order, and the 3/16/2020 HR memo on employee telecommuting.

Resources for Remote Working and Online Teaching

Health Insurance Updates

Both the Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser HMO programs have stated that there will be no copay or deductible for individuals who require screening or testing for the COVID-19 virus. All other costs related to COVID-19 will be covered in accordance with the terms of the individual health plans.

Information about the High Deductible PPO (HDHP) plans will be forthcoming.

Travel Guidance

International travel: Caltech prohibits all Institute-sponsored travel to countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and strongly advises against all personal international travel. If you do undertake such travel, there may be a self-isolation requirement for 14 days upon your return, as well as air or governmental restrictions on return that are beyond Caltech's ability to control.

Domestic travel: In general, we advise limiting non-essential domestic travel. We ask the Caltech community to be mindful of the spread of COVID-19, and to limit travel to any area where there is community spread of the disease, meaning that it cannot be traced back to contact with a traveler from an affected country.

Hosting colleagues from abroad: Due to increasing travel restrictions, it is unlikely that you will be able to collaborate in person with colleagues from overseas. Instead, Caltech can provide tools to aid you in collaborating via email or video conferencing. If you need help setting up a video conference, contact Caltech's Information Management Systems and Services (IMSS) for technical support.

Mental Health Resources

Caltech employees and postdocs who experience increased anxiety or stress related to the virus, concerns about family in the United States or abroad, or personal health may utilize the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center. The Staff and Faculty Consultation Center is currently providing phone consultations, and has created TheWell@Caltech, an online library of resources.