Information for Students and Parents
Updated July 29, 2020
The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty are our top priorities. In consultation and accordance with local public health authorities, Caltech is beginning a phased return to on-campus activities that had been suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Understandably, we receive a lot of questions right now about how Fall Term will be conducted. Caltech's Executive Steering Committee—which includes the president, provost, and other members of Caltech's leadership—is currently weighing how best to proceed with the Fall Term and will be providing a decision by early July. More details can be found in the June 25 Fall Planning Update.
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.
The Institute has implemented a number of preventative measures to mitigate the risk of spreading infection. These include requiring individuals to wear face coverings and observe physical distancing protocols while on campus, daily symptom self-checks by employees and students before reporting to on-site work, and the introduction of enhanced cleaning measures across facilities.
Graduate housing remains open, as do support services and auxiliary functions critical to the research enterprise. Please note that some of those services may be curtailed as dictated by staffing limitations. Visit our "What's Open at Caltech" page for more information.
Should any of the students in graduate housing contract COVID-19, the Institute has plans that will provide those students with prompt medical attention while isolating them from the rest of the Caltech community to mitigate the spread of the disease. We also have plans for medical transport and hospitalization of seriously ill students.
Our approach is to be cautious and vigilant, monitor our residential community closely, follow up on any presumptive cases of infection with isolation, and notify and work with our public health authority to do immediate contact tracing and further isolation as needed.
Event Cancellations and Ways to Stay Connected While Social Distancing
Caltech has canceled all in-person events on and off campus through September 30.
The Caltech community is encouraged to find ways to stay connected while social distancing measures are in effect by:
- hosting or attending Caltech events online
- joining the Graduate Student Slack channel
- taking a Student Wellness Workshop online
For Graduate Students Who Are Still on Campus
There are several simple and effective steps you can take to make sure that you are prepared for any infectious disease, including COVID-19:
- If you are taking a medication, make sure that you have an adequate (30-day) supply.
- Practice good hygiene at all times: cough and sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands with soap and water, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Practice proper social distancing, keeping a minimum of 6 feet between you and others at all times.
- Read and follow the Graduate Student Community Health and Hygiene Policy.
- Finally, misinformation about COVID-19 is rampant, and can create confusion and panic. Rely on official communications from the CDC, PPHD, and the Caltech COVID-19 information webpage.
If You Become Ill
If you are ill with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call Student Wellness Services at (626) 395-6393. Please do not come to the Student Wellness Services building unless you are directed to do so. It is important to limit your contact with others if you are ill. A healthcare provider will inquire about your symptoms, risk factors, and give you further instructions regarding self-isolation. At this time, testing for COVID-19 is taking place at the direction of the Pasadena Public Health Department until commercial testing is available. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call Campus Security at (626) 395-5000.
Mental Health Resources
Students who are experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to the virus, concerns about family overseas, or your personal health may contact Student Counseling Services for consultation and support by calling (626) 395-8331.
Student Health Insurance
Caltech's Student Health Insurance Plan covers care you may need beyond what our Student Health Center and the Counseling Center can provide. The plan is provided through UnitedHealthcare Student Resources (UHCSR) and includes a new Telehealth benefit that allows you to connect to a U.S. Board-certified doctor via your phone, tablet, or computer, usually within an hour. Additional details are on the Caltech Human Resources webpage.