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COVID-19 Self-Quarantine Instructions & Housing

Caltech's efforts to support the well-being of the campus community in response to the novel coronavirus (SARS-coV-2) and COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve as new information is made available. This situation is dynamic, and public health guidance may evolve over time; we will update the campus accordingly.
Currently, widespread community transmission continues to occur and all non-essential travel is strongly discouraged.

Updated CDC guidance indicates that individuals who have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, and specifically to China, Europe, Iran, or South Korea, who have a fever or symptoms of acute respiratory illness or a known exposure to COVID-19 should contact a medical provider for consultation. If you are experiencing acute symptoms, please contact your local urgent care or hospital; for individuals living on campus, emergency medical services can be reached through Campus Security by calling 626-395-5000.  During business hours, students should call Student Wellness Services at 626-395-6393, and all other campus community members should contact their personal primary care provider.

Updated CDC guidance indicates that if you have traveled abroad you need to take extra precautions.

Upon your return, we are requiring all Caltech travelers coming from Level 3 countries to self-quarantine, which includes staying home and practicing social distancing for 14 days.

The following is required during self-quarantine and self-monitoring:

  • Stay home for 14 days beginning on the day of your arrival into the United States. 
  • Do not go to work, class, meetings, or gatherings, etc. Do not entertain visitors in your room. Keep your distance from others (minimum 6 feet) when possible. Wear a face covering at all times. Please avoid public transportation or ride shares during the time you are practicing social distancing. 
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times per day and monitor for fever. Also monitor for other symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19, including cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Do not share personal hygiene items, beverages or meals with anyone.  
  • If you experience any of the following symptoms, notify your healthcare provider or Student Wellness Services by phone (do NOT walk-in):
  • Your temperature is greater than 100.4F/38C or
  • You have a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. 
  • If your symptoms are severe, call 911 (if you are living on campus, call 626-395-5000 and Campus Security can facilitate emergency services) and report your symptoms and recent travel information.
  • If your healthcare provider office is closed (i.e. during evenings or weekends), call your local Urgent Care Clinic or Emergency Department

Students who have a housing contract for a Caltech-owned property, who are unable to effectively self-quarantine in their regular assignment will be provided a single room in dedicated quarantine space. Rooms are single-occupancy and have in-room sinks. Each resident will be assigned a shower and toilet stall within a common bathroom area and will be expected to use only that restroom. Custodial services will do frequent cleanings of restrooms, and self-cleaning instructions will be provided to residents to further reduce the risk of disease transmission. Common areas and kitchens will not be available for use; students will receive a small stipend ($100) to assist with purchasing food on campus, and residents will be permitted to order food delivery, as well as to carry out essential activities such as purchasing food and seeking medical care. Students should contact the Housing Office a minimum of 2 week prior to anticipated arrival date to make arrangements. Incoming international students who will be joining the Caltech community in residence for fall 2020 should contact the Housing Office as soon as possible to discuss arrival dates. A self-quarantine housing request form can be found here.

Students should plan to bring all of the necessary clothing, personal hygiene supplies, and other items needed to complete a 14 day self-quarantine period. A suggested packing list can be found here.