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COVID-19 Self-Quarantine Instructions & Housing

Updated: April 30, 2021 at 4:30 PM PST

The Institute has received updated guidance from our local public health agencies. As you are preparing to move to or return to Caltech, we would like to update you on our plans for mitigating risks for the spread of infection and ensuring a smooth transition to campus.

The Housing Office will contact you with confirmation of your assignment and move in information for new assignments.  If you left campus for an extended period of time and are returning to an existing assignment with multiple occupants, please submit this form for a temporary quarantine space request. If you are requesting travel quarantine housing after non-essential travel, it is subject to availability.

Upon arrival at Caltech, the Institute will require that some residents moving into Caltech Housing undergo testing for COVID-19 and complete a mandatory quarantine. This process, which is outlined in detail below, is reflective of Caltech's commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of our community. We believe it is a prudent approach for managing new living arrangements for multiple occupant apartments.

There are two groups of residents that will need to participate in testing and quarantine:

  1. If you are an international traveler and not fully vaccinated,
  2. Or if you are a domestic traveler and not fully vaccinated.

There are two groups of residents will not need to participate in testing and quarantine; these groups must self-monitor for 14 days upon arrival and report if they have any symptoms:

  1. If you are an international traveler and fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks prior to arrival),
  2. Or if you are a domestic traveler and fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks prior to arrival).
In order to effectively implement these new measures and to manage space across campus, we must schedule check-in dates for all newly arriving residents in advance. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOT ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE EARLY OR LATE CHECK-INS WITH THIS PROCESS; AND YOU CAN ONLY CHECK IN DURING BUSINESS HOURS. Check-in times are from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday only (no Saturday or Sunday check ins). If you plan to arrive in Los Angeles on the weekend or after hours, you will need to make independent arrangements to stay off campus until your assigned check-in day. 

Please also remember that when you come to campus to check-in, you will be expected to follow the Institute's Health and Hygiene Policy for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, and any other Institute policies around COVID-19, which includes requirements for wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing, among other measures.


  • When you arrive, you will need to check in with the Housing Office. Your check in date will be sent to Student Wellness Services so they can schedule your COVID-19 test during your quarantine period.  At your check in you will receive your new Caltech ID (if applicable), and your temporary quarantine room assignment. Instructions and expectations for the duration of your quarantine will be sent via email ahead of time.
  • Undergraduate dorm rooms on campus have been designated for use as temporary quarantine space for residents moving into multiple occupant apartments. Those moving into single apartments will quarantine in their permanent assignment.  You will be expected to reside in your on-campus quarantine assignment for at least 7 days, and you will be tested on your 5th day in quarantine or if you become symptomatic during the quarantine period. Please bring sufficient clothing, linens, and personal items to support your personal needs for the duration of the quarantine period. Caltech Dining will be providing meals to you at no additional charge while you are in a temporary quarantine space in the undergraduate dorm rooms only.  Additional information regarding dining will be sent ahead of time.  Those moving directly into their permanent assignments will not be provided meals. 
  • You should plan to bring all of the necessary clothing, personal hygiene supplies, and other items needed to complete up to a 10 day self-quarantine period. A suggested packing list can be found here.
  • For those in a temporary quarantine assignment:  After you receive a negative test result (approximately 24 to 48 hours) from your test, you will be cleared to move to your permanent assignment on your 8th day. You will be able to pick up your check in packet from the Housing Office and will need to move that day.
  • On your last day in quarantine, you will receive an automated email with a button to click when you have completed your move to your permanent assignment.
  • If you receive a positive COVID-19 test, you will need to immediately relocate into isolation housing in another undergraduate residence. Student Wellness Services will provide instructions regarding your move in this case.

There is additional COVID-19 information on our website at:

Thank you for your understanding and continued flexibility with this process.