By Kara Hagler
Last Friday, the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) COVID Compliance Committee announced its COVID policies for the fall semester. The Committee relaxed their testing and mask policies. However, these updates are "contingent on what happens over the coming months."
CMC will no longer require surveillance testing with a few exceptions. First, "[s]tudents will be required to test at an [Student Health Services (SHS)] testing location within 72 hours of arrival in Claremont for the fall semester and should anticipate similar required testing immediately following major breaks." Students who test positive within 90 days of move-in "must share those results with HHB and [then will] be exempt from [the initial] testing requirement.” Second, if any student, faculty or staff member is symptomatic, "or, if symptomatic and with a known exposure to a positive case, with HHB" they must test with SHS.
The school will now be using Claremont Consortium SHS to test CMC students, faculty and staff, which is "in an effort to centralize [the consortium’s] processes and resources." The college will use "PCR saliva tests." Last year, Claremont McKenna used Hamilton Health Box (HHB) for testing and required nasal swab PCR testing. HHB will continue to "perform testing for those who wish to end isolation early." HHB will also "perform a rapid cue diagnostic test" for those exposed to a positive case.
As of now, masking is not required; however, the committee wrote that they "must comply with any health officer orders issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health." At the moment, "the County is currently weighing whether to reimpose an indoor mask mandate amidst the current surge in cases." Even if the county does not require masks, "the Claremont Colleges are considering whether to allow faculty to ask their classes to mask in their own classrooms." All of last year, the Claremont Consortium required masks in some capacity.
These policies are subject to change. Last year, Claremont McKenna College recorded seven positive COVID cases before the semester started, leading the school to tighten its previously announced COVID policies, canceling a party and moving Convocation online.