In an email sent earlier today, Pomona College administrator informed students that “eligible students, faculty and staff should receive a booster by no later than Tuesday, January 18.” The college also stated that it would “once again will start the next semester with extra caution regarding large events, and no in-person 5C events will be held from the beginning of the semester through the week of February 7.”
The college prefaced its new restrictions by highlighting “the new challenges posed by the Omicron variant of COVID-19” and “[t]he scientific data shows significant benefits associated with the available booster vaccines. Whether you are a student, staff or faculty member, please get your COVID-19 booster right when you become eligible. If you have already done so, we thank you.”
In light of these changes to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the college explained that it would be “requiring boosters and will provide additional details on medical and religious exemption requests and other steps during the week of January 10. In the meantime, eligible students, faculty and staff should receive a booster by no later than Tuesday, January 18. (Those who are not yet eligible will have seven days to do so from the day they become eligible to get their booster.)”
Pomona will track compliance through a series of online portals. Students will “need to upload their booster information to Student Health Services. Faculty and staff who have received a booster need to upload their information to Pomona’s system.”
The college closed its email by emphasizing its “multi-layered approach to protect [its] community. That includes masks, testing and vaccination. If additional information becomes available, we will provide updates over the break by email. We once again will start the next semester with extra caution regarding large events, and no in-person 5C events will be held from the beginning of the semester through the week of February 7.”
Pomona had already instituted a number of restrictions, including weekly testing and masks indoors, during the fall 2021 semester. The Claremont Consortium had previously approved consortium-wide events, but recent surges in positive cases among students led to mass event cancellations as the fall semester drew to a close.