Earlier this evening, Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr sent an email to the student body stating that, as LA county’s regulations transition into the less-restrictive red tier, students may be able to return to campus in the summer of 2021. The news also solidifies Pomona’s plans to reopen in the fall, announced in January of this year.
California’s tier system measures risk levels for COVID-19 on a county-by-county basis. Under the tier system, a county in the red tier is considered to have substantial rates of infection. Currently, only 20 of California’s 58 counties are in the red tier; most of the remaining 38 counties are considered to have a widespread risk of infection.
According to Starr, LA county’s transition to red tier status “opens up possibilities for resuming some of our usual on-campus activities of summer research and internships, and discussions will be underway shortly with our faculty, staff and student planning group to chart the path forward.”
The possible benefits of reopening Pomona’s campus for the summer include “resuming some of [Pomona’s] usual on-campus activities of summer research and internships.” In her email, Starr said that “discussions will be underway shortly with our faculty, staff and student planning group to chart the path forward.”
Despite LA county’s diminishing infection rate, Pomona will remain fully online for the spring semester. The college had originally planned to allow up to 500 students to apply for on-campus housing in the spring semester, but the application for the program was put on hold in December after COVID-19 cases in LA county reached an all-time high. The program was canceled in February after LA county put all plans to return students to college campuses on hold.
Starr also stated that LA county’s transition to red tier “solidifies [Pomona’s] path for full reopening in fall, as the county is moving closer and closer to full alignment with the state guidance.” Earlier in the semester, Starr said that Pomona had been approved to dispense COVID-19 vaccines to students through the Claremont Colleges’ Student Health Services (SHS). Currently, SHS has not received a supply of vaccines.
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