Thank you for cooperating with the COVID-19 testing requirements this fall. With your help, Pepperdine has achieved good compliance and kept our community together. Below is a summary of the testing plan over the holidays and into spring 2022.
Weekly screening testing will continue through the Christmas break for students registered with Housing and Residence Life to stay in on-campus student housing during Christmas break. With the smaller number of people on campus, only the Firestone Fieldhouse testing site location will remain open, and hours will be limited. The site will be open on Monday, December 20 and Monday, December 27 from 10 AM to 2:30 PM. Residential students should plan accordingly to test during these times. If there are any questions or schedule conflicts with these testing hours, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line before December 18 or the Department of Public Safety during the holiday break.
Spring 2022 COVID-19 Testing Requirements
Students will be required to complete (1) an entry test prior to arrival on campus and (2) weekly screening testing. Please remember, entry tests do not count for your first week of screening testing. These are two separate requirements, and each is described below.
As a precautionary measure and in compliance with current Los Angeles County guidance, Pepperdine will require all students, regardless of vaccination status, to obtain and report a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving either on campus or for their first in-person interaction with the Pepperdine community at an official University event in 2022. Students may take a PCR or antigen test at a healthcare provider or testing site, or use an at-home test. After testing, students must enter their test results into the Spring 2022 Entry Test Reporting Form. The form contains further instructions based on whether your test result was negative or positive.
Access to testing may be challenging for some students. Therefore, to ensure all students have the ability to test, the University is making take-home tests available for pickup next week at the screening test sites. Students may use these take-home tests to satisfy the entry testing requirement.
Weekly Screening Testing
Pepperdine will begin the spring 2022 term continuing to require weekly screening testing for all faculty, staff, and students regardless of vaccination status, as recommended by the current Los Angeles County guidance. The University continues to evaluate conditions to determine if and when changes to testing may occur.
Weekly screening testing will be available beginning on January 3, 2022. While students may test any day, Monday through Saturday, the University encourages early testing on the first week back to campus. For your first week, please complete your weekly screening test within 72 hours of your arrival back on campus.
If you have any questions about this information, please contact the University’s COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at email@example.com. Thank you for your continued support as the University works together to keep the community safe.
In response to increased community transmission of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a new health order effective Sunday, July 18, 2021, which amends the face covering mandate and requires the use of face coverings in indoor public settings and businesses, regardless of vaccination status. This is a change from the previous order, which generally did not require vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings indoors.
Therefore, Pepperdine will update its face covering protocol to reflect this new health order. Beginning Sunday, July 18, 2021, Pepperdine’s face covering policy will require the following:
- Outdoors. Face coverings are not required.
- Indoors. All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces.
- Residence Halls. Individuals sharing suites or apartments may be considered a household and are not required to wear face coverings while in their “home” area, but should wear face coverings when exiting their suite/apartment in public areas of the resident halls.
- Classes. Face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
- Workplaces. Face coverings are required for all individuals regardless of vaccination status, unless alone in an office.
- On Campus Shuttles. Face coverings are required for all individuals riding a University shuttle, regardless of vaccination status.
- In Healthcare Settings (including the Student Health Center). Face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
The University will continue to monitor health orders and guidance and will communicate any additional changes to University COVID-19 protocols. Please direct any questions to the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the objective of prioritizing the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, while ensuring the highest standards of academic excellence and a transformative student experience, the University Management Committee (UMC) gathered community feedback on a draft COVID-19 vaccination policy, evaluated Pepperdine vaccination data, consulted with leading medical experts, and benchmarked other universities. Following this work, UMC is issuing a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requiring all faculty, staff, and students who do not claim an exemption described below to be vaccinated in advance of return to campus for the fall semester.
This policy acknowledges the University’s high degree of confidence in COVID-19 vaccinations, with authorized vaccines proving effective in preventing illness and death, including from known variants. The policy also recognizes there are those in our community who, after carefully and prayerfully considering how best to balance their medical health and religious or philosophical convictions with their desire to care for their neighbors and our community, have determined they are unable to be vaccinated at this time. Therefore, the policy entitles community members to claim a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption in good faith. These exemption categories mirror the University’s long-standing mandatory vaccination practices. Community members who need to claim an exemption (which could include one based on emergency authorization of the vaccine) must complete the vaccination exemption form, the instructions for which can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Information website.
While we do not know precisely which infection control measures will be required by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) in the fall, we expect LACDPH may mandate face coverings indoors for those not vaccinated, and for all community members when riding campus shuttles and in the health center. Regardless of health orders or vaccination status, all community members should feel comfortable wearing face coverings at any time. We foresee some fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students will continue to wear face coverings in certain circumstances for a period of time as a personal choice. We also understand LACDPH will continue to require a ten-day solitary quarantine for any unvaccinated person identified as a close contact with a positive case. In contrast, fully vaccinated persons identified as close contacts will not have to quarantine. The University will comply with applicable public health orders.
As a reminder, all faculty, staff, and students are required to notify the University of their current vaccination status by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Notification Form. The deadline has been extended to July 16, 2021. If your vaccination status changes after you have completed the form, please resubmit the form with your updated response. With roughly half of the community already responding, we are encouraged the results currently indicate more than 86% have either been fully vaccinated (80%) or are in the process of getting fully vaccinated (6%).
Consistent with our standard practices regarding mandatory vaccines, students will be directed to submit verification of vaccination. Instructions will be shared next week, and the documentation must be submitted by July 31, 2021. Documentation, including exemption forms and medical records, will be kept confidential. Vaccination status will be shared with University officials who have a legitimate need to know this information. This could include faculty or staff in academic or administrative settings, or for contact tracing purposes, etc.
If you have questions regarding any COVID-related issue or concern, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.
With the Delta variant of the coronavirus continuing to spread, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) issued a recommendation yesterday that all residents resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. While public health officials have said the available vaccines continue to offer strong protection against variants, there is significant concern that those who are unvaccinated or have yet to receive all their required shots, remain vulnerable to the Delta variant, which may be twice as transmissible as conventional coronavirus strains.
The University expects LACDPH to publish updated guidance for colleges and universities any day. With that in mind, the University is not updating its face covering policy at this time. However, this will be reconsidered once the new guidance is released. In the meantime, all members of the University community, including those who are fully vaccinated, should feel comfortable wearing masks indoors and otherwise around campuses.