coronavirus

Expected Fall 2022 COVID-19 Prevention Measures

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As the community prepares for the 2022–2023 academic year, Pepperdine continues to prioritize the health and safety of our community. For your awareness and planning, the University is sharing the following overview of COVID-19 protocols currently in effect and expected for fall 2022:

  • Face Coverings: Masks are currently optional indoors, though L.A. County Public Health officials have indicated they will reinstate an indoor mask mandate if COVID-19 case and hospitalization numbers move the county into the CDC’s “High” Community Level for two consecutive weeks. Based on current projections, an indoor mask mandate could be in place by the end of July 2022. Once initiated, public health officials have noted the mask mandate will remain in place until Los Angeles County returns to the CDC’s “Medium” COVID-19 Community Level and remains in that level for two weeks.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: 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 requires that all faculty, staff, and students accessing any University campus or facility who do not claim an exemption be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine per the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. If you have not already done so, you must submit your information by August 15, 2022 by using one of the links below:
  • Entry Testing: As a precautionary measure and screening tool for the start of the fall 2022 term, all students are required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arriving on campus and log the result on the Entry Test Reporting Form. If you test positive, do not come to campus, isolate, and complete the START Form. If you test negative, you may proceed to campus.
  • Optional On-Campus PCR Testing: Screening tests will continue to be available on campus free of charge to Pepperdine community members at campus testing sites.
  • START Form: The University will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases. All community members are required to complete the START Form to report a positive COVID-19 test result. Additionally, the form should be used to notify the University of a close contact exposure that has resulted in symptoms. (You do NOT need to complete the START Form if you received your positive test result through Pepperdine’s screening testing program as those results are automatically shared with University officials and processed accordingly.)
  • Contact Tracing: The University will continue to conduct contact tracing of positive cases and the associated close contacts. While many other institutions of higher education have scaled back contact tracing efforts, Pepperdine continues to invest in supporting this important tool to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the Pepperdine community. 
  • Isolation: Community members with COVID-19 are required to isolate themselves from the University community for the duration of their isolation period. The University will assign residential students to University isolation housing upon testing positive for COVID-19. Commuter students and employees should be prepared with a plan to isolate.
  • Quarantine: Quarantine is no longer required for close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, unless symptoms arise. Instead, exposed contacts are required to wear a mask when around others for 10 days from their exposure to a positive case and to test three to five days after their last exposure.

As the pandemic progresses, while some mandates will occur (like the anticipated mask mandate listed above), L.A. County Public Health is largely moving away from detailed, prescriptive protocols and toward recommendations that guide individual decision-making based on personal risk tolerances. With the University community’s cooperation, Pepperdine will be ready for another successful academic year. Further details on each of the items above are available at pepperdine.edu/coronavirus or by contacting the University’s COVID-19 information line at 310.506.8110 or via email at covid19info@pepperdine.edu.

End of Spring 2022 Term COVID-19 Considerations

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As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s response to COVID-19 evolves, the University continues its commitment to providing our community with relevant information. Recent Los Angeles County Public Health guideline updates are shifting away from mandates and replacing them with recommendations and guidance designed to assist individuals in making informed decisions best suited for their personal risk tolerance and response to the pandemic. 

Over the course of the past two weeks, Los Angeles County has experienced an increase in the average number of daily positive cases, and Pepperdine has likewise seen cases increase over the same period. A number of large events and gatherings will occur over the next several days and weeks, many related to commencement ceremonies and the end of the spring term. As you contemplate participation in these events, we want to ensure you are aware of the following resources:

  • Pepperdine continues to offer optional free PCR testing and masks to all community members at the campus testing sites. 
  • Rapid antigen tests will also be available to Pepperdine community members during the next few weeks. 
  • Although masks are not required (other than in situations following COVID-19 positive cases and related exposures), you may consider wearing a mask around others, especially in crowded indoor locations.

The University has weathered this pandemic together. As Pepperdine approaches its numerous commencements, celebrating the accomplishments of graduates with their families, our collective effort to remain mindful of current circumstances, considerate of the well-being of our entire community, and informed regarding individual personal health decisions, will serve us well.

COVID-19 Weekly Testing Update

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The University has closely monitored conditions within the community this semester, including since masking indoors became optional and following returns from spring breaks. There has not been an increase in cases or positivity rates. In fact, Pepperdine’s positivity rate has remained at 0.17% over the past two weeks, and cases within the University community continue to decline. 

Following a careful assessment process, which included reviewing current public health guidance, examining Pepperdine’s COVID-19 data, evaluating community feedback, benchmarking with other universities, and consulting with medical and public health experts, Pepperdine has determined the University will shift from required to optional weekly COVID-19 testing beginning Monday, March 21, 2022. Optional testing will remain available for all members of the University community until further notice. Certain groups within the University community will continue weekly testing (e.g., athletics, fine arts, student teachers, etc.) in accordance with guidance from outside agencies, and further details will be communicated to these groups directly. 

Those who need or desire to continue testing on a weekly basis are encouraged to do so by walking up to any of the test sites below. Test site locations and hours will be adjusted as follows, and the appointment system will be retired, beginning on Monday, March 21, 2022. 

Malibu Campus

  • Firestone Fieldhouse Lot – Monday–Friday: 7 AM–Noon 
  • Mullin Town Square – Monday–Friday: Noon–6 PM

Graduate Campuses

  • West Los Angeles – Monday–Thursday: Noon–7 PM and Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
  • Calabasas – Monday–Thursday: Noon–6 PM and Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
  • Encino – Monday–Thursday: Noon–7 PM and Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
  • Irvine – Monday–Thursday: Noon–7 PM and Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM

Additionally, consistent with updates to public health protocols, the University has also removed the mask mandate on University on-campus shuttles, though masking remains required on vanpools and other forms of group transport off campus, in healthcare settings, and through the end of any isolation or quarantine period.

Pandemic conditions continue to improve in Southern California, and the University’s pandemic response plan continues to evolve. The University’s planning also contemplates reinstating or introducing new protection measures, if necessary, to protect the health and safety of our community, should these become prudent. 

If you have any questions, please contact the University’s COVID-19 information line at 310.506.8111 or covid19info@pepperdine.edu

COVID-19 Masking Update

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COVID-19 conditions in the United States, California, and Los Angeles continue to dramatically improve, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the consistent decline of important COVID-19 metrics allows for a “significant revision of required community-level infection strategies.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have all issued updated public health guidance relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and no longer require indoor masking. 

At Pepperdine, new weekly cases have consistently fallen, and our positivity rate has remained substantially lower than Los Angeles County’s rate throughout 2022. The University has thoughtfully evaluated this changing public health guidance, reviewed University COVID-19 conditions, consulted medical and public health experts, weighed feedback from the Pepperdine community, and benchmarked with other universities. Based on this analysis, and in line with updated health guidance from the CDC, the California Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, beginning Monday, March 7, 2022, masks will be optional indoors for all members of the Pepperdine University community at Southern California campuses, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are still required while on University shuttles, in healthcare settings, and through day 10 of isolation or quarantine, and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health strongly encourages wearing masks while indoors.

Pepperdine respects individual choice based on personal preference or need and seeks to honor those who are ready to remove their masks, those who cannot remove their masks, and those who are not yet prepared to do so. The University encourages all who wish to continue wearing masks to do so, and will continue to provide medical-grade masks for free. 

At this time, all other University COVID-19 infection control measures remain in place, including weekly testing, daily wellness checks, case and exposure notifications through the START Form, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, enhanced ventilation measures, and vaccination clinics. The University will continue its evaluation of COVID-19 conditions, evolving public health guidance, and its own infection control measures and policies developed in support of COVID-19 impacted members of the community. Pending further evaluation, any changes to weekly testing would be implemented no earlier than Monday, March 21. If testing requirements for the University community are lifted, optional testing will remain available.

If you have any questions, please contact the University’s COVID-19 information line at 310.506.8111 or covid19info@pepperdine.edu.