COVID-19 vaccine requirements, no ‘Mudd bubble’: What HMC campus life could look like this fall

A student walks down a hallway with concrete walls.
A COVID-19 vaccination is required for Harvey Mudd College students living on campus in the fall 2021 semester. (Austin Huang • The Student Life)

Harvey Mudd College will require students living in HMC residence halls and Arrow Vista Village Luxury Apartments to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall semester, according to an email to students from Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez sent Wednesday. 

Citing the country’s continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations and decreasing rates of virus transmission in the state, the college also said it will not need to enforce what it called a “Mudd bubble,” according to the email.

“We will have some modifications in terms of the dining program and some social activities to still be 1C, but we expect students to once again have physical access to other campuses in terms of classrooms, recreation and other programs and services,” the email said. 

The vaccination requirement isn’t steadfast — exemptions will exist for students who cannot get the vaccine because of medical conditions or religious beliefs.

And if students are unable to access a vaccination before needing to move onto campus, the college said it will collaborate with Student Health Services to get students vaccinated when they arrive on campus.

The college is also reconsidering its current mandatory twice-weekly COVID-19 testing protocols for fully vaccinated individuals.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance also relaxed requirements for quarantine of students exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case: those fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if exposed to a positive, signaling a lesser need for quartered-off quarantine residencies some 5Cs spoke of when planning for reopening in 2020

“As we continue to review the guidance from [LACDPH], we are hopeful that the downward trend of positive cases and hospitalizations in the county continues and that the increase in vaccinations across the nation will result in the re-opening of our campus residence halls,” the email said. 

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