SHS updates isolation restrictions and close contact policy, Pomona and Scripps follow suit

Students in isolation at Scripps College and Pomona College no longer have to test negative in order to leave quarantine. (Photo by Florence Pun • The Student Life)

As of Thursday, March 23, Pomona College and Scripps College students are no longer required to test negative on a COVID-19 antigen test in order to exit isolation, reflecting a shift in Los Angeles County protocol.  

On March 20, Student Health Services (SHS) announced that students with COVID-19 can end isolation on the sixth day, given that their symptoms are absent or are mild and improving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours.

However, SHS states that masks are still required for 10 days following the isolation period.

“This shorter isolation period will lead to fewer academic and workplace disruptions and has been anxiously awaited in LA County since CDC updated its isolation guidance,” SHS Director Dr. Prateek Jindal said in the update. 

Students that have a persistent fever and more serious COVID-19 symptoms must remain in isolation until the fever or symptoms resolve or until after the 10th day of the isolation period. 

Close contacts of positive cases are encouraged to wear masks indoors for 10 days and test for COVID-19 within 3-5 days after their last known exposure. 

At Pomona and Scripps, contact tracers will call students on their sixth day of isolation to verify that they haven’t had a fever and their symptoms have improved, according to emails sent to Pomona and Scripps students by administrators.

Cleared students will then be provided with a message from the associated campus staff giving them permission to leave isolation. Students are not able to return to campus and in-person classes until official clearance is given, according to the Scripps email. 

Effective Tuesday, March 20, non-7C guests are now allowed in Pomona residence halls in accordance with updates Housing and Residence Life policy. Non-7C guests have not been allowed in dorms since before the pandemic. 

Testing remains optional for 7C students, but students who are symptomatic are required to test for COVID-19 within 24 to 48 hours of symptom onset. Saliva PCR tests are available through 7C-wide vending machines and through SHS.

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