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Social Distancing Measures

March 16, 2020

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President and David A. Tirrell, Provost
Date: March 16, 2020
Re: Social Distancing Measures

As we monitor the evolution of the global pandemic, modeling trajectories for the spread of COVID-19 indicate that increased social distancing will be required for an extended period. With the aim of protecting the health and well-being of individuals on our campus and in the broader community, we are taking the steps described below.

Caltech will cancel all campus and off-campus events through June 12, the end of spring quarter, with the possible exception of commencement exercises. We hope that conditions may improve in time to hold our 126th Commencement ceremony, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 12. We will provide updates on plans for commencement as the date approaches.

Caltech's athletic and recreational facilities are closed until further notice. The gym will be staffed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for retrieval of personal belongings. Individuals who are not able to return during this timeframe should contact the Athletic Director, Betsy Mitchell, to make arrangements.

All members of the Caltech community who remain on campus in laboratories, workspaces, housing, and other facilities should adhere to social distancing practices to reduce contacts that could spread COVID-19. Where reasonable to do so, this may include limiting in-person meetings and interactions, maintaining a distance of six feet from others when in-person meetings are essential, and establishing staggered work schedules to reduce the number of individuals working near each other.

Each of these measures is disruptive professionally, and some personally. Yet each step is essential as we attempt to balance response to the spread of disease with the continuation of academic and research endeavors. In order to be prepared, we have asked that academic and administrative leaders prepare specific plans, including the identification of key functions and personnel, that will allow us to sustain critical operations in the eventuality of mandated campus-wide closure. In taking decisive action now, we hope that Caltech may be able to hasten the return to traditional operations. More details on these actions, as well as related FAQs for the community, are forthcoming and will be available on the COVID-19 information website.