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COVID information and Healthy Campus Measures (HVAC, Testing, Vaccines)

Dear Cal Lutheran Staff and Faculty,
This update provides information about the overall university COVID status, and is intended to communicate information about various campus initiatives and practices. The topics covered in this message include:

  • COVID Incidences
  • COVID Testing Results
  • COVID Testing Policy
  • Classroom Ventilation 
  • Mask Requirements

COVID Incidents – As reported on our KNOW page dashboard, 12 individuals who may have been contagious while on a university campus (including employees and students) have tested positive for COVID since August 26. Weekly positive test results are four, five, and three tests, respectively.

Thorough contact tracing was conducted on each positive test, and all identified exposures have been contacted. Our contact tracing has demonstrated that no transmission has occurred within our community. 

The lack of community transmission can at least partly be attributed to the high vaccination rate on campus, with 97% of staff and faculty and 95% of students (including all undergraduate, graduate, and Professionals students who are attending in-person classes)  fully vaccinated.

COVID Testing Results– Health Services has performed approximately 450 student COVID tests during the first three weeks of the semester. The total test count primarily includes testing required for unvaccinated students, but also includes testing for students exhibiting symptoms,  exposed to an individual who tested positive, and arriving from international destinations. To date, a total of four positive tests resulted from university testing (other positive tests were conducted independently).

COVID Testing Policy – As per CDC and Cal/OSHA guidelines, Cal Lutheran requires COVID testing as follows:

  • All individuals exhibiting symptoms that are linked to COVID.
  • All individuals exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID.
  • All individuals who are unvaccinated (requires a weekly test).

Students may obtain required testing through Health Services. Employees are expected to obtain testing through their health care provider or through a State or County testing site.

At the current time, Cal Lutheran is not asking for vaccinated individuals to be tested.

Classroom Ventilation – In order to increase ventilation in classrooms, we have been opening windows in classrooms at the Thousand Oaks campus with operable windows each morning. This effort unquestionably increases the amount of outside air in the classrooms while decreasing the amount of recirculated air.

As could be expected, this initiative resulted in challenges in classroom temperature control, humidity (and condensation) control, and equipment reliability. These conditions were discussed at the weekly Pandemic Planning Group meeting on Tuesday, and it was decided to maintain the current practice of keeping the windows open as part of our overall commitment to providing a safe and healthy campus environment. Consequently, please understand:

  • Maintaining classroom temperatures within our normal set-points (70 to 74 degrees F) may not always be possible.
  • Water leaks from clogged or overflowing condensation collection areas are more common.
  • Equipment outages resulting from running equipment under other-than-design conditions are more prevalent.

Individuals who observe issues in the classrooms are still encouraged to contact the facilities’ contact workorder@callutheran.edu, particularly regarding water leaks.

Finally, please note that we have provided dozens of HEPA air purifiers in classroom, lab, and studio spaces that do not have operable windows. Please contact covid-operations@callutheran.edu if any of those air purifiers are missing.

Mask Requirements – All Cal Lutheran campuses are in counties that have an indoor mask requirement. We appreciate that faculty are wearing masks indoors and following the COVID requirements to keep our campus safe. A few concerns have been raised about faculty not wearing a mask, or students being allowed to not wear masks. We need 100% compliance, so we remind you that all individuals in classrooms are required to be masked at all times. It is also important that masks be worn correctly, covering both your nose and mouth. Because of the high occupancy of classrooms, Cal Lutheran does not allow the removal of masks in classrooms for eating and drinking, or any other reason.

Overall, I emphasize that the points above are all part of an institutional healthy-campus strategy (testing, ventilation, masking) and that compliance is an essential piece of making that strategy successful.

Please contact me regarding any questions.

Ryan Van Ommeren
Director, Emergency Operations Center
Associate VP, Operations and Planning