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Third-year College of Dental Medicine student Chelsea Director upacks a needle. College of Graduate Nursing Professor and Associate Dean of Administration and Research Rodney Hicks, PhD, teaches a safe injections techniques workshop to College of Optometry and College of Dental Medicine students Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Following the workshop, the students administered vaccine shots for the first time at WesternU Health Vaccine Clinic.
WesternU / COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Our goal is to keep our campuses safe and keep our students on the path toward academic success.

99 %

Students Vaccinated

92 %

Faculty/Staff Vaccinated

The WesternU Coronavirus Response Team (CRT) establishes institutional COVID-19 safety protocols guided by recommendations coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority, and LA County Department of Public Health.

See the Institutional Requirements for WesternU for all current COVID-19 campus guidelines and policies.

Safety Protocols: When you are on any of our campus locations, WesternU COVID-19 safety protocols require you to:

 

Updates from WesternU leadership

  • July 27, 2022

    Good Morning Faculty, Staff, and Students,

    Covid-19 transmission levels continue to be high and are increasing in many locations in the U.S.  In an effort to help keep the campus community as healthy as possible, we have prepared the following information, based largely on the current COVID-19 variants commonly circulating.

    COVID-19 FAQs and Tips

    1. COVID-19 exposures typically lead to COVID infections 4 and 5 days later.
    2. Symptoms can start and you can test negative while the antibodies you have are used up.  After the antibodies are exhausted, COVID Rapid Antigen Tests will become more effective in detecting the infection.
    3. You are infectious for about 2 days prior to your symptoms starting. If possible, please notify your close contacts that they may have been exposed.
    4. Positive test results should be reported to WesternU Contact Tracing via the Daily Screening Survey.
    5. All positive cases must isolate for at least 5 full days. WesternU follows the CDPH isolation protocols as a best practice to reduce transmission on campus, regardless of which campus you are on.
    6. You may end isolation after Day 5 only if:
      1. You receive a negative COVID-19 test, AND,
      2. Have been fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicines), AND
      3. Have no symptoms, or existing symptoms are improving.
    7. You will likely test positive with a Rapid Antigen Test for 8-9 days (about 80-90% of people) however, some cases can go longer than 12 days with a positive Rapid Antigen Test.
    8. You can get some idea of the quantity of virus by the intensity of the Test line at 15 minutes and how quickly the line appears during the testing.  Within 15 seconds turning positive means a high viral load.  Faintly positive at 15 minutes means you can still be infectious.
    9. The best actions you have against COVID are: 1) Well-Fitting Respirators, 2) Ventilation (increasing circulation of outdoor air), and 3) Vaccinations/Treatments.
      1. Routine use of High-Quality Respirators (N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2 respirators or higher) with a Seal Check
      2. Allowing external air to flow through your living quarters (with entry and exit points on furthest ends of the facility) is very helpful though it is summertime.
      3. Vaccinations and treatments continue to reduce severity of outcomes though they have lost efficacy against infection over time.  Treatments including Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are available. Speak to your primary care provider or local pharmacist about what options are right for you.
      4. For added protection, increase air filtration at the COVID source by using HEPA Filtration or Corsi-Rosenthal Boxes.
    10. Long COVID is reported in about 10% (and as high as 30% of COVID cases).  For additional information, please see the Mayo Clinic Long COVID Reference.
    11. The majority of pediatric COVID cases are asymptomatic.
    12. Oftentimes, a household will have a single case enter the house and spread it during the asymptomatic period 48 hours prior to symptoms.
      If there are exposures, consider wearing a mask to protect the rest of the family or household unit during the 5 days after a potential exposure.

    We look forward to seeing all of you rested and well as we return to start the new academic year! As a reminder, current COVID-19 campus safety protocols can be found here.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance in keeping WesternU a safe campus!

  • May 23, 2022

    Dear WesternU Students, Faculty, and Staff,

    Last week brought WesternU back for our first live and in-person Commencement ceremonies after presenting them remotely for two years due to COVID-19. The Coronavirus Response Team (CRT) congratulates all our faculty, staff, administration, and 2022 graduates. The success of these distinguished events for each of our nine colleges acts as a pandemic-related milestone for our University. They present proof that our internal and external communities are dedicated to abiding by the necessary health and safety mandates, which lead to infection rates low enough to allow a substantially large and in-person event such as Commencement 2022 to occur. The CRT offers our sincerest gratitude to each one of you for following these essential policies, thus protecting the health and well-being of our entire WesternU community.

    As we move toward the summer of 2022, the CRT asks that we all remain steadfast in following the current Institutional Requirements for WesternU whenever onsite at any WesternU location.

    COVID-19 Testing Updates

    As of Monday, May 16, weekly surveillance testing of students and employees who are not “up-to-date” with their COVID-19 vaccine and booster is no longer required, unless you are a health care worker in California.

    Important Notice:

    • California health care workers at WesternU include any employee who works within WesternU Health, Pet Health Center, Dental Center, Eye Care Institute, Foot and Ankle Center, or Pharmacy.
    • Students on clinical rotations may be required to continue testing as well, please check with your rotation site.

    OBTAINING COVID-19 TESTS

    COVID.gov

    Important Notice: The U.S. government continues to provide at-home COVID-19 tests for every home at no cost. This round offers eight test kits per household. Please visit the COVID-19.gov Tests website to order your free at-home test kits now.

    On-campus for Pomona and Lebanon

    The California campus testing center will remain open for individuals who need testing for symptoms, exposures, pre- and post-travel, and clinical site requirements. For the Oregon campuses, testing will continue to be coordinated through your colleges. If you require assistance, please contact COVIDTracing@westernu.edu and visit the COVID-19 Testing webpage for more information.

    WesternU Pharmacy – Pomona

    The WesternU Pharmacy in Pomona stocks rapid antigen test kits for purchase out of pocket. If you purchase tests from the Pharmacy, please keep your receipt and submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. Some insurances, such as CA Medi-Caid (Medi-Cal), have been paying up-front for 8 tests every 30 days for its beneficiaries. Information on coverage of tests can be obtained by contacting the plan/insurance provider. Please Note: If your health insurance plan pays for tests up-front, please bring your health insurance card with you to the WesternU Pharmacy.

    GET TESTED!

    Please Note: Testing after symptom onset or a known exposure is still one of the best ways to help reduce the risk of transmission to others.

    • If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status, you do not need to quarantine if you are ASYMPTOMATIC, but must:
      • Wear a highly protective mask for 10 days when indoors and outdoors if you are around others.
      • Get tested 3-5 days after you were last exposed.
      • Monitor your health for 10 days.
        • If symptoms develop, stay home, and get tested.

    Please visit the WesternU Campus Guidance website for the current COVID-19 Institutional Requirements for WesternU.

    May you stay safe and be well.

  • May 13, 2022

    Dear WesternU Faculty, Staff, and Students,

    As we near the end of the 2021-22 academic year, the Coronavirus Response Team (CRT) wants to thank you all for your commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our WesternU community.

    Below are a few reminders of our current COVID-19 Institutional Requirements, including a few updates to COVID-19 testing and exposure guidance.

    Indoor Mask Requirement and Daily Screening Survey Still in Effect

    The United States is reaching nearly 1 million deaths due to COVID-19. We are still experiencing highly infectious subvariants and sub-lineages of COVID-19, which are causing increases in cases nationally, locally, and on campus. As cases increase nationwide, many other universities have reenacted their mask policies and continue to require regular surveillance testing for their students and employees. For our internal WesternU community, from March to April 2022, there was a 172% increase in cases. Based on this contact tracing data, the CRT advises a continuation of our indoor mask policy and completing the Daily Screening Survey. Keeping these two health measures in place will ensure our students can finish their semester without missing critical campus activities, clinical rotations, and finals. We have seen the protective effects of mask usage on our campus transmission rates and believe this is a better option than requiring mass testing on a regular basis.

    As a health science university, with faculty, health care workers, and students who serve and interact with vulnerable populations, it is our duty to ensure we are not contributing to the transmission among our WesternU community and the communities we serve. This summer, we will have new students joining our campus from around the world. We know after breaks, when many are travelling, we see a rise in cases on campus as well.

    Lastly, much is still unknown about the long-term effects of COVID-19. Parents are still awaiting vaccines for children under 5 years old. The CRT understands that many have grown tired of mask-wearing, but the negatives of continued mask wearing are worth the potential benefits to our WesternU community. The CRT thanks you for your patience as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situations from the international to the local level and on our campuses.

    COVID-19 Testing Updates

    Due to Commencement, the Pomona campus testing center will be closed Thursday May 19th and Friday May 20th.

    Starting Monday May 16th, 2022, weekly surveillance testing of students and employees who are not “up-to-date” with their COVID-19 vaccine and booster is no longer required, unless you are a health care worker in California. Students on clinical rotations may be required to continue testing as well, please check with your rotation site.

    The Pomona campus testing center will remain open for individuals who need testing for symptoms, exposures, pre- and post-travel, and clinical site requirements. For the Oregon campus, testing will continue to be coordinated through your college. If you require assistance, please contact COVIDTracing@westernu.edu and visit the COVID-19 Testing webpage for more information.

    Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms or a Known COVID-19 Exposure? GET TESTED!

    Testing after symptom onset or a known exposure is one of the best ways to help reduce the risk of transmission to others.

    NEW! – If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status, you do not need to quarantine if you are ASYMPTOMATIC, but must:

    • Wear a highly protective mask for 10 days when indoors and outdoors if you are around others.
    • Get tested* 3-5 days after you were last exposed.
    • If you test positive, stay home and submit the WesternU COVID-19 Report Survey.
    • Monitor your health for 10 days.
    • If symptoms develop, stay home, and get tested.

    *Note: Day 0 is the day of your last contact (exposure) with the infected person. Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure. Self-tests are acceptable but must be submitted here with a time and date stamped photograph. For more information, please contact COVIDTracing@westernu.edu.

    If you are experiencing symptoms after a COVID-19 exposure, you MUST submit a COVID-19 Report Survey and receive guidance from the WesternU Contact Tracing Team.

    Please visit the WesternU Campus Guidance website for the current COVID-19 Institutional Requirements.

    May you stay safe and be well.

  • April 29, 2022

    Dear WesternU Students, Faculty, and Staff,

    As more COVID-19 restrictions loosen across the country, we felt it important to highlight a few of the safety protocols that are still in place for all WesternU locations.

    Daily Screening Survey

    The Daily Screening Survey via Qualtrics is required for all individuals accessing WesternU campuses or facilities. This helps us ensure the safety and health of our community.

    • If you are experiencing symptoms or have had a known COVID-19 exposure, please contact COVIDTracing@westernu.edu for guidance.

    New Pomona Campus Testing Hours Starting Monday, May 2, 2022

    The Pomona campus testing hours will now be as follows:

    • Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon (HEC Building Front Security Desk/Outside the HEC Building)

    The testing site will begin providing Abbott Binax Rapid Antigen tests, which must be conducted on campus during testing center hours. Please Note: Be prepared to allow at least 20 minutes when arriving for your test and bring your WesternU ID badge. Home test kits will no longer be available at the testing site but can be purchased at your own cost at the WesternU Health Pharmacy.

    Oregon Campus Testing will continue to be coordinated by your college

    Ending Isolation Early for Positive Cases

    As a reminder, positive cases can end isolation on Day 5 or later under guidance from the WesternU contact tracing team only. Please submit the COVID-19 Report Survey if you test positive. This will initiate the contact tracing process and the contact tracing team will provide you important information for returning to campus. Ending isolation before Day 10 requires a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of your vaccination/booster status, symptoms, or campus.

    Please refer to the Institutional Requirements for WesternU for all current university-wide guidance.

    May you stay safe and be well.

  • Campus Access Requirements

    Complete the Daily Screening Survey before coming to campus and disclose any symptoms daily.

    Daily Screening Survey


    This survey must be completed each day prior to arriving on campus. You must receive a green “Pass” screen for campus access.

    Complete report a COVID-19 Test Result weekly if you are not vaccinated.

    Report a COVID-19 Test Result

    This link is for reporting any COVID-19 test results.
    Including self-test home kits or those obtained off-campus.

    If you have symptoms, do not come to campus and contact COVIDTracing@westernu.edu.

    Keep WesternU Healthy

    WesternU is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of its faculty, staff, students, and patients during a pandemic. This page includes information regarding important forms for visiting campus, reporting COVID-19 exposures or symptoms, and requesting personal protective information (PPE).