Return to Campus Plan

Returning to Campus

In response to the rapidly-unfolding COVID-19 public health emergency in March 2020, Scripps moved quickly to conduct classes and operations remotely. Students, faculty, and staff found new ways to fulfill our mission while physically disconnected from one another and our beloved campus, but the void left by our inability to gather in person cannot be denied.

Over the last 17 months, we have consulted with infectious disease and public health experts and learned from institutions elsewhere, and we are now ready for a responsible return to limited on-campus activity during the 2021 fall semester. We are confident that our comprehensive plan, in combination with Scripps College’s setting and culture, will enable us to invite students back to campus while managing virus transmission even when surrounding communities experience surges.

Key Elements of Our Safe Reopening Plan for 2021-22 Academic Year

Returning students to campus as safely as possible will require us to undertake some key actions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Our plans include:

I. Vaccine Mandate

  • In alignment with the other undergraduate colleges in the consortium, all Scripps students are required to be vaccinated, whether living in Scripps housing or not.
  • Employees are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Exemptions for documented medical reasons or a sincerely held religious belief may be requested.
  • Accepted COVID vaccines include those approved by the World Health Organization (WHO): Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

II. Reduced Density

Residence Halls

  • Students will be housed in single, double, and limited triple rooms. We will not be offering quads in the 21-22 academic year.
  • Scripps has updated the guest policy to only allow 7C students in residential halls.
  • Students will have full access to residential hall kitchens and common spaces. Capacity signage will be placed outside of each space.
  • We have leased apartment space in two buildings adjacent to our campus. Scripps will manage the spaces as we manage our fully owned residence halls.
  • All residents will be required to purchase a meal plan so that they will not need to visit neighborhood grocery stores.
  • All residents will follow Scripps behavioral expectations and abide by the College’s rules and protocols.


  • Dining will be offered as grab-n-go, made to order, self-service, and full service.
  • Malott Dining Hall will be open with 80 percent capacity for indoor dining. Outdoor seating will be available, with tables arranged to allow physical distancing. Plexiglass has been added to tables inside Malott.
  • Dining Services has implemented Scripps Transact, a mobile phone app which will allow students to select their meals in advance and decrease time spent at pick-up locations.


  • Classes will be taught in indoor and outdoor classrooms. Areas in outdoor classrooms include equipment for displaying visual material and enhancing audio experience.
  • Face coverings will be required in indoor classrooms and may be required in outdoor classrooms at discretion of the faculty member.
  • Open-air tented areas for small group study will be available.

Behavioral Expectations

  • Face coverings will be required indoors at all times for faculty, staff, and students on campus. This requirement applies to classrooms, offices, campus vehicles, Malott commons, and common areas. Masks may only be removed when alone in personal space or once seated and ready to consume food in Malott Commons.
  • Gatherings will only be outside and limited in size.
  • Reduced occupancy will be posted in most public spaces throughout campus.
  • Students will sign the Scripps College Student Community Compact agreeing to rules and behavioral expectations and will be subject to Scripps’ disciplinary code if they do not comply.

III. COVID-19 Testing

  • Scripps College will provide COVID-testing services for asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff via a laboratory on campus. Test collectors will administer a PCR-test with a rapid turnaround for results.
  • Unvaccinated students and employees will be required to be tested twice a week.
  • Consistent with the LACDPH recommendation, the College will be implementing random and potentially limited periodic testing of all vaccinated employees and students.
  • Students who test positive will be informed by Student Health Services. They will be required to immediately enter into isolation.
  • Faculty or staff who test positive will be informed by HITL, a College-contracted health care support provider. HITL case managers will work with the affected faculty or staff member and determine when they may return to campus.

Healthfully App

  • All employees and students will be expected to utilize the Healthfully™, application as part of our community commitment to safety. This technology supports colleges and universities in administering testing, tracking results, and status along with delivering real-time COVID-19 education and community announcements in an easy-to-use app that can be installed on smart phones, tablets, and computers.
  • Students, faculty, or staff who test positive or are exposed to a positive case will be informed by the Healthfully App.
  • All employees will be required to complete a daily symptom check before coming to campus. Unvaccinated employees are required to perform the symptom check via the Healthfully app.

IV. Quarantine, Isolation, and Medical Care and Support

  • We have reserved rooms for student isolation and quarantine.
  • All students who test positive will be immediately moved to isolation quarters (single rooms with single bathrooms) in a building separate from other residents.
  • All students identified as close contacts through the contact tracing process will be required to quarantine.
  • Quarantining and isolating students will not be allowed to leave their locations until they are cleared to do so.

Student Support

  • The Student Health Services support team will provide the following services to students:
    • Immediate contact tracing interviews with anyone who tests positive and follow-up with all close contacts;
    • Advice and triage for any students experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
    • Daily (remote) check-ins for all students in isolation or quarantine;
    • In-person check-ins for any student who does not respond to remote check-ins;
    • Clearing students from quarantine or isolation when conditions allow.

Faculty and Staff Support

  • HITL, a College-contracted health care support provider, will provide the following services to faculty and staff:
    • Immediate contact tracing interviews with anyone who tests positive and follow-up with all close contacts;
    • Advice and triage for anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
    • Daily (remote) check-ins for all employees in isolation or quarantine;
    • Clearing faculty and staff from quarantine or isolation when conditions allow to return to work.

V. Physical Campus Modifications

  • The College has taken extensive measures to prepare the campus and mitigate virus spread through several facilities enhancements. These include:
    • Cleaning all duct work/coils within central systems;
    • Installing deionizing equipment and UV lights in all HVAC systems where practical;
    • Upgrading all air filters to MERV 13;
    • Revising system controls to produce maximum outside air where possible to facilitate multiple air exchanges through the day;
    • Installing plexiglass or plastic sheeting barriers at all high traffic, front facing service areas;
    • Installing automatic door openers in high-use buildings;
    • Utilizing existing automatic door openers at entryways to residence halls and classroom buildings;
    • Reconfiguring select manual light switches to automatic occupancy motion sensors;
    • Promoting hand hygiene by providing hand sanitizer and installing handwashing sinks in areas of public access throughout the campus.

VI. Campus Access

  • All third-party vendors and visitors to campus will have to comply with Scripps’ public health protocolswhen on campus. These include wearing face coverings and frequent hand washing.
  • Many Scripps offices have modified access requirements, which may include advance appointments or reservations and occupancy limits. Please visit department websites for additional information.
  • The College recommends that most non-academic and co-curricular events take place virtually for the fall 2021 semester. A limited number of in-person events will be permitted, however, the College encourages event planners to schedule in-person events at outdoor locations.
  • In-person campus events will be limited to 7C attendees and not open to the general public until further notice.

The College may adapt the above protocols and guidance as appropriate to respond to evolving circumstances and to keep our campus community members and our surrounding community safe.