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Revised COVID-19 Guidance for Institutes of Higher Education Released by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

August 20, 2020

On August 10, 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released revised guidance establishing protocols for institutes of higher education (IHEs) during the COVID-19 emergency. Under these protocols, community colleges, colleges and universities in Los Angeles County will not be able to resume all in-person academic instruction at present time. These protocols are more stringent than existing state guidelines and those promulgated by other counties in California. However, the county has said that colleges and universities need to limit campus activities right now because high community transmission rates are driven in part by younger people.

The protocols further state that IHEs may continue to offer in-person training and instruction for essential workforce for required activities that cannot be accomplished through virtual learning. All other academic instruction may only be done via distance-learning until further notice.

Faculty and staff are allowed under the protocols to come to campus for the purpose of providing the allowed learning activities as well as to maintain minimum basic operations. On-campus events remain prohibited with the exception of events related to constitutionally protected freedoms such as public protests and in-person faith-based services conducted by places of worship.

With regard to on-campus housing for students, IHEs are permitted to provide on-campus housing for students who have no alternative housing options. For student athletes who are participating in on campus sports, campus housing is to be offered in small training cohorts as recommended by state guidance.

Collegiate sports are only allowed to proceed under the protocols if they are conducted in compliance with the California Department of Public Health Specific Interim Guidance for Collegiate Athletics.

Finally, the protocols note that IHEs may additionally be expected to comply with protocols promulgated by the county or state departments of public health, including those applicable to retail establishments, gyms and fitness centers, restaurants, office-based worksites, places of worship and collegiate athletics.

The full DPH protocols for IHEs can be found at the link below. That document contains further links to other guidance and resources.

http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening_HigherEducation.pdf


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