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COVID-19 Community Response Plan


Return to Work

Planning and Protocol for All Employees

Remote Work in FY22

Staff eligible to regularly work remotely during any portion of their normally scheduled shift should submit a Remote Work Request (in accordance with Section 16 of the University Policy Manual) and receive approvals prior to working remotely. Faculty members should look to their school to confirm teaching expectations. 

Shared Supplies

Departments may use shared supplies (such as coffee makers, copiers, and staplers) without restriction.

Occupancy or Capacity Limits

There are no longer occupancy or capacity limits (including workspaces, classrooms, elevators, break rooms, and conference rooms).

Break Rooms

Employees may use break rooms without restriction (there are no capacity limits).


All restrooms are open, regularly cleaned, and available for use.

Conference Rooms

Employees may use conference rooms for meetings, and there are no capacity limits.

Air Purifiers

Employees could potentially bring personal air purifiers to their workspaces. However, due to the possibility of electrical surges (similar to issues surrounding space heaters), approval from their supervisor and Facilities Services (310.506.4101) is required in advance.

Additional Information

The University will continue to regularly communicate updates and modify guidelines in response to the fluidity of the pandemic. Employees can view additional details and continue to find the most up-to-date information on Pepperdine's COVID-19 website. For questions and concerns, please reach out to:

  • Your supervisor
  • Human Resources (310.506.4397)
  • Pepperdine's COVID-19 Information Line (310.506.8111)
  • Pepperdine's COVID-19 Information Email


HVAC Systems

To ensure each campus building is appropriately equipped and prepared for a return to in-person instruction and on-ground operations, we have worked to establish and confirm that the HVAC system for every academic and administrative space meets or exceeds Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineer’s COVID-19-related guidance. With respect to indoor air quality and ventilation, the University has taken additional steps, including working closely with a mechanical engineer and an industrial hygienist, to evaluate its building systems and ensure they are appropriately outfitted to facilitate the safe return of its campus community. All of the HVAC systems for campus were surveyed and recommendations for improving ventilation and/or filtration have been implemented.

“Ventilation” consists of the delivery of clean air and the filtration and removal of contaminants from the air.  Across our campuses, academic and administrative buildings are classified as “well ventilated” based on meeting or exceeding the following criteria set forth by the governing bodies mentioned above:

  • Properly operating mechanical ventilation system
  • The system’s ability to incorporate outside air
  • Functioning restroom exhaust
  • Increased filtration to the highest level possible in each system

While public health and industry guidance allow for differences between various buildings, our buildings meet a higher standard than many other academic institutions or buildings. Nearly all of our University buildings have MERV-13 filters in place. For the purposes of mitigating COVID-19 transmission, the State of California considers recirculated building air that passes through a MERV-13 filter to be "clean air." All academic buildings have MERV-13 filtration in place. Additionally, in compliance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines, HVAC systems will be on two hours prior to the start of the business day to ensure multiple exchanges of interior air prior to occupancy.

Learn more about on-campus HVAC systems with an overview of HVAC system ventilation and filtration.

Face Coverings/Social Distancing Policies

Types of Face Coverings

  • Surgical mask: A surgical mask is a disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. A cloth face covering worn over a surgical mask offers filtration of particles similar to an N95 or KN95 mask.
  • N95: An N95 mask is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.
  • KN95: A KN95 mask is the international equivalent of an N95 mask.
  • Cloth: A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. Keeping both the nose and mouth covered is important, and coverings can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face.

University Policy

Pepperdine’s face covering policy aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, Cal/OSHA, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The University will make masks available for pick up by staff, faculty, and students at any of the Malibu or graduate campus COVID-19 screening test sites beginning Monday, January 10. Upon showing a Pepperdine ID card, community members will be provided with a weekly supply of medical grade masks.


  • Face coverings are optional for all members of the University community in all locations except when in the following locations: 
    • Healthcare settings
    • Emergency shelters

Social Distancing

University Policy

Social distancing is no longer required on Pepperdine campuses in Southern California, except in limited workplace settings in compliance with Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. Social distancing may be required at Pepperdine international campuses in compliance with local regulations.

For questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at covid19info@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.8111.

Enforcement of All Policies

Pepperdine will inform all members of the community about the University's COVID-19 policies through various communication channels. Adherence to COVID-19 related policies is a personal demonstration of individual commitment to the health and safety of Pepperdine and our surrounding community. Each member of the community will be expected to comply with University policies, cooperate with University directives, and abide by local health guidance when off-campus.

The University expects community members to comply with these important health and safety provisions and will enforce compliance in a manner similar to that of other University policies. Please direct concerns of noncompliance to the Office of Community Standards for students, the Office of the Provost for faculty, and Human Resources for staff members.