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Isolation and Quarantine Overview

While attending Pepperdine University this year, if you test positive for COVID-19 or are identified during contact tracing to be a close contact exposed to a positive case, you may have to isolate or quarantine respectively for a designated period of time. If this occurs, you will need to stay in your home or room; avoid sharing bathrooms with others when possible; not go out to a grocery store, restaurant, or entertainment area; and otherwise avoid contact with other people to decrease the chance of COVID-19 transmission.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health mandates the University follows the county's quarantine and isolation protocols when COVID-19 cases and close contacts are identified. Though this is not an additional Pepperdine policy, this protocol benefits our campus community by adding another layer of infection control intended to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible together on campus.

Helpful Definitions

Isolation

Regardless of vaccination status, if you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation typically lasts 10 days and until symptoms resolve. If in isolation, you must stay home and separate yourself from others until your isolation ends.

Quarantine

If you are identified as a close contact, quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick during the most contagious period, thereby reducing transmission of the virus if they do become sick. 

Types of Quarantine, Depending on Vaccination Status

There are two types of quarantine, depending on vaccination status. If you are a student and not vaccinated, you must quarantine. If you are an off-campus student, you will need a plan to quarantine yourself in your own room, apartment, or house. This plan should be discussed with and agreed upon by all individuals living in a single household together. The University does not provide quarantine or isolation housing for off-campus residents.

If you live in on-campus student housing, you must temporarily relocate to University-provided quarantine and isolation housing, which the University will help you do. Alternatively, you may quarantine with your family off campus if within driving distance and requiring no mass transit.

The University’s Quarantine and Isolation Space

The University’s primary quarantine and isolation space is the Mt. Crags Conference Center.

Salvation Army - Mt. Crags Conference Center

Pepperdine has secured ample quarantine and isolation space at a local secure facility five miles from campus. We have partnered with the Salvation Army-owned facility, Mt. Crags Conference and Recreation Center. The center is a multi-acre, staffed facility frequently rented for conferences, camps, entertainment filming, and the like. The facility features a number of different buildings and a variety of accommodation styles, some of which are best suited for isolation and quarantine respectively. These include hotel-style rooms, residence halls with shared spaces, lodges, and houses. 

Description and Advantages of the University’s Quarantine and Isolation Site

Having this space allows the University to situate our students in the best possible ways, including the following benefits:

  1. Extension of Pepperdine. The conference center is an extension of Pepperdine and managed in partnership with the center’s staffing and Pepperdine personnel. 
  2. No Charges. Because this space is included as part of a student's on-campus housing, students will not be charged for use of the quarantine and isolation space. Provision of this space is included in a student’s on-campus housing contract.
  3. Isolation and Quarantine in One Location. The conference center accommodates space for isolation and quarantine in the same location—and one that effectively separates infected or exposed students from the general campus population to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Factors for placement in various accommodation styles will include case diagnosis or exposure, timing of placement, space availability, etc.
  4. Outdoor Areas. To give students mental health and fresh air breaks from quarantine and isolation, this location allows the University to provide often-requested, supervised outdoor time each day while minimizing the risk to our campus community.
  5. Staffing. The conference center has staffing 24-hours a day at the facility, and Pepperdine Housing and Residence Life staffing is located at the conference center continuously whenever students are present. The Pepperdine Department of Public Safety does routine patrols through the facility when students are present, and the facility is included in our comprehensive emergency planning.
  6. Upgraded Wi-Fi. The University has upgraded the Wi-Fi service across the entire facility to ensure Wi-Fi calling is available for students to account for potentially spotty cellular service and to ensure academic instruction can continue through Zoom or other online services.
  7. Food Service and Snacks. Meals prepared by the Pepperdine Dining Services team are delivered to students in quarantine and isolation, and snacks and drinks are available upon request for room delivery as well. The University accommodates any allergies or dietary restrictions.
  8. Transportation. The University will provide transportation as needed, and students may drive their own vehicle to the location. Students in quarantine and isolation are not allowed to participate in activities or leave the isolation/quarantine housing area until released by the Student Health Center (absent extenuating circumstances, e.g. an emergency).
  9. Linens and Bathroom Amenities. Linens, pillows, and bathroom amenities are all provided within the facility. 
  10. Cleaning. Following each use for quarantine or isolation, each space is cleaned and appropriately prepared for new occupants.
  11. Follow-Up and Care. Housing and Residence Life, the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, the Student Care Team, Student Affairs, and others are all available to students for any needs and to address physical and mental health.

Additional Overflow Quarantine, Isolation, and Relocation Spaces

The University also maintains two trailers on campus in the Rho Parking Lot for isolation and the Villa Graziadio Executive Center on campus for maintenance relocations and as a backup for quarantine in limited situations. These spaces may be used in off-hours placements, for short-term stays, while awaiting test results in some cases, and when maintenance emergencies occur in on-campus residence halls.

Supporting Students in Quarantine and Isolation

The Residence Life team is available and prepared to support residential students in quarantine and isolation. A Residence Life staff member is available on-site to assist with meal delivery, mail and package delivery, and to coordinate support for essential items or services a student may need during their time. The resident director on duty for quarantine and isolation at Mt. Crags Conference Center is available by phone, WhatsApp, and radio to students. 

Addressing Concerns Some Parents Have Raised

Concern: There are 200 cases on campus.
Response: Pepperdine continues to see a low number of confirmed cases relative to its on-campus population. The latest case count is available on the University's COVID-19 website.

Concern: Quarantine and isolation are at a camp site in the woods. 
Response: Pepperdine has partnered with an excellent facility, the Mt. Crags Conference Center. There is no camping in tents, seclusion in the woods, or an inability to communicate. While the facility has a more rustic secondary location next door to the area the University will be using, that location will not be utilized.

Mt. Crags Vista

Mt. Crags Vista

Mt. Crags Balcony Overlook

Mt. Crags Balcony Overlook

Mt. Crags Bedroom

Mt. Crags Bedroom

Concern: No services for quarantine and isolation are provided and there are no check-in procedures.
Response: Students assigned to quarantine or isolation by the Student Health Center can expect a staff member to reach out to them, coordinate meals that take into consideration any dietary needs or preferences, coordinate directions or transportation if needed, and provide support throughout their time in quarantine or isolation. Pepperdine staff are available on-site through the duration of a student’s time, and students are encouraged to reach out to the resident director if any needs or concerns arise.

Concern: Everyone is designated a close contact without discretion.
Response: With the paramount goal of health and safety, Pepperdine has a comprehensive contact tracing process that endeavors to reduce transmission of COVID-19. In an objectively reasonable way, the process is also designed to not unnecessarily restrict the movement of those who might have been minimally exposed to a positive case but who do not meet the definition of a close contact. There are no black or white decisions made, and individualized circumstances are considered in each case.

Concern: Students testing positive are placed in the same location as those exposed as close contacts but who have not tested positive.
Response: When a student has tested positive, whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, they may be housed in the same space as other students who have tested positive. Part of the reason the University has made a decision to use an off-campus facility is to limit the amount of space-sharing, though it is acceptable for those who have tested to house together. When a person is unvaccinated and quarantined after being identified as a close contact, they typically will not share a space with others or share a bathroom.