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COVID-19 Response Hub

Updated January 6, 2022

As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to place the health and safety of our community at the forefront of our decision-making. Otis College continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and is working closely with local authorities and our healthcare partners to ensure our community is as informed and prepared as possible. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the L.A. County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) recommends that everyone over the age of 16 receive a booster shot against COVID-19. Consistent with that guidance, Otis College of Art and Design is updating its vaccine policy to require all students, staff, and faculty (who are eligible to receive COVID-19 booster shots) to meet this requirement by January 31, 2022. Please click here for more information on booster shot eligibility and choosing the best COVID-19 booster for you. More information will follow this month regarding opportunities to receive the booster at Otis and how to upload documentation of your vaccine booster.

We are following guidance from the CDC for higher education institutions to take the necessary steps when a case has been identified to ensure the health and safety of our entire Otis College community. Visit the College Planning and Response section of this site to read related messages to the community. 

In the Spring 2022 semester, we will be offering courses in a mix of modalities: on-campus, online, and blended. All students are required to be present on campus for their on-campus and blended courses. For more information on Spring 2022 classes, please visit the Academic Life section of this site.

The following applies to residents of the state of California. For national guidelines, please refer to the COVID part of the Centers for Disease Control website.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends:

  • Everyone should get vaccinated when eligible.
  • Indoor spaces should be well-ventilated (i.e. open all windows and doors to increase natural air flow), following current CDPH and CalOSHA guidance.
  • Everyone should sign up for CA Notify as an added layer of protection for themselves and the community to receive alerts when they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) requires: 

  • As of July 17th, 2021, every person, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, must wear masks indoors, per a LACDPH Officer Order. This includes all classrooms, studios, labs, and offices where other individuals are gathered.

Students who live in Otis housing must wear masks whenever they are outside of their assigned room. This includes all hallways and elevators in the Residence Hall and Park West apartments.

Further notifications regarding any changes in the College’s operating status will be disseminated via email, with the LiveSafe app as a notification back-up. If you have not downloaded the LiveSafe app, we strongly suggest that you do so now.

The CDPH, CDC, and LACDPH will continue to provide updated guidance for youth, healthcare, and high-risk congregate settings.

COVID-19 Cases

Since Friday, May 14, 2020, there have been a total of 60 cases with the Otis Community that have been reported to the Student Health & Wellness Center and/or Human Resources. 

Spring 2022 - Month by Month Case Breakdown
January 2022 - 20 cases 

Fall 2021 - Month by Month Case Breakdown
December 2021 - 3 cases 
November 2021 - 5 cases 
October 2021 - 2 cases
September 2021 - 3 cases 
August 2021 - 2 cases 

When someone from the community notifies the College that they have tested positive, the College will notify other community members who may have been in contact with this person and ask them to self-quarantine, consistent with guidelines from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. To respect the privacy of the individuals, they will remain anonymous.


Vaccine distribution is open for those ages 5 years and older. For more information and to find a vaccine distribution site, please visit this link or the LACDPH’s vaccine webpage here. For more information on Otis College's COVID-19 vaccine requirement and other vaccine information, please visit this link

If you are looking for updates about COVID-19, the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) has established a Community Health Announcements page that contains information and updates regarding the virus. 

COVID-19 is not bound by race or nationality. Avoid inappropriate blame or hostility toward any specific nation or its people. Please read the CDC anti-stigma guidelines for facts about this illness. If you feel that you are being treated unfairly, discriminated against, or harassed due to concerns around this issue, please complete the online Bias Incident Reporting Form that will be directed to our Bias Incident Response Team.