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COVID-19 Response Hub

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. We are following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

YELLOW TIER STATUS: On May 6, Los Angeles County entered Yellow Tier status, which is considered “Minimal” for the risk of community disease transmission for COVID-19. More information about these updates and what the Yellow Tier means and allows in Los Angeles County can be found here and here (enter Los Angeles in the County field). The City of Los Angeles regularly communicates information regarding COVID-19 on the Keeping Los Angeles Safe website

VACCINES: Vaccine distribution is now open for those ages 12 years and older. For more information and to find a vaccine distribution site, please visit this link or the L.A. Department of Public Health’s vaccine webpage here

As indicated on our Otis Forward website, the College will be open in Fall 2021 and we will be housing students on campus. Studio classes will take place in person, while most LAS courses and some studio courses will take place online. 

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.

COVID-19 Cases:

We will be updating the Otis College community on COVID-19 cases within the community on a weekly basis. As of Friday, May 14th, there have been a total of 20 cases of COVID-19 within the Otis Community.

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. We will also add to the total reported cases above. To respect the privacy of the individuals, they will remain anonymous.

Current Academic Planning Efforts

  • Classes will return to on-campus instruction for the 2021 – 2022 academic year, with some modifications:
  • Most studio courses will meet either fully on-campus or blended (a mix of on-campus and online class meetings)
  • Class meetings that take place on-campus Fully online classes in Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) will continue for 2021 – 2022.


We anticipate that travel restrictions may be lifted prior to the start of the Fall semester and visa issuance timelines could improve, allowing our international students to participate in the Fall semester on campus. For students unable to enter the U.S. because of visa issues or the continuation of travel restrictions, Otis anticipates being permitted to offer remote learning. See the international students section below for more information. 

Any student who needs accommodations to study online related to a documented disability should contact Dr. Carol Branch at cbranch@otis.edu

Visit Otis Forward for more information about the fall plans for the academic year.

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 that might affect the Otis Community. 

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.