Check here for official messages and status updates from Southwestern Law School.
The most recent updates and information will appear just below. Prior communications are archived under "Community Announcements" in the sidebar.
UPDATE: October 6, 2021 - 11:00 a.m.
10/6/21 - Student FAQs Regarding the Fall 2021 Semester
Originally sent September 26, 2021
9/26/21 - Confirmed COVID-19 Case
Dear Members of the Southwestern Community,
Tonight we learned that a Southwestern employee who accessed campus on September 24, 2021 has tested positive for COVID-19. In accordance with county guidelines, Southwestern directed the employee to self-isolate in their home and follow their medical providers' advice. Due to privacy concerns, Southwestern will not be releasing the name of this individual. Under the guidance of public health protocols, Southwestern conducted a review to identify any individuals on campus who may have been in close contact with this person. All identified individuals have been contacted and advised of Southwestern’s and public health testing and potential exposure protocols.
Our maintenance staff is conducting extra cleaning and disinfecting of the high touch areas on campus (e.g., elevators, stairwells, restrooms, common areas, etc.) in addition to the ongoing increased cleaning and disinfecting of these areas.
It is imperative that we all remain vigilant in our collective efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy. We all should follow our public health officials' guidance by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing where appropriate, and using good hygiene practices such as covering coughs and sneezes, washing our hands, and avoiding touching our faces. Also, please do not come to campus if you are not feeling well and have any symptoms associated with COVID or another communicable disease.
Additionally, our public health officials strongly recommend everyone over the age of 12 years to get a COVID-19 vaccination to protect themselves and their community. Our current vaccines are safe and are the most effective protection against COVID-19.
A Message from Dean Darby re: Thanksgiving Break/Remote Classes/Winter Break/Returning for Spring 2022
originally sent Thursday, September 16, 2021
Dear Southwestern Law Community:
I want to thank each of you for doing your part to help keep our community safe during the current challenges presented by the COVID-19 Delta variant. Although COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles have decreased, the Delta variant remains a challenge across the country. Based on the course of the pandemic so far, we anticipate seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the late fall and early winter months, and we know that many of our community members plan to travel domestically or internationally over Thanksgiving break.
This is a long email. But please read on. After the introduction, there's a table of contents. The testing section impacts everyone, so please focus on that section. Because of the number of dates mentioned below, I've attached a separate document that lists all dates and associated items in chronological order.
To help protect the Southwestern community, and out of an abundance of caution, we will deliver all fall classes and most services remotely after Thanksgiving. With the possible exception of one intersession class, classes and services will continue to be delivered remotely through the January Intersession. On-campus classes will resume on January 10. We will be communicating in the coming weeks about remote options for Spring 2022.
In addition, because we anticipate that even more individuals will be traveling over the Winter Break, we are implementing a requirement that each person—students, faculty, and staff—regardless of vaccination status, be tested through Nobility Health before returning to campus in January.
- For SCALE I students in Period 3, remote instruction will begin on November 22, on the usual days and times.
- Campus will be closed for Thanksgiving starting at 1 p.m. on November 24 through November 26. On November 24, services (including Library services) will be offered remotely through 1 p.m.
- For traditional full-time students, day and evening part-time students, and SCALE II students, all classes will be taught remotely via Zoom on the usual days and times starting November 29.
- Classes will continue to meet via Zoom on the usual days and times through December 2 (for traditional classes) and December 17 (for SCALE).
- Final exams for all programs will be administered remotely, although we still plan to allow students who do not have an adequate testing location at home, who select to handwrite their examinations, and who have certain approved accommodations to test on campus if they register with the Dean of Students Office. Watch for separate emails about final examinations and on-campus testing options. You may take your remote examinations outside of Los Angeles, but all exams will be administered in the Pacific time zone.
- Campus will be on a hard close for the Winter Break, and services will not be offered on campus or remotely, from December 18, 2021 through January 2, 2022. Remote services will resume on January 3, and campus facilities like the Library, Westmoreland 24-hour area, Bookstore, and Tea Room will reopen on January 3.
- The January Intersession, January 3–7, 2022, will be offered remotely (and not in HyFlex format). We are waiting to hear about the format of one intersession class and will alert impacted students if the professors will be teaching on campus.
- Each student, faculty member (full-time and adjunct), and staff member must test with Nobility Health and receive a negative test result before returning to campus in January 2022.
- On-campus classes and services will resume on January 10, 2022.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 3,322* new cases reported and 1,391,363* total cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Los Angeles County, including cases reported by Long Beach and Pasadena Health Departments.
*Cases through 8/25/2021
Information presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Many of them infect animals, but some coronaviruses from animals can evolve (change) into a new human coronavirus that can spread from person-to-person. This is what happened with the current novel coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV. Diseases from coronaviruses in people typically cause mild to moderate illness, like the common cold. Some, like the SARS or MERS viruses, cause serious infections like pneumonia.
How are coronaviruses spread?
Like other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, human coronaviruses most commonly spread to others from an infected person who has symptoms through:
- Droplets produced through coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as caring for an infected person
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
Novel Coronavirus is new, and we are learning more each day about how easily it spreads and how long it takes for people to become sick. As information becomes available, we will keep you informed.
Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is likely to have novel coronavirus.
What are the symptoms of Novel Coronavirus?
Reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to people becoming severely ill, requiring admission to the hospital, and dying. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe illness
If you have traveled from mainland China and develop any of these symptoms within 14 days of your return, you should seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel.
How is novel coronavirus treated?
There is no specific treatment for illness caused by the novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Treatment is based on the patient’s condition.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent novel coronavirus. Be aware of scam products for sale that make false claims to prevent or treat this new infection.
What can I do to protect myself and others from respiratory infections like 2019-nCoV?
As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take daily to reduce the risk of getting sick or infecting others with circulating viruses. You should:
- Stay home when you're sick or have flu-like symptoms. If you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, please stay home and do not come to work or class until you are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- It's sensible to avoid shaking hands right now to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Though that might be awkward at times, it's an increasingly common practice in hospitals and clinics.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
- Limit close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. Southwestern has changed our cleaning of surfaces and access points, etc.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice healthy habits (get enough sleep, exercise, liquids, etc.)
What if I want to be tested?
If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as severe shortness of breath, contact your physician. If it is an emergency, dial 911.
Information about COVID-19 Testing from the City of Los Angeles
Testing is currently available to all residents of L.A. County whether or not you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing is by appointment only and is subject to availability. People with symptoms and front line workers are prioritized to receive same-day or next-day appointments.
To confirm eligibility and search testing appointment availability, go to Coronavirus.LACity.org/Testing.
For more questions about testing, please visit our FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.