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Institutes of Higher Education

COVID-19 Toolkit

On March 13, the new LAC DPH Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines went into effect. This webpage is being updated to align with these guidelines.


Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) programs, colleges, universities, trade, and technical schools are a critical component of communities and have tremendous impact on the health, well-being, growth, and development of students and families in Los Angeles County. To support your needs, the Institute of Higher Education COVID-19 Toolkit serves as a resource to prepare for, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 on campus. Guidance, templates, and answers to frequently asked questions for the education setting have been selected from local, state and national resources.

Guidance Documents

Guidance for Institutes of Higher Education (IHE)

COVID-19 Resources for Exposure Management

What To Do When You Have a COVID-19 Case at Your Institution (Exposure Management Plan)
  • The IHE Exposure Management Plan (EMP) English | Español (updated 4/21/23) details the recommended and required steps for managing exposures to 1, 2, and 3 or more COVID-19 cases at your institute. Immediate implementation of the EMP after identifying a case of COVID-19 can accelerate the ability to contain spread of COVID-19 and prevent an outbreak.
Requirements for Reporting Clusters at your Institution

IHE are required to notify LAC Department of Public Health (DPH) of any identified cluster of 3 or more epidemiologically linked confirmed cases (students and/or employees) with possible connections with each other (e.g., sharing a defined physical space together like a classroom, workspace, communal area, sports activity, or IHE-sponsored gathering) who were on campus at any point within the 14 days prior to their illness onset date. The illness onset date is the first date COVID-19 symptoms started, or the COVID-19 test date, whichever is earlier. All cluster notifications should be submitted to DPH within 1 business day of being notified of the third, or last, case in the cluster through the reporting method outlined below.

  • Online reporting: Clusters of 3 or more IHE-associated COVID-19 linked cases must be reported online through the secure web application, Shared Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT). This can be done on a computer or mobile device.
    • If reporting many cases, you may choose to use the “Bulk Upload Template” (an Excel file) located within the SPOT portal to submit your report.
  • Training Resources for how to report COVID-19 Clusters through SPOT:
    • Training videos and resources can be found at the SPOT School Help and Training Materials.
    • This data dictionary (English | Spanish - updated 5/1/22) describes each of the items of information (variables) that are collected as part of case reporting when using the Excel line list.
Notification for Staff and Students
  • Exposure Notice
    • This exposure notice is intended to make people aware that they may have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19.

Additional Guidance

Support Services
  • Access to Healthcare Services
    • Families who need health insurance can learn about comprehensive free and low-cost health coverage on this DPSS website. Families who need help finding a doctor can call the 24/7 helpline at 2-1-1 or visit 211LA.org.
  • Financial Aid During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • LA County COVID-19 Supportive Services
    • LA County is committed to supporting our most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources at covid19.lacounty.gov include programs for rental relief, food assistance, access to healthcare and other services.
  • Information for Immigrants
    • The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs provides answers to common questions about COVID-19 and guidance on testing and treatment services, available to all regardless of immigration status. If you have questions about immigration, visit oia.lacounty.gov or call 1-800-593-8222.
Testing Resources
  • COVID-19 Testing Guidance
    • For information on the basics of COVID-19 testing, including the different types of tests, when to test, and understanding test results, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests.
  • How to get free COVID-19 tests
    • For information on how to get free tests, including at-home kits and testing at LA County sponsored test sites, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests/how.
  • Testing requirements at work
    • For information about testing requirements for employers, including when they have to offer testing to employees at no cost and during paid time, see the Cal/OSHA Non-Emergency Regulations.
Additional Covid-19 Resources

Emotional and Mental Health Resources

  • Emotional Wellbeing During a Pandemic
    • The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) supports the wellbeing of everyone of our communities. This COVID-19 information home provides mental health resources for LA County residents. LACDMH's 24/7 Help Line at (800) 854-7771 is available to provide mental health support, resources and referrals.
  • Free iPrevail Access
    • LA County residents have free access to iPrevail.com, an online mental health resource to help with life's everyday stressors. After a short assessment, you are connected to customized support to meet your needs. Options include:
      • On-demand chat with trained Peer Coaches.
      • Self-paced lessons on a variety of topics to improve wellbeing.
      • Community support groups.
    • iPrevail is offered in English and Spanish and is available 24/7 from any smart device.
  • Coping with Stress - CDC webpage with resources for individuals

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