Guidance: Institutions of Higher Learning

CA Safe Reopening

COVID-19 Response Recommendations for Colleges and Universities

Disease Prevention Guidance
What to do when you find out about a person with COVID-19 at your site
Reporting Guidance
How to Report

Disease Prevention

OCHA continues to strongly encourage vaccination against COVID-19 for all eligible students and staff at institutions of higher education (IHE).

IHE should assure that students and visitors adhere to California Department of Public Health’s Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.

Staff at IHE should adhere to Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The ETS were most recently updated on June 17, 2021. FAQs about the ETS are available here

What to do if you find out about a person with COVID-19 at your site

When you find out about a person with COVID-19 among your students or staff make sure that person is in isolation.  If they are still onsite, send them home.
Next start gathering information about who the person with COVID-19 may have been in contact with, who they exposed.  A person is exposed if they are unvaccinated and are within six feet of the person with COVID-19, while they were infectious, for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
When you report the case, our staff can provide guidance with the infectious period to assist in the investigation.


Schools are required to report all known or suspected cases of COVID-19 to Orange County Public Health Department under California Code Cal. Code Regs. tit. 17 § 2508

It shall be the duty of anyone in charge of a public or private school, kindergarten, boarding school, or day nursery to report at once to the local health officer the presence or suspected presence of any of the communicable diseases.

As employers IHEs are mandated to report outbreaks (three or more cases) among staff in line with Cal/OSHA ETS.

How to Report COVID-19 cases to Orange County 

Orange County Public Health has moved to electronic reporting of COVID-19 cases and exposures by schools, and businesses.  Click on the link below to learn how you can fulfill your reporting responsibilities electronically.

Reporting COVID-19 Cases and Outbreaks


To contact Orange County Public Health Department e-mail:
For Students:  For Staff:

If you are unsure where to report, please free to contact us @ either email address above.