Below are the answers to frequently asked questions from students regarding COVID-19. For specific information about personal protective equipment (PPE) use and guidelines as well as other health-specific workplace requirements, please visit the COVID-19 Resource Center.


What if I am having trouble accessing my classes?

Please contact student.success@ciam.edu right away if your experience any issues accessing your classes. Please also review the email sent to all students from the Dean discussing class troubleshooting and attendance requirements.

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What if I can no longer afford tuition payments?

Please contact Vivian from the Cashier’s Office at Vivian.han@ciam.edu. Each situation is being considered individually.

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What if I am feeling unsafe?

As in any crisis, a general feeling of uncertainty is to be expected. However, if you find yourself feeling unsafe for any reason, please be sure to reach out to the proper websites and/or authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information and recommendations.  If your circumstance involves immediate danger to yourself or others, please immediately call 911 or go report your issue to the nearest authorities. If it involves anyone here at CiAM, or affects your ability to be present in your studies, also contact your Student Success team as soon as possible. We are here to help.  If you are feeling targeted/threatened for any reason, it is best to remove yourself from the situation to avoid any escalating tensions and to preserve your safety as quickly as possible.

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Is the Cashier’s Office open for to receive payments?

The Cashier’s Office is available by appointment to process Cash/Check payments in person. For your protection, we do not process Credit/Debit payments in person, but encourage you to use the contactless payment option available online through your Populi student portal.  You can contact the Cashier’s Office at (626) 350-1500 or cashier@ciam.edu.

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Due to the rising numbers in COVID-10 cases & new DELTA strain do you still plan to reopen campus? What are you doing to keep students safe?

At this time, we still plan to be on campus in partial capacity for Fall 2021. We will be making sure we follow all the CDC guidelines with some classes being online and some being on campus. For those on campus we are doing everything in our power to make sure our students, staff, and faculty remain safe. Class sizes will be restricted to only 8 students who will be required to wear masks and sit 6 feet apart. Everyone on campus will be screened for temperature checks and health questions. We are also introducing near & far classrooms where half the class is zoom and the other half is in person on Saturday and then they switch on Sunday to reduce exposure as much as possible. Our student health and safety guidelines for COVID will be sent to all students closer to the term start. Additionally, we are requiring vaccine proof or a negative COVID test for everyone on campus.

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What happens if I forget my Vaccine Card or Negative COVID Test on class weekend?

Beginning September 11th, 2021, CiAM will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all CiAM students, faculty, and staff. Individuals who are unable to provide proof of vaccination or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test results taken within the last 72 hours will not be allowed on campus. This will result in an unexcused absence for your on campus day. As a reminder, student with more than 2 unexcused absences will receive an automatic “F” in the class and students who miss their first weekend of class will be dropped. No exceptions.

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When will DSO and Registrar Office Hours be on class day?

DSO and Registrar Office Hours will be from 7:30am-4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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Now that we are back on campus, do I need a printed I-20?

No, USCIS is still allowing digital I-20s during this time. However, if you would like a printed I-20, please email DSO@ciam.edu to request one.

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What does the check-in process look like?

CiAM will have a check-in table set up at the NORTH entrance (SEE MAP). There we will check your temperature, ask COVID screening questions, and check your Vaccine Record or Negative COVID Test Results. Students who have been properly checked in will be given a wristband and told which classroom they are in.

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(INTERNATIONAL) What if I want to take Fall 2021 off? How will that affect my F-1 status?

International students must remain full-time students making progress towards their degrees to remain in the US. If you wish to take Fall 2021 off, your I-20 will be terminated, and you will have 15 days to leave the US. When you return for Spring 2022, we will apply for re-activation of your I-20 and you can return up to 30-days before the Spring 2022 start date. However, if travel restrictions are still in place you may need to postpone an additional term or take online classes from your home country.

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(INTERNATIONAL) What if I want to return home? Can I study from my home country?

Yes, if you wish to return to your home country during this pandemic you may continue studying at CiAM during this time. International students can even remain in Active F-1 status as long as they remain full-time students, making progress towards their degree. You will still be required to continue turning in homework and attending classes virtually. However, if the travel restrictions lift and classes resume on-ground, you will need to return in time for classes. Before you travel please review travel restrictions very carefully.

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(INTERNATIONAL) How is my F-1 Status impacted by online classes during COVID-19?

SEVP has given CiAM permission to deliver our current classes online due the COVID-19 pandemic. International students who remain full-time students making progress towards their degree will remain in active F-1 status and taking online classes will not be a violation of status.

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(INTERNATIONAL) What if my parents are telling me to return home to my home country? What are my options?

You can return home and continue studying with CiAM or you can take a Leave of Absence for Summer 2020. See above answers for more details. Before you travel please review travel restrictions very carefully.

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(INTERNATIONAL) What if my CPT has been affected by this pandemic?

Please contact dso@ciam.edu immediately if there are any changes in your employment.

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Is CiAM fully reopening in Fall 2021?

Yes! Our Campus is currently open. Our students will be returning to campus for the new academic year. We are excited to have our students back in the fall with a much more normal term beginning September 11th, featuring in-person classes except those designed for online delivery. 

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Is there a likelihood of CiAM’s campus to be shut down due to COVID-19?

It is important that we follow the mitigation measures to minimize the spread of the coronavirus on CiAM’s campus. We understand that the county will not close down campus unless there is a severe outbreak. This is why we encourage the CiAM community to become vaccinated and to follow all health and safety mitigation measures we have put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus. 

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What adjustments is CiAM making to their ventilation especially in classrooms with no windows?

The Campus Property Management uses MERV 13 filters. They are good for three years, but the filters are replaced once a year as a practice. Additionally, they adhere to the ASHRAE standards which requires the minimum outside air intake is 20%. However, depending on temperature and other conditions, the Buildings can take in up to 100% fresh air. 

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Are there any confirmed COVID-19 cases within the CiAM community?

There are currently no confirmed cases within the CiAM community. 

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What steps are being taken to maintain a clean and safe campus environment?

We’re taking measures to keep everyone safe at Ciam. We are increasing engineering protocols  to meet the need to clean our classrooms, offices, restrooms and other areas more frequently. All drinking fountains/ coolers are closed. We are adding sanitation stations throughout campus.  

Cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, offices, restrooms and public spaces will occur after each class or use of space per CDC guidelines using EPA-approved disinfectants.  

Safety signage has been posted at elevators, stairwells, hallways, and restrooms. 

MERV 13 or higher filters are used in the HVAC system, if necessary, as referenced by Cal/OSHA. Air flow in buildings is monitored 

To report an unsafe condition or violation of any health and safety related campus policies, please fill out a Report a Hazard Form

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Where can I find information return to campus information for students?

Please visit the CiAM Covid-19 Resources page for important information and resources for students for the fall semester.

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What health precautions will be in place for campus community life?

In our commitment to the health and safety of our community, we will continue to ask students and employees to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and stay home if they are feeling sick. CiAM will continue enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices throughout campus. We will be screening all staff, faculty, students and visitors before they can enter campus. We require masks, and practice social distancing, and encourage hand and sanitation hygiene.

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Are all employees, students and visitors required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus?

CiAM asks all employees, students and visitors to conduct a health self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms before arriving at campus. 

If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, please do not come onto the campus campus.  CiAM will be screening all student, faculty and staff and the screening check-in table in the North Entrance Lobby of the building before entering the campus:

  • Fever of 100.4 F, or;
  • Alternating chills and sweating; or
  • Cough, trouble breathing, shortness of breath; or
  • Sore throat; or
  • Muscle or body aches; or
  • New loss of smell or taste; or
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; or
  • Headache; or
  • Congestion or runny nose; or
  • Fatigue

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Will masks be required on campus?

Yes. On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced an indoor mask mandate. Effective as of July 6th, 2021 when CiAM reopened office operations everyone, whether vaccinated or not, has been required to  wear masks indoors. This means that CiAM employees, students and visitors are required to wear face coverings on campus while indoors at all times unless they are eating or drinking or alone in an enclosed office or outside.

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What kind of face covering should I wear?

Your mask should be made with a tightly woven fabric (fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source), or be a medical procedure mask (sometimes referred to as surgical masks or disposable face masks). Your mask should fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks with multiple layers or inner filter pockets are also effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend masks made with loosely woven or knitted fabric, masks with only a single-layer, masks with exhalation valves, or scarves or ski masks.

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Are there any exemptions to wearing masks?

Unfortunately, the County’s indoor mask mandate is a requirement of all people, regardless of vaccination status. If someone has medical issues with wearing a face covering, they should contact the Student Services Coordinator at student.services@ciam.edu.

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How long will the mask mandate last?

The indoor mask mandate is likely to be in place until it is deemed safe by health authorities. We will keep the community updated.

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Where can I get a face mask if I need one?

Face masks are available for students, faculty, and staff at the check-in and screening and at the reception front desk.

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How will the university promote individual health choices about wearing face coverings?

Students can voluntarily wear face coverings outdoors for their own comfort, health and safety. At this time, all students, regardless of vaccination status are required to wear a face covering indoors.  

We will have students from all over the country and the world coming to campus, learning in close proximity. Some will be vaccinated and some will not, and students will have differing opinions regarding face coverings. We are a community that promotes respect and kindness to one another regardless of our thoughts on COVID. We want to promote an environment where those in our community who desire to wear a mask outdoors can do so without being shamed. CiAM will not tolerate any form of bullying and staff will engage in allegations of bullying or harassment with appropriate measures.

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Will physical distancing be required on campus?

Physical distancing will be required as it remains an effective mitigation strategy.

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I'm am enrolled student, but living in another state. Do I need to follow the University's standards?

WE encourage everyone to follow safety measures, you need to follow these standards only when you are on campus. Otherwise, please adhere to the COVID-19 guidance provided by your local public health authorities.

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I've already had COVID-19. Do I still need to follow the University's standards?

Yes. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19 or your ability to nonetheless be contagious and infect others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still evaluating reinfection risks. So far it seems that reinfection is rare, but it has happened, and the virus continues to spread and develop new mutations, some of which have been more contagious than previous strains. So you still need to take precautionary steps to protect yourself and your community.

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I've received the vaccine for COVID-19. Do I still need to follow the University's standards?

Yes. While the vaccine is highly effective, it is not 100% effective. Additionally, experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. Furthermore, there are still large populations that have not yet been vaccinated, or may not be healthy enough to receive the vaccine. For all these reasons, you still need to take steps to protect yourself and the community.

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Will I be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine to learn on campus?

Yes. CiAM announced on August 13th, 2021 that there is now a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for the fall 2021 term. The goal of this requirement is to maintain the health and safety of the campus community. 

This means that CiAM faculty, staff and students must certify that they are vaccinated with an approved vaccine or request a medical or religious exemption. The requirement is mandatory. 

Students who have not provided proof of vaccination will be required to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving to campus.

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Which vaccines are approved to meet CiAM’s requirement?

Any vaccine authorized by the FDA or the WHO satisfies Northwestern’s vaccine requirement.

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What if I received a vaccine not approved by the FDA or WHO?

The CDC has stated: “People who completed or partially completed a COVID-19 vaccine series with a vaccine that is not authorized by FDA or not authorized for emergency use by WHO may be offered an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series.” Faculty and staff who have concerns about receiving an FDA or WHO approved vaccine after previously receiving a non-approved vaccine should consult with their own health care provider and, if needed, once a vaccine obtains full FDA approval, you will be able to submit a health condition related exception request with a note from a licensed health care provider. Similar to others who are granted exceptions, students, faculty and staff who receive this exception will face heightened testing, masking and symptom tracking.

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Will vaccination records that are in a language other than English satisfy documentation requirements?

If possible, CiAM requests the documentation be uploaded in English. If that is not possible, it may take additional time to validate documentation.

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What do I do if I lost my vaccination card documenting that I received the vaccine?

We ask that students request a COVID-19 digital Vaccine record if at all possible. If you do not have a vaccination record with you on the day of class you will need to present a COVID-19 Test showing a negative result which was taken within 72 hours of arriving to campus.

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What is the protocol for unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff traveling domestically or internationally to campus?

Unvaccinated individuals must follow COVID-19 testing and masking protocols upon arrival. If you are unvaccinated and planning to obtain a vaccine to meet CiAM’s vaccine requirement, please start this process immediately. Until you are fully vaccinated, please continue to follow our heightened protocols for unvaccinated individuals 

Unvaccinated students, staff or faculty are required to: 

  • Present a COVID-19 tests (these tests must be completed within 72 hours of arriving to campus) 
  • Wear a mask  
  • Social distance 
  • Screen and practice good hand hygiene

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How can students report their vaccination status or request an exception?

Students can present their vaccination status or request an exception through Student Services and Accessibility please contact student.services@ciam.edu.

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Can students seek an exception to the vaccination requirement?

Yes, students may request an exception related to personal health, sincerely held religious beliefs. Students receiving a vaccination exception will be required to participate in increased levels of COVID-19 testing, masking and symptom tracking while they are on campus. Please contact Student Services and Accessibility at student.services@ciam.edu.

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What are the health conditions approved to seek an exception?

The CDC has provided information on contraindications related to COVID-19 vaccines. Your personal health care provider should help determine whether you have a health condition preventing you from getting vaccinated. For more information see: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html

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What happens if students don’t comply with the vaccine requirement?

Students who do not present proof of full vaccination or submitted an exception request with the appropriate documentation (e.g. letter from a licensed health care provider for health exceptions, personal statement for non-health exceptions) will not be able to access campus and attend class for the Fall. Moreover, students who are not compliant with the requirement cannot come to campus or participate in any activities or events intended for enrolled students. Students who receive an exception will be required to participate in testing, symptom tracking and masking.

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Do students need to be vaccinated if they have already been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Yes, all students are required to be vaccinated, even if they have already had COVID-19.

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What if I am not able to get vaccinated due to receiving antibody therapy?

You may request a temporary exception please meet with Student Services and Accessibility and present documentation from you healthcare provider. Once you receive guidance from your health care provider that you are cleared to receive the vaccine (typically this window in 90 days), you will be required to submit documentation of full vaccination or to request a new, permanent exception.

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Does the vaccine requirement apply to international students?

Yes. Students, including international students, must receive a vaccine authorized by the FDA or the WHO.

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Should international students who have been vaccinated by a non-approved vaccine disclose that information?

International students may disclose this but will still need to submit another record with a vaccine that meets the CiAM’s requirement.

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Will unvaccinated students be required to do regular testing for COVID-19?

At this time, students who are not fully vaccinated are required to submit a negative test taken within 72 hours of arriving to campus. According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 2 weeks after a single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Students must take the test within 72 hours prior to arriving on campus and bring printed proof of a negative.

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Will CiAM be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to students who have not been vaccinated?

CiAM does not offer vaccines on campus. Please see local resources here: 

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What are the requirements for international students if you are vaccinated?

  • A negative test is required to fly into the United States. 
  • You are required to get tested 3-5 days after travel.  
  • You are not required to quarantine but continue to monitor yourself for symptoms.

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What is the COVID-19 testing requirement for students who return to campus?

Fully vaccinated students are not required to take a test as long as they present their vaccination record at the screening check-in before entering campus 

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students, faculty, and staff  are required to complete ongoing testing with negative results taken within 72 hours of arrival to campus. 

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What should I do if I develop COVID-19 symptoms?

Please see the list of symptoms for COVID-19 from the list of symptoms for COVID-19 and Prevention (CDC). 

This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. If you become ill, please: 

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care if needed. Practice respiratory hygiene (cover your cough and wash your hands frequently). 
  • Please seek care with your healthcare provider 
  • Please inform the Student Services Coordinator if you experienced symptoms while on campus 
  • Do not travel while sick. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Throw used tissues in trash and wash your hands immediately. 
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home and avoid sharing personal items. 
  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids. 
  • Seek urgent medical care for serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing or inability to keep fluids down. 

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What if I test positive for COVID-19?

We urge students who test positive for COVID-19 to contact the healthcare provider and stay home and isolate.  

Please see the guidelines from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. 

L.A. County Public Health offers guidance on what to do if you are sick with COVID-19. 

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What should I do if I believe I may have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you think you have come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 please take the following steps (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the operational description of close contact as being within 6 feet of another person for a combined total of 15 minutes or longer within a 24-hour period. Brief interactions are less likely to result in transmission. However, symptoms and the type of interaction (e.g., if an infected person coughs directly into the face of the exposed individual) remain important in determining if an exposure occurred): 

  • Call your medical provider and follow their advice. If you are a student, we ask that you also contact the Student Services Coordinator if you have been on campus to report the exposure.  
  • Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, and shortness of breath or trouble breathing. Symptoms may also include chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.  

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I tested positive for COVID-19. Will I get in trouble if I tell the University that I'm positive, after attending a social gathering?

No,  CiAM will not sanction any student for testing positive for COVID-19. CiAM’s goal is to ensure that students who test positive limit their exposure to others as quickly as possible, and that they provide thorough information about their prior locations and known contacts for the purposes of contact tracing. Students who comply with these instructions will not be disciplined.

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What if I feel that I am being treated unfairly or being discriminated against or harassed in connection with COVID-19?

CiAM is a welcoming and inclusive community and does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation. 

Students, faculty and staff who feel they are being treated unfairly, discriminated against or harassed should contact the University Title IX Office at TitleIX@ciam.edu   

Students may also contact the Dean.  

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