Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Image - CDC CoronaVirus
Photo credit: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM

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, 2020 - 4:15 p.m.

originally sent October 6, 2020

Dear Members of the Southwestern Community,

Today, we were informed that a Southwestern contract employee tested positive for COVID-19. The person was last on campus on Tuesday, September 29, and is now isolating in accordance with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health protocols. While on campus, the person practiced social distancing and wore a face covering. Due to privacy concerns, Southwestern will not be releasing the name of this individual.

Southwestern, under the guidance of public health protocols, conducted a review to identify any individuals on campus who may have been in close contact with this person. After that review, it was determined that the infected individual did not come into close contact with anyone on campus.

Southwestern has identified the areas in which the person worked and the areas have been cleaned and disinfected. This extra cleaning and disinfecting was conducted in addition to the regular cleaning and disinfecting that occur daily on campus.

It is imperative that we all remain vigilant in our collective efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy. All of us should follow the guidance of our public health officials by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, conducting good hygiene practices such as covering coughs and sneezes, washing our hands, and avoid touching our faces.

Read the full update here.

9/11/20 - Update on Campus Reopening

originally sent September 11, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On Thursday, September 3, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer advised in a telebriefing that colleges and universities in L.A. County may not open for any additional services beyond what is currently permissible until after the Thanksgiving holiday. According to Dr. Ferrer, this will be the earliest point at which the County will consider allowing students to return to campus to learn and study. Dr. Ferrer explained that this decision will give the L.A. County Department of Public Health time to consider the impact of the upcoming opening of K-12 schools and the early portion of the influenza season.  Dr. Ferrer reiterated and confirmed these statements in another telebriefing held yesterday, September 10.

What this means for us here at Southwestern is the following:

  1. The campus will remain closed to students at least until Thanksgiving.
  2. All fall classes will continue to meet remotely for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester.  The same is true of all classes in SCALE Periods 2, 5, and 6, as well as all classes during the portion of SCALE Period 3 that occurs in November and December.
  3. All fall semester midterm and final exams will be administered remotely.  The same is true of all midterm and final exams for classes in SCALE Periods 2, 5, and 6.

Read the full update here.


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 252,066* total cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Los Angeles County, including cases reported by Long Beach and Pasadena Health Departments.

*Cases through 8:00pm 09/11/2020

  1. Safer at Home

Stay Informed

Information presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 


  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • 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.

    Click image to enlarge


  4. 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.


  5. 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.)
    Click image to enlarge


  6. 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

    For more questions about testing, please visit our FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.