New guidance from SFDPH; classes in session and all events canceled
Saturday, March 07, 2020
Dear campus community,
The health and safety of our campus community are SF State’s highest priorities. At this time, no SF State employees or students have been reported to have COVID-19. The San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) on Friday issued enhanced recommendations in response to COVID-19. Consistent with those guidelines, the University is implementing the following steps.
After careful consideration and in accordance with SFDPH guidelines, all classes will stay in session. However, we are canceling all events on all SF State campuses and all University-sponsored events in March — which includes Gator Days and Investiture — to limit the potential exposure of COVID-19. This update is effective Monday, March 9. All divisions, departments and academic programs should take appropriate actions based on this change. For now, this remains in effect until March 31. We will update you with any future changes.
Please know that this decision aligns with SFDPH’s goals for social distancing: to limit people being exposed to the virus by reducing the number of occasions when people come together. Canceling events allows us to limit contact while also meeting our instructional responsibility by maintaining classes and aligns with SFDPH’s recommendation to keep schools open.
We also encourage all employees to reconsider upcoming non-essential travel. Costs for any university-approved travel will be reimbursed. For any questions about what is considered essential and non-essential travel, please speak with your supervisor or department chair and/or dean.
Whenever possible, in-person meetings should be conducted online or via phone. The University offers Zoom technology to support virtual meetings. If you must have a meeting in person, please continue to practice appropriate social distancing and facilitate behaviors that reduce infection — like washing your hands and using hand sanitizer.
Some of you may have also seen other universities taking different measures in response to COVID-19. There is a reason for that: each university — including ours — acts based on recommendations from local health officials. With every new update comes the possibility of having to change course.
During this time of the year, it’s not uncommon to feel ill. If ill, please stay home. Your health is a top priority. I also want to remind everyone ways to prevent spreading all respiratory viruses.
The City recommends that vulnerable populations should limit outings. Employees in this situation should discuss alternative work options with their direct supervisor in consultation with HR. Students in this situation should contact their professors to discuss alternative learning modalities.
Employees can also find information about work expectations on our Employee Questions webpage.
I understand there is concern, anxiety and worry. Please continue to show each other support and empathy as we work together to ensure the safety and health of our community.
I want to remind you all that our COVID-19 FAQ is a great resource for the latest information. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will continue to keep you all informed of any University changes as SFDPH provides more guidance in the future. In the meantime, please stay well.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.