From the President: Our Phased Return to Campus
Monday, June 14, 2021
The public health landscape continues to change at a remarkably rapid pace, and I recognize the difficulty and uncertainty that this may cause. This week the governor will officially announce a dramatic reopening of the state based on the successful distribution of vaccines and rapidly declining numbers of COVID cases and hospitalizations. The numbers for our region are particularly promising. As of last week, 79% of San Franciscans 12 and older have received at least one dose and 68% are fully vaccinated. Neighboring counties are showing equally promising numbers. This is cause for optimism and allows for a return to a somewhat more typical existence.
But what does it mean for SF State? Currently, we are waiting for guidelines from SFDPH and Cal/OSHA. As with all our planning the past 15 months, our policies will be science-based and align with SFDPH and Cal/OSHA. The pandemic planning group continues to meet weekly to monitor changes and plan for fall. Shared governance, as well as any bargaining obligations we have with our unions, makes consultation essential. Once we have the requirements and have consulted with employees and unions, we will update campus plans for fall. This may take several weeks. Please be patient and know that many are working hard to create a policy for fall semester that best supports our students and employees and aligns with public health guidelines.
We can face the return to campus with great optimism for many reasons. As the numbers above attest, the vaccination rate in the region is extremely high. The vaccines continue to show excellent results. San Francisco is averaging just one case per 100,000 residents. The CSU requirement for vaccinations and our plan to require students and employees to submit proof of vaccination will further ensure the health of our community.
In the coming weeks, we will share the CSU and SF State’s vaccination policies and a more detailed campus plan via email and post them on the campus plan page. Until we announce our fall plan, we will continue to follow SF State’s currently established rules for the workplace. If you can, please attend and encourage your colleagues to attend one of the information sessions scheduled over the next two weeks.
I am reminded of the uncertainty we faced back in March 2020 as the public health news also changed dramatically—and always for the worse. Happily, the news now, while coming at a dizzyingly clip, is good. I remain so proud of and grateful for all that we did as a community to keep SF State and support our students’ degree progress. We are almost there!
Again, once we have details from SFDPH and Cal/OSHA and have made the necessary consultations, we will confirm how we will be interacting this fall. I wish you all a healthy and happy summer.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.