SF State changes in response to COVID-19 - 3/15/20

Dear campus community,

As we continue acting to keep the SF State community healthy and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I am writing to share with you significant status updates.

The San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) has confirmed that an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom today (March 15) issued a directive for “deep social distancing,” calling for home isolation for anyone age 65 and older and those with chronic disease. I will address both sets of circumstances below.

Our campus remains open for necessary University operations, including our residence halls, the University Library, and other offices critical to supporting our students, faculty and staff. To further limit the spread of COVID-19 within our local community and in light of the governor’s call, however, effective immediately, all SF State employees meeting the Governor’s above criteria must stay off campus. This may affect hours of operation for some campus offices. Please check before coming to campus the availability of staff in offices whose services you seek.

We anticipate that for many such individuals, a telecommute working arrangement can be established allowing you to remain productive and continue advancing the operations and mission of the University. Those who are not able to telecommute are to be put on administrative leave with pay at their current rate and for their normal scheduled work hours.

Regarding the employee taken ill with COVID-19, I want to reassure you that SFDPH and SF State have responded quickly to protect the safety and health of our community. Those who may have come into close contact with the individual are being contacted directly with additional information. Respecting employee and health privacy laws, here are details about the case and measures taken:

  • The employee lives off campus.
  • The employee was last on campus on March 6.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, additional sanitizing of areas the employee was known to have visited will be conducted.
  • On a continual basis, the University has been sanitizing all public spaces including classrooms, restrooms, entryways and dining commons.
  • With SFDPH’s guidance, SF State is reaching out to individuals who may have had contact with the diagnosed employee and making appropriate recommendations.

The individual diagnosed with COVID-19 is currently being cared for by a local medical center. While privacy concerns mean we cannot release further details about the individual, I know you join me in sending our fellow community member and their family our support and wishes for a complete recovery.

As the situation rapidly evolves, so does guidance from health officials. We will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available. Please check our COVID-19 website for the latest information.

I know that this development will be a source of anxiety and concern. I want to personally thank everyone for their commitment in keeping our campus community safe and healthy, from our custodians who are enhancing cleaning to the members of our emergency planning team, many of whom are working daily responding to evolving contingencies, to the faculty and staff who are working diligently to support the University mission and to our students who continue to pursue their academic goals. Thank you, all, for your continual care for one another.    

Lynn's Signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.