September 16, 2020:
We hope you are all staying safe and healthy. This email is to share that our CHSU campus is shifting back to Phase 2 operations under our CHSU COVID-19 Policy, Protocols, and Guidance. In addition to ongoing consulting with our public health consultant, Dr. Ken Bird, and ongoing review of updated national, state, and local public health guidelines, CHSU received new information provided late last week by the City of Clovis and confirmed with the Fresno County Department of Public Health. This guidance re-confirmed that CHSU remains an essential workforce and included new guidelines for students. Specifically, under Phase 2 operations, all didactic courses will be held online with remote instruction for all students in the Colleges of Pharmacy and Osteopathic Medicine. Some courses, such as laboratory, skills or clinical/experiential, that cannot be delivered online may be offered on campus, as instructed by the deans/course facilitators and in compliance with recommended public health guidelines including requiring masking and daily temperature and symptom checks with cohorts limited to 14 students per skills course as per current FCDPH and CDPH guidelines.
Under Phase 2, as an essential workforce, CHSU employees may elect to work on campus or from home so long as remote work is practical for the employee’s position and required job duties. Eligible employees who elect to work from home during Phase 2 must obtain approval from both their supervisor and Carlita Romero-Begley, Vice President for Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or HR@chsu.edu. Employees who cannot work from home and are otherwise impacted by COVID-19, may seek alternative accommodations through the Office of Human Resources.
Impacted Employees and Students who have already filed the necessary paperwork regarding their impacted status may continue their current arrangements without change. If you are impacted and have not yet filed appropriate paperwork with the Office of Human Resources (for employees) or your college student affairs office (for students), you should do so immediately.
Additionally, students who have a need for accommodations to be on campus, such as due a documented disability, a result of being impacted by the Creek Fire natural disaster, or who otherwise have a unique need to be on campus should file a request with their college student affairs office with the necessary supporting documentation. Such requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis by your college student affairs office. Students who have such needs should contact their college’s student affairs office for the appropriate forms and information.
If there are any questions, employees can contact Carlita Romero-Begley, Vice President for Human Resources at email@example.com or HR@chsu.edu, and students can contact their college-specific Office of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org (COP) or email@example.com (COM).
We continue to wish safety and health for all of you.
Carlita C. Romero-Begley, PHR, SHRM-CP
Vice President, Human Resources
Title IX, Equity and Diversity Coordinator
California Health Sciences University
CHSU’s Current Response to COVID-19
The President’s Executive Council at California Health Sciences University (“CHSU” or “University”) is serving as the task force to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from federal, state, local governments, in addition to our accrediting and licensing bodies.
Members of the President’s Executive Council include: Florence Dunn, Dr. John Graneto, Dr. Mark Okamoto, Jimmy Dunn, Richele Kleiser, Carlita Romero-Begley, PHR, SHMR-CP, Tanya Bohorquez, CPA, Ashley Emerzian, Esquire, and Kathleen Haeberle.
Employees and Students may check the CHSU website for regular updates and monitor their CHSU email accounts closely for more information and instructions. In addition, the University has published two guides, named the CHSU COVID-19 Policy, Protocols, and Guidance for Employees and CHSU COVID-19 Policy, Protocols, and Guidance for Students (“COVID-19 Guides”) to provide a central location for the most recent policies and procedures for CHSU COVID-19 information. Those two documents update all prior communications from the University regarding COVID-19.
It is important to acknowledge that recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are fluid and changing. In alignment with current guidance, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and appropriate federal, state and local agency recommendations, CHSU has and will be taking actions notated within the COVID-19 Guides to keep our campus community safe and informed. The COVID-19 Guides will be updated by the University President’s Executive Council as new information and guidance becomes available.
We initiated our first campus reopening on Monday, June 15, 2020, when most employees returned to work. Certain impacted employees will continue temporary remote work as per our current COVID-19 response policy as outlined in the COVID-19 Guides.
Fall 2020 Curriculum Delivery
For Fall 2020, CHSU has incorporated flexibility for students, with options for the hybrid model, or for fully online courses with remote instruction for didactic courses, as appropriate. Some courses, such as laboratory, skills or clinical/experiential, cannot be delivered online. However, for those didactic courses which may be delivered virtually, students will have the option to choose whether to come to campus or attend remotely.
Impacted Students, as described in our current COVID-19 Guide for Students, should consult their college Student Affairs offices for support and information on accommodations. Any students attending classes remotely will be graded and assessed the same as any other student, need to complete and pass courses, must meet the minimum graduation requirements as well as all accreditation standards.
Labs and Practical Skills Courses
Labs and practical skills course requirements will need to be met and taken in person, with staggered scheduling to ensure compliance with space requirements and flexibility for those students who need to adjust scheduling due to being an Impacted Student.
Students may contact their college-specific Office of Student Affairs:
- if they are or may be an Impacted Student per CHSU policy,
- if they need accommodations,
- if they have any questions,
- or if they need any assistance returning to school.
Procedures for Obtaining Approval from the Office of Student Affairs: Any student meeting the above criteria who needs to request to attend class remotely from home must email firstname.lastname@example.org (COP) or email@example.com (COM) for approval and coordination with their instructors.
While no one can guarantee that an employee or student will not contract COVID-19, the University has and will continue to take the necessary precautions to keep our campus community safe and informed through appropriate policies and procedures, frequent communication, and health educational materials.
Here are some of the precautions taken at CHSU:
- Daily self-screening is required for employees, students before coming to campus.
- Proper cleaning protocols are in place at each facility.
- Supplies of hand sanitizer, soap, and cleaning supplies are being maintained.
- Furniture in rooms has been reconfigured for proper social distancing.
- New maximum room and table seating limits have been set and posted.
- Educational materials and instructions are posted in every room.
- CHSU is issuing two cloth face masks to every employee and student.
- Plexiglass has been installed in the lobbies and between cubicles.
- Some employees have moved to new workstations to accommodate social distancing.
- Graphic feet marks are on flooring where necessary to promote proper distancing.
- Employees are still encouraged to have online meetings, whenever possible.
We are monitoring local COVID-19 data. Employees and students can access the most current data regarding COVID-19 cases from the Fresno County Department of Public Health here.
Any questions regarding the COVID-19 Guides from employees and students should be directed to Carlita Romero-Begley, Vice President for Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org, HR@chsu.edu or the college-specific Office of Student Affairs at email@example.com (COP) or firstname.lastname@example.org (COM), respectively.
Protecting Ourselves and Our Community:
Sick employees and students are not permitted on CHSU facilities and will be sent home. It is essential that employees and students do not report to work/learning environment if they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. The University is following the Fresno County Department of Public Health Order for Business, Hospitals and County Residents by requiring all employees, students, guests and visitors to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to campus. For the purpose of this order:
- Febrile respiratory illness is defined as “a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever (temperature 38 degrees C or 100.4 degrees F or higher) or chills in the previous 24 hours;”
- Close contact is defined as “someone who has spent 15 minutes or more time within 6 feet or less of the index person while unmasked;”
- Isolation is defined as “separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick;”
- Quarantine is defined as “separation and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick;”
- Social distancing is defined as “maintain a six-foot separation from all persons except for family members;” and
- Symptoms of COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking / tremors
- Muscle pains
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- A Daily CHSU COVID-19 Self-screen Tool for employees, students, guests and visitors is REQUIRED and can be found online here.
Daily CHSU COVID-19 Self-screen Tool (“Self-screen”):
A Daily CHSU COVID-19 Self-screen Tool for employees, students, guests and visitors is REQUIRED and can be found online here.
- All employees, students, and those guests or visitors spending time on campus must take the online Self-screen and screen clear, meaning they receive the Green Check Mark with the current date before entering the CHSU campus.
- Failure to abide by the daily screening requirements, including taking your temperature, places our community at risk.
- Accordingly, these screening requirements are mandatory until otherwise notified.
- Employees and students should take a screen shot or photograph of the Green Check Mark with the current date and may be required to show it to University Administration at any time.
- Employees and students are encouraged to “bookmark” the link to the Self-screen for ease of access.
- Visitors and guests who will spend time on the CHSU campus can access the Self-screen online via the QR code or website link posted at the entrances of CHSU buildings. They will need to show evidence of the Green Check Mark with current date before entering the campus.
Our approach calls for a multiphase resumption of activities consistent with federal, state and local guidelines and assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic and the complexities inherent in protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Our phasing seeks to align with California’s. The alignment is not automatic, and there may be periods when the University cannot, for public health and safety reasons, be in the same phase as the state, just as not all counties in the state may be in the same phase at the same time.
Please check the following links to see current state and local phasing:
California Resilience Roadmap: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/
Fresno County: https://www.co.fresno.ca.us/departments/public-health/covid-19
Stay at home orders are in place, K-12 schools and non-essential businesses are closed and individuals are expected to practice self-isolation.
K-12 schools, majority of institutions of higher education, and non-essential businesses remain closed and individuals are expected to practice self-isolation. Campus and building access are restricted. Telework is the preferred choice for as many employees as possible in accordance with state/local mandates. Instruction is remote and in-person academic programs are cancelled.
Phase 2: State-by-State Reopening
Institutions and communities can operate low-density environments. Many institutions are open, but there are significant prevention policies in place which may include limitations on meeting sizes, required PPE use, and continued elevated precautions for high risk Individuals.
Instruction is primarily remote. In-person instruction is limited to clinical/practicum activities that are difficult to conduct remotely. Small groups (<10 including the instructor) may convene with special permission. Significant prevention policies in place which may include limitations on meeting sizes, required PPE use, screening, contact tracing, and selective quarantining/self-isolation.
- Limited access to facilities.
- Limited small group instruction (<10) for graduate students, high need students, specialized programs.
- No shared offices for faculty/staff.
- Strict distancing, face covering, frequent hand washing.
Institutions and communities can operate moderate-density environments. Institutions are open and many protective measures are still actively in place. The underlying threat of outbreak remains, but prevalence of the virus is lower and testing and contact tracing capacities are robust enough to allow some policies to be relaxed. There also may be available treatments for the disease, which lower the risk of severe outcomes.
Instruction is a mix of in-person and remote instruction with online options for in-person classes (hybrid) where practical. Some students and faculty will not be able to return to campus and accommodations should be put in place to enable continued academic progress.
- Easing of facility restrictions, rigorous cleaning & PPE protocols.
- Low-density instruction 6 ft. diameter per student.
- Limited specialized facility access (labs, study rooms, testing rooms, etc.).
- Shared offices with distancing and other measures.
- Strict distancing, face covering, frequent hand washing.
Institutions and communities can operate high-density environments. Once vaccines and/or highly effective treatments are approved and widely available, and there is low circulation of the coronavirus, prevention practices can be lifted gradually and more fully.
Once vaccines and/or highly effective and widely available treatments are approved for the coronavirus, prevention practices can be lifted. It is likely that even when immune protection is established, that social interactions remain changed for a duration of time and that re-engineered processes and new technologies persist, so long as they are functional.
- Classrooms near full capacity.
- Shared office spaces.
We believe it is beneficial for the University to define the triggers that may move us between Phases; this will allow us to react to changing COVID-19 conditions faster and with greater confidence.
Directional triggers to raise Phase level:
- Significant increases in COVID-19 transmission on campus, occurring at a greater rate than the local community.
- Significant increases in COVID-19 transmission within the University’s local community if it is impractical for the University to minimize COVID-19 exposure between the University and local community.
- Evidence that the University’s community is disregarding physical distancing and PPE requirements.
- Insufficient availability of COVID-19 testing by local/state public health authorities, due to logistics, supply chain or other factors.
- Insufficient healthcare capacity within the local healthcare facilities.
- Local/State/Federal mandates.
Directional triggers to lower the Phase level:
- Significant decreases in COVID-19 transmission on campus.
- Significant decreases in COVID-19 transmission within the University’s local community, if it was higher than transmission on campus.
- Evidence that the University’s community is consistently observant of physical distancing and PPE requirements.
- Sufficient healthcare capacity within the local/state healthcare facilities.
- Local/State/Federal mandates.
Restrictions on Travel:
The public health guidance regarding travel restriction is subject to change based on available data. CHSU will impose travel quarantines in alignment with public health agency guidance applicable to our geographic location. Employees with questions about travel quarantines should contact Carlita Romero-Begley, Vice President for Human Resources at email@example.com, HR@chsu.edu, or by Microsoft Teams communications. Students with questions about travel quarantines should contact their college-specific Office of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org (COP) or email@example.com (COM).
Approval, in writing, is required for essential university-sponsored travel:
- for employees: from the President’s, Provost’s, or Dean’s
- for students: from the Dean’s Office or the student’s experiential/clinical education department.
Essential faculty travel is defined as travel that is required—and cannot be postponed—in order to preserve the safety of a patient/research subject or the results of research activity.
Essential student and trainee (clinical and non-clinical) travel is defined as that which cannot be postponed and is necessary to meet a graduation requirement.
- CHSU is restricting all non-essential University-sponsored travel—both domestic and international.
- This policy includes Faculty, Staff and Students
- Travel to attend academic conferences is considered non-essential.
- We realize that many of you are evaluating attendance at academic conferences this coming academic year.
- If the restrictions based on health and safety have been modified, then travel to conferences may be permissible by exception, with recommendations from your Dean to seek President’s It will be important to balance fiscal considerations while supporting the professional development of our faculty, staff, and learners.
Travel within the U.S.: According to the CDC, COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. Visit the Considerations for Travelers—Coronavirus in the US page on the CDC website for more details to help you determine travel plans within the U.S.
International Travel: According to the CDC, there is widespread, ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus worldwide and the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations. Visit the Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice page on the CDC for more details. If you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, stay home and monitor your health.
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- California Department of Public Health
- California Department of Public Health June 18, 2020 Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings
- Fresno County Department of Public Health
- Listing of COVID-19 Testing Sites
- City of Fresno Responds to COVID-19
- City of Clovis Responds to COVID-19