June 23, 2021:
We hope all of you are adjusting well to working back on campus and certainly have enjoyed seeing everyone in person. We wanted to update you on the new Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) and how we will be implementing the updated ETS. As a reminder, the ETS are the rules set for the workplace related to COVID-19 response for all California businesses.
Updated CA Employer Rules for COVID Response
If you were out and about in the scorching heat over the weekend, you may have noticed many stores and restaurants modified their masking and physical distancing requirements.
On June 17, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Board”) approved revisions to Cal/OSHA’s ETS. Under normal circumstances, there would be a ten (10) day review window; however, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that same day requiring that the ETS changes take effect immediately. The new ETS provides some directives and some different options for employers to choose and implement. CHSU has elected the following plan below.
No masks required, regardless of vaccination status.
Masking Indoors (Including When Traveling in Vehicles):
- CHSU has chosen to document vaccination status of all employees, which allows fully vaccinated employees to not wear a mask indoors.
- However, unvaccinated employees must continue to wear cloth masks with at least two layers worn over the nose and mouth when indoors, in vehicles and when otherwise required by orders from the California Department of Public Health.
- CHSU will have available N95 respirator masks to all unvaccinated employees for voluntary use upon request. Cloth masks, as noted above, are required for unvaccinated employees.
- Under this option, in the event of a workplace outbreak of COVID-19, masks are once again required regardless of vaccination status. An outbreak is three (3) or more cases in an exposed group of workers.
- To document vaccination status:
- CHSU has elected to require employees to provide proof of vaccination. We will maintain a record of the employees who presented proof but not maintain a copy of the vaccine record itself in CHSU files.
- All employees will be required to show proof of their vaccination record to Human Resources. We will be scheduling times to be at each building (120, 45, and 2500) this week, where employees can physically meet with us and show us their vaccination card.
- Please do not email, text, or send via Teams scans, pictures, or copies of your vaccination record to HR. You must show your record in person or via remote video conference where the record can be clearly viewed as we are not keeping or maintaining the record.
- If you will not be available to meet with HR at the scheduled times you may stop by the 45 building and show your vaccination record to one of us. (Outlook invites will go out with the dates and times.) If you believe you need to provide proof of vaccine remotely, please contact me to discuss the matter.
- Until you show proof of being fully vaccinated to HR you will be considered unvaccinated and required to wear a mask. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have passed since your final dose of the vaccine—one dose for Johnson & Johnson and the second dose for Pfizer and/or Moderna.
- If you attended or were a helper at the COP graduation on May 15, and already showed proof of being fully vaccinated to HR, you do not need to provide proof again.
- If you have previously shown proof of vaccination or confirmed your vaccination status verbally or in writing to anyone outside of Human Resources, you will need to show proof again to HR.
- Close Contacts: Fully vaccinated employees no longer need to be excluded from the workplace following a close contact with a COVID-19 case, nor is testing required.
Return to Campus
As a reminder, as of last Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the University returned to a fully onsite work setting. All employees are expected to return to campus working their regular work schedule onsite.
Because CHSU is committed to supporting our employees, we recognize that some employees may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, may need to take a leave of absence, need accommodation for a disability, or have childcare or eldercare responsibilities. Employees impacted by COVID-19 should consult with the Office of Human Resources to determine what their available options are, including what benefits may be available under CHSU’s policies, and California state or federal law.
CHSU Intends to Implement COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Upon Full FDA Approval (Non-Emergency Use)
In the interest of maintaining the health and safety of students, employees, guests, and all members of our campus community, CHSU intends to require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities at any University location to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
This requirement for all CHSU employees and students will be conditioned upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as adequate availability of the fully approved vaccines. This requirement will become effective at the beginning of the Fall 2021 term (July 17, 2021 for University and COM and August 13, 2021 for COP), or upon full FDA approval of the vaccine, whichever occurs later.
We are sharing this information now to give students and our employees ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term.
The COVID-19 vaccination requirement will allow for students and employees to seek an exemption based on medical or for a sincerely held religious belief. The policy and related implementation details are being finalized and will be made available soon.
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 documents, named the CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Employees and CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Students 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 CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program to keep our campus community safe and informed. The CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program will be updated by the University President’s Executive Council as new information and guidance becomes available.
CHSU encourages widespread and early COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible individuals to help ensure the health of the community. Many members of our CHSU campus community have already received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Providing education and encouragement to our administration, faculty, staff and students to receive their COVID vaccine is a high priority and will help ensure we are safer as a campus community.
The CDC has release new guidelines for those who have been fully vaccinated. Learn more
Our federal, state, and local public health officials offer great resources to learn more about COVID vaccine eligibility and education about the vaccine. Please reference the important resources below, which are valid as of the date this is sent and may change over time. We also encourage all members of our community to consult their pharmacist and/or healthcare provide to learn more about vaccine safety and eligibility.
- California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccines
- California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine: find out it it’s your turn
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 CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Employees and CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Students.
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/labs 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 email@example.com 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.
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 and students before coming to campus.
- Proper cleaning protocols as per federal, state and local guidelines 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.
- Maximum room and table seating limits have been set and posted.
- Educational materials and instructions are posted in every room.
- CHSU has issued a cloth face mask 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 CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program 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