CHSU is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from federal, state, local governments, in addition to our accrediting and licensing bodies.

This webpage provides regular updates and instructions for COVID-19 protocols. The University has published CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program guides for employees and students to provide a central location for the most recent policies and procedures for CHSU COVID-19 information.  

CHSU’s 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.

RESOURCES

CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Employees

CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Students

Latest Updates

August 5, 2021:

CHSU Campus Community:

The health and wellness of our campus community is paramount at CHSU. Effective immediately CHSU will require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Due to evolving circumstances, CHSU is announcing this pending requirement without waiting for any further action by the US Food and Drug Administration.

All faculty, staff and students must certify full vaccination status no later than September 30, 2021.

For those that choose the two-dose vaccination series, this means you should take immediate steps to begin the vaccination series so that it is completed on or before September 30, 2021. Proof of vaccination should be provided as follows:

  • students should follow procedures set out by their college’s student affairs department, and
  • employees should contact the human resources department to show proof of vaccination.
    • (Employees: Please do not email, text, send via Teams a copy or picture of the record. We need to see it in person or via Teams or Zoom, etc.)

You can find vaccination sites in the Fresno County area here.

This important decision was made because in just a few short days Fresno County’s transmission rate has climbed and is now considered “high” by the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, new reports are emerging of COVID-19 “breakthrough” cases—that is, vaccinated individuals are contracting COVID-19.

As a health sciences University, it is our responsibility to each other, the broader community, and those among us who are at high risk to take action. Vaccination is central to an appropriate response to this public health crisis. Accordingly, CHSU is announcing this updated COVID-19 vaccination requirement to protect and support the health and safety of our students and employees.

CHSU will accommodate individuals who cannot take the vaccine for medical or a sincerely held religious belief. Employees seeking an exemption should immediately notify human resources. Students seeking an exemption should immediately notify their college’s student affairs department. Documentation of an exemption will be required. Exemptions for reasons other than a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief (for example, declining the vaccine for personal preference) are not accepted exemptions to the vaccination requirement.

For those of you who are unvaccinated and would like more information regarding the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccination options, you can find that information as follows:

Our CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”) guides have been revised to reflect the new vaccination requirement. The updated CPP can be found at the links below.

The health and wellness of our community is central to our decision-making at CHSU. We hope this announcement will reassure our community regarding campus safety. Students may direct questions to their college’s student affairs department. Employees may contact human resources with questions.

Carlita C. Romero-Begley, PHR, SHRM-CP
Vice President, Human Resources
Title IX, Equity and Diversity Coordinator
California Health Sciences University


August 3, 2021:

Good morning everyone.

I am writing with updates to masking requirements on campus. CHSU administration has been monitoring COVID-19 transmission rates.  As of August 2, 2021 the CDC has listed Fresno County as a “high transmission.” Accordingly, as of August 3, 2021, in alignment with CDC guidance masks are required for all members of our community indoors and when traveling in cars, regardless of vaccination status.  Unvaccinated people may still request N95 masks from the University if desired.  Masks are to be worn over the nose and mouth.  Masks must be two-layers of cloth.  Scarfs, bandannas, or other single layer items do not meet the masking requirement.  CDC information on how to wear a mask can be found here.  Masks are not required:  (1) when an employee is alone in a room or vehicle; (2) while eating or drinking at the workplace, provided the employee is six feet or more from others.  If you feel you cannot wear a face covering due to disability, you should contact human resources.

All students at both colleges have been notified of this information.

We will continue to monitor the University’s COVID-19 response, COVID-19 transmission rates and public health guidance.  We will alert you to any changes in our response protocol as a result.  Please contact me with questions.

Carlita C. Romero-Begley, PHR, SHRM-CP
Vice President, Human Resources
Title IX, Equity and Diversity Coordinator
California Health Sciences University


June 23, 2021:

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Masking Guidance

Masking Outdoors:

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.

If you have questions on any of the above information, need further assistance, or an accommodation, please contact me via email (cromerobegley@chsu.edu or humanresources@chsu.edu) or Teams.

Carlita C. Romero-Begley, PHR, SHRM-CP
Vice President, Human Resources
Title IX, Equity and Diversity Coordinator
California Health Sciences University

Covid-19 Vaccine Information

CHSU encourages widespread and early COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible individuals to help ensure the health of the community.

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 by September 30, 2021. Details can be found in the CHSU COVID-19 Prevention Program for Employees and Students guides.

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 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

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.

RELATED LINKS:

Fresno County COVID-19 Vaccine Information
California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccines
California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine: find out if it’s your turn
CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Information
CDC Benefits of Getting COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
FDA Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccines
CDC Guidelines When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

Resources

National/Global:

Regional/Local: