Delaying In-Person Instruction Due to Omicron Variant; Residential Housing Move-In; CSU Vaccination Booster Shot Compliance Update; Testing on Campus
Sent: January 12, 2022
From: Interim President Steve Perez
I hope this message finds you well and rested from a holiday spent with those that you love. As I said in my last message, I am so excited to be here working with so many talented people to support the mission of this great University. I write today to share updates on the beginning of the spring semester and other procedures and policies related to COVID and the Omicron variant. I know the importance of consistent and clear communication so this message is much longer and contains more details than I will normally cover at one time. However, I want to be sure that everyone has the information they need to get ready for the upcoming semester. We will put this and other relevant information on the SJSU Health Advisories page and update that site as guidance and/or policies change. So, I encourage you to check there regularly when questions come up regarding COVID.
With that in mind, SJSU leadership is announcing the following updates for spring 2022.
Updates to class instruction, employee schedules, move-in, and research, scholarship, and creative activities
In-person Instruction for most classes will begin on February 14.
From January 26 through February 11 all classes will be taught in a fully remote modality. Exceptions may be granted by a dean for courses that must meet in person to address students’ immediate learning needs. These courses may be lab sections, studios, or individual instruction, for example. A course meeting this exception can begin in-person instruction the week of January 31.
All students will need to be on campus for scheduled in-person classes. For all courses taught in-person between January 31 and February 11, faculty must email the students in the course with specific guidance about in-person attendance requirements.
Beginning February 14, SJSU will resume delivery of courses as they are currently listed in the campus Schedule of Classes.
If circumstances warrant an extension of remote instruction, the campus community will be notified via email and social media.
Although most classes will be remote initially, university operations must remain open and able to respond to a variety of needs as we will have students and other employees on campus.
Employees should continue to follow their approved work schedules and modalities. The current approved work schedules, many with telecommuting modalities and alternate hours, are intended to support students and other campus constituents who will be here. In some cases, that support may be provided remotely from on or off campus, while others may require physical presence on campus throughout this transition period. Managers may work with Employee Relations to develop resolution strategies for employees who are directly affected by COVID-19 related issues.
Residential housing move-in and testing
The University Housing team will provide specifics regarding the move in timeline and process later this week. As a precaution, we are requiring students to get tested within 24 hours of departing for campus using an at-home kit or commercially available test. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will not be able to move into on-campus housing. All students, regardless of vaccination status, will be tested again upon arrival and will participate in weekly testing during the current surge and until the community test positivity rate is reduced to a satisfactory level.
Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA)
Updates to campus health and safety procedures and requirements
I’d also like to update everyone on procedures and requirements that have been put in place to help support campus health.
Updated CSU vaccination booster shot compliance - students and employees
As previously announced, booster shots are now part of California State University’s policy to keep vaccinations current. To be considered fully vaccinated, boosters are required for anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccination shot more than two months ago or who are five months or more past their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. Medical and religious exemptions may be requested for the booster with appropriate documentation. Previously granted exemptions that are not time-limited will apply to the booster.
All booster-eligible students who are registered for hybrid or in-person classes are required to update their vaccination status and upload a record of their booster shot by January 31, 2022. All other students will be expected to upload their booster records as they become eligible or indicate that they are not registered for hybrid or in-person classes. Students can complete these steps using instructions listed on the Medical Services website.
For questions about the booster requirement or exemptions for students, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-represented employees, volunteers and auxiliary employees must update their vaccination records with documentation of a booster or exemption by February 28 via the Self-Service Attestation page in SJSU @ Work.
Represented employees are not yet required to submit booster or exemption documentation as the meet-and-confer process continues, but may do so via the Self-Service Attestation page in SJSU @ Work.
For questions about the booster requirement or exemptions for employees, please contact email@example.com.
We understand there are shortages of booster shots. We strongly encourage students and employees to contact their local pharmacy and to use myturn.ca.gov to find available doses. We also are planning to provide on-campus booster clinics before the resumption of in-person instruction and early in spring semester, pending availability of staff and boosters. When on-campus clinics are set up, the campus community will be notified by email and social media.
PPE on campus
The indoor mask mandate remains in effect. Furthermore, we strongly encourage everyone to wear a three-layer surgical mask under a cloth or other mask. Surgical masks are provided in multiple locations across campus. For anyone who wishes to use KN95 masks, a small supply can be requested using the COVID-19 safety supplies form.
Employees who work in clinical or security areas will be provided N95 masks for voluntary use, upon request. This includes those who work at the Student Wellness Center, University Police Department, Sports Medicine, and others in a clinical environment. If you meet that criteria, you may request N95 masks here by indicating your request in the last question on the form..
N95s are also available to employees who have medical conditions which would benefit from use of a respirator. Employees who believe they meet those criteria should register with and contact the Employee Accommodations Resource Center.
Students with medical conditions associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness who are financially unable to obtain N95/KN95, should contact the Accessible Education Center.
Testing availability on campus
Individuals with an approved exemption from the CSU’s vaccination policy, including the booster shot requirement, are required to participate in weekly testing. Testing resumes at the campus testing center located in the Provident Credit Union Event Center on January 18 and those required to test will be notified.
Additionally, and in recognition of challenges in obtaining COVID testing during this time, the university will also offer free weekly testing clinics on campus for any student, faculty or staff member, regardless of vaccination status, who would like to get tested. More information on the testing clinics will be shared soon.
We are all understandably tired of the pandemic’s impact on our lives. If you are feeling a need for support, students are encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services or SJSU Cares and employees are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program. The situation surrounding the pandemic continues to change rapidly, and we must continue to be kind, flexible and patient with each other. I look forward to seeing many of you on campus soon.