As we plan for a fall semester in-person for our students, faculty, and staff, we have developed a comprehensive wellness framework to prioritize the health of our community. This framework, and the specific guidelines and protocols we will develop to implement it, will necessitate changes to normal activities and create obligations for individuals. As is well-documented by public health experts internationally, personal behaviors and responsibility are critically important in minimizing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
These are some key components of the framework for fall semester to be in place in advance of the start of classes this August:
Campuses will be open for classes and student activities. We will provide face-to-face instruction on campus this fall, beginning as scheduled on Aug. 24. Some classes will be online-only, and we are working to facilitate remote learning for those who will need that mode due to health and other concerns. We plan to have less density in our classrooms than in typical semesters and to create hybrid classes as needed to incorporate online learning. University housing will be open for the Fall semester.
We will move to remote, online classes following Fall Break. The last two weeks of classes (November 30-December 11) and finals week (December 14-18) will be delivered virtually. University housing and residence halls will be open for the Fall semester and will remain open during and after Fall Break for students who need to remain or return. Other university facilities will adjust operations at that point in the semester as appropriate per public health guidance in place at the time.
At this time, we are working on plans to celebrate with our graduates – including the spring graduates whose ceremony was delayed this May. The specifics of the plan and timing of the celebrations will depend upon public health guidance as the semester unfolds. We maintain our commitment to celebrate with our students as we finalize our plans for the Fall semester.
All employees on university grounds or performing university work in the field or in a satellite office or campus will be asked to perform self-monitoring and reporting of COVID symptoms. All employees, including student employees, must complete a symptom checker via the internet daily before reporting to university grounds. Employees who do not have access to Wi-Fi may submit a paper form to their supervisors before reporting for their shift. This requirement is currently in place for employees working on a campus or performing field work or working on a satellite campus or office.
We will strategically test members of our community. We currently have capacity in federally certified laboratories on university grounds to run hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. We are working on a plan for strategic, regular testing of university community members and for obtaining secure results. The CSU Health Network, the student health and wellness care clinic on campus, also has procedures in place to screen for COVID.
We will isolate sick individuals and provide public health guidance and education to prevent further spread. We will be able to care for and quarantine students who live in university housing who become ill with COVID-19. This plan was developed in March. In addition, we have a plan in place to support Larimer County and other neighboring counties to isolate and provide education to employees or students who live off campus if they become ill.
Contact tracing will be performed for those who are ill, and we are taking swift action to prevent the spread of further illness. The university has eight employees who are trained to perform contact tracing of any students, faculty, or staff members who become ill, or to help other health departments with contact tracing. These employees are also trained and experienced in communicating appropriately with those who may have been exposed.
Everyone in our community will be expected to follow all public health guidance, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors to university grounds will be expected to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and follow other public health guidance, including washing their hands frequently, covering their coughs and sneezes, and staying in their home or residence hall if they feel sick or have any COVID symptoms. The university will provide masks and thermometers to those who do not have them. In addition, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available across campus. Our custodial and housing staff are trained in the strict cleaning protocols that conform with public health guidelines for coronavirus.
We will provide extensive additional guidance, including rigorous cleaning and disinfecting practices and prevention education. Our custodial crews are trained to follow CDC guidance for frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. They use chemicals that are approved for use against the coronavirus. In addition, we are developing training for students, faculty, and staff on prevention, correct use of personal protective equipment, and up-to-date public health guidance. We have secured adequate supplies of hand sanitizer and cleaning and disinfecting chemicals and have a strategy for deploying those.
May 29, 2020