Frequently Asked Questions
These FAQs, last updated on July 29, 2021, are intended to provide information about fall 2021; preventive measures for avoiding infection; and other critical information to keep students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health officials, and other well-known domestic and global health organizations informs this FAQ.
In addition, the campus community should also read emails sent by University administrators, which provide more detailed updates.
Guidance for Students
1. Is a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in order to return to classes on campus in fall 2021?
On July 27, the California State University (CSU) announced that faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities will be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus unless they seek an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Fresno State is in full support of the Chancellor's decision to prioritize the health and safety of our campus community, and we urge all unvaccinated members of our university to begin the vaccination process without delay.
Read this July 27 message for more information about safeguarding student health.
2. Can I get a vaccine exemption for religious or health reasons?
The COVID-19 vaccination requirement would allow for students or employees to seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds.
3. Will the University accept internationally approved vaccines even if not authorized or approved in the United States?
Yes, if the vaccine is authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a process for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics during public health emergencies. Through that process, a number of vaccines not available in the United States have received Emergency Use Listing (EUL). When the final CSU Vaccination Policy is adopted, the University will, consistent with CDC and CDPH guidance, accept proof of vaccination with any international vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by WHO. A document summarizing the status of international vaccines can be found online on the WHO’s website. Anyone who has completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with one of these vaccines does not need additional doses with an FDA-licensed or -authorized COVID-19 vaccine, at least initially (but may be subject to subsequent booster requirements). Those who are partially vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not licensed or authorized by FDA and not authorized by WHO will be required to receive an FDA-licensed or authorized vaccine no less than 28 days after their last international vaccination. In the interim, they could be subject to special safety measures, like quarantine, frequent asymptomatic testing and masking requirements.
4. I was vaccinated in a country, where the government increased the time between first and second vaccines longer than US labeling. Do I have to be revaccinated?
No. If you have proof of completing a series of any FDA-licensed or FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine consistent with your country’s implementation, you will be considered to have complied with the vaccine mandate.
5. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination on campus?
6. Am I required to wear a mask, even if I am fully immunized?
7. Where can students obtain masks?
The Student Health and Counseling Center has complimentary masks available for students.
8. How many classes will be offered in-person?
Over 75% of our courses will be offered in-person: 60% of them on campus and 16% off-campus (practicums, arranged, supervision). The remaining courses are being offered virtually.
9. Will there be plexiglass partitions installed between desks in the classrooms?
No, we won’t install plexiglass barriers because they do not prevent the risk of transmission.
10. Will in-person lectures be recorded?
Currently there is no campus-wide plan to record in-person courses, but individual faculty may choose to record their own Zoom-based online or hybrid lectures.
11. Where can I get support for technology resources (computers, internet, software)?
12. Is the Henry Madden Library open?
Summer 2021: The Madden Library is open with limited in-person services for students and faculty and provides limited individual study spaces in accordance with state and local public health guidelines. Materials requested online through our OneSearch feature, Tech Lending or Interlibrary Loan can be picked up and checked out through the Service Desk. Research appointments are limited. The Madden Library offers virtual services with librarians at the Virtual Desk from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can contact a Fresno State librarian via chat reference, by phone 559.278.2551 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, there is access to The Service Desk and DISCOVERe Hub.
Fall 2021 - the library will be open with full services.
13. When will the University Student Union and Student Recreation Center reopen?
These facilities will remain closed for the summer and will reopen in the fall.
14. Are the residence halls and dining hall open in fall 2021?
They will be open for fall 2021. For more information, see Student Housing.
15. How often do students need to be tested for the virus?
For students who seek either a medical or religious vaccine exemption, the University will require mandatory, regular COVID-19 testing beginning the week of Aug. 23. We will provide more details soon about the frequency and campus location for the COVID-19 tests that will be required for unvaccinated students.
For non-vaccinated students living in the residence halls, bi-weekly testing at the Student Health and Counseling Center will be required.
16. How are you going to trace and contact students if someone has been on campus, in offices, in classrooms with COVID-19?
Fresno State follows the guidance of local, state and federal public health agencies when addressing confirmed coronavirus cases among its students, faculty and staff. The University is in regular contact with the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH), and has protocols in place with them to ensure quick and decisive communication and action as needed.
Please fill out this COVID-19 Reporting Form if you are:
- A student living on campus, authorized to be on campus and/or participating in campus-sponsored off-campus experiential learning (such as: service learning, internships and practicums).
- AND you either test positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or you suspect to have COVID-19, or if you are feeling ill. (As a reminder, your health information is confidential.)
17. Will tuition and student fees change for fall 2021?
The CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees have determined that there will not be a fee increase in the academic year 2021-22.
18. What campus resources are available for students?
Support is available through the Student Health and Counseling Center, Project Hope, Student Cupboard, and Good Samaritan Fund. Please visit the Student Resources page for a complete list of student, academic, technology and library support services. Also remember to check your email messages.
19. What are the options for students who do not want to go back in person because they do not feel comfortable going back in person?
Students have the option to register for courses if offered virtually. If there are no longer any virtual sections available, students should reach out to their department chair or advisor to discuss options.
20. What is our campus doing for the mental health perspective for our students?
Support is available through the Student Health and Counseling Center. Please visit the Student Resources page for a complete list of student support services.
In spring 2021, President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval created the Alegría Mental Health Task Force. The task force is examining current mental health services available to our students, faculty and staff in order to develop recommendations on how we can expand and enhance the mental health and well-being of our campus community.
ASI also has a student led Mental Health Task Force. For additional information on this, please contact email@example.com.
21. Will the SCOUT program be reinstated soon?
Yes, the SCOUT program will be available in fall 2021.
22. Is there information from the International Office as to how we can advise students who have questions about their fall 2021 enrollment particularly if there are visa delays?
New international students who have a visa delay and are not able to come to the U.S. in fall 2021 should reach out to the International Office. Students may reach out to the International Office before their trip to the U.S. so that the International Office may check their F-1 status in the system and make sure students have updated F-1 I-20 for their entry into the U.S. Contact the International Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 559.278.2782.
Guidance for Faculty
23. If a student is ill, can faculty ask her/him to leave the classroom?
No. Please refer ill students to the Student Health and Counseling Center.
24. Do faculty need to take the student’s temperature each class session?
No. that is not necessary.
25. How should faculty handle an unruly student who does not want to adhere to the rules? Can faculty ask the student to learn online?
If this type of behavior occurs, the faculty should first ask the student to follow safety procedures (e.g. wearing of a facial mask). If the student refuses, the faculty can ask the student to leave. If the student refuses again, the faculty can call security and report the incident to the dean of students.
26. Will the University provide faculty with COVID rules for the classroom that can be included in the syllabus?
The Fall syllabus template is being updated, and will be linked here soon.
27. If students in a lab are all vaccinated, does that affect protocols in the lab with respect to occupancy?
Physical distancing is no longer required. Students are still required to wear face coverings.
28. What supplies will be available in every classroom and laboratory?
A wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser will be installed in every classroom and lab, and our custodians will refill them as needed. These have also been installed at building entries, stairwells, elevators and athletic facilities. In addition, disinfectant kits will be provided that include the following items:
- A spray bottle with disinfectant
- A package of single fold towels
- A box of gloves
- Disposable facial masks
29. Can students travel on field trips and use vans?
Yes, they will be able to travel on field trips.
30. Will in-person lectures be recorded?
Currently there is no campus-wide plan to record in-person courses, but individual faculty may choose to record their own Zoom-based online or hybrid lectures.
31. I would like to know the detailed social distancing plan and other protocols for the in-person and hybrid lectures.
As of June 17, physical distancing is not required. Face coverings are required for students and employees at this time.
32. If health concerns or other issues regarding the virus (e.g. local outbreak) require change from in-person mode to hybrid or virtual during the semester, is there an expectation that all courses need to be developed as if they would need to be taught virtually? The effort and approaches are completely different.
If we receive public health guidelines that in-person classes must be turned to virtual delivery, we will follow the same procedures we followed in spring 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021, when most courses were offered virtually. We are offering faculty development in summer 2021 to support hyflex teaching.
33. Will the APM on office hours continue to be set aside allowing us to have virtual office hours?
Yes. The Academic Senate has extended the exceptions to these policies.
34. Will faculty be informed if any students in their classes have not obtained the vaccine due to some exemption (without names)?
No, this is confidential medical information.
35. Regardless of whether faculty can be informed of unvaccinated students in in-person classes: if the vaccine becomes required, and students have an exemption, will they be allowed to attend in-person classes, or will they have to pursue an alternative instructional approach (e.g. virtual)?
Yes, unvaccinated students will be allowed to attend in-person classes and will be required to wear a face covering.
36. How will it be handled when a clinical site demands a COVID-19 vaccine, but the student has sought a waiver?
Please consult with your department chair and the Student Health and Counseling Center to discuss options for the student.
37. If vaccinated faculty are expected to wear masks for the duration of class, will we have sound amplification available (i.e. microphones)? It will be hard to project and enunciate clearly even in a small classroom with a mask on.
Please contact classroom services if additional sound amplification is needed in your classroom.
Guidance for Faculty and Staff
38. Do I have to get a COVID-19 vaccination in order to return to work?
On July 27, the California State University (CSU) announced that faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities will be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus unless they seek an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Fresno State is in full support of the Chancellor's decision to prioritize the health and safety of our campus community, and we urge all unvaccinated members of our university to begin the vaccination process without delay. Fresno State employees will be required to certify vaccination by Sept. 30, 2021.
Read this July 28 message for more information.
39. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination on campus?
40. When do staff have to report to work on campus?
As stated in the May 12 email from President Jiménez-Sandoval, the following is the phased repopulation timeline for our staff in order to help ensure that we are ready for the fall semester:
- July 12, staff will be asked to return to campus a minimum of three (3) days per week.
- August 9, staff will be expected to return to campus full-time.
Flexibility and accommodations:
- Staff who are unable to return to campus due to school and/or daycare closures over the summer may make arrangements with their supervising manager to return full-time when K-8 schools reopen in the fall.
- Staff who are unable to return to campus due to health-related concerns may contact Human Resources at 559.278.2032 to request an ADA Job Accommodation (self) and/or Leave of Absence (self/family).
Staff are welcome to return to campus earlier than July 12 by coordinating with their supervising manager to ensure their work environment meets all the CDC and Cal-OSHA guidelines and that applicable re-entry training has been completed. Also, some departments may ask their staff to return to campus earlier than July 12 due to operational needs. In these cases, staff will be provided with advance notice in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
41. Can staff continue to telecommute in fall 2021?
Discussions regarding telecommuting may be considered after the fall 2021 repopulation. Staff may discuss this option with their immediate supervisor who will then consult with their Division Vice President. This is an operational decision and we also need to ensure equity amongst our work groups.
42. Am I required to wear a facial covering, even if I am fully immunized?
As stated in the June 21 email to faculty and staff, face coverings will continue to be required for all employees while working indoors until the campus implements the Cal-OSHA vaccination documentation process in conjunction with systemwide MOUs with our bargaining units.
Face coverings for employees:
- Must be worn indoors at all times, unless in a private enclosed office with the door closed, or when eating or drinking and maintaining six feet of physical distancing whenever possible.
- Should be worn outdoors at all times where six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Employees who would like to request a face shield with a drape, or an N95 respirator to wear voluntarily (vaccinated or not), please refer to our online process link.
43. Can staff and/or faculty wear a face shield or N95 respirator as their face covering?
Faculty and staff (vaccinated or not) may wear a face shield if it is equipped with a drape, and N95 respirators can be worn voluntarily. These items are available at no cost to the individual or department. A request for a face shield and/or N95 respirator must be submitted by each individual who will be using the item. Please use this online form to submit a supply request.
44. What COVID-19 related supplies are available through our campus Warehouse? Will departments be charged for these items?
We have a variety of the most-commonly used supplies available at no cost to your department (these items are funded by federal HEERF institutional funding):
- Disposable surgical masks (blue)
- Quart bottles of hand sanitizer
- 8-ounce bottles of Purell hand sanitizer
- Clorox disposable wipes
Note: Face shields and N95 respirators are items that must be requested by the individual who will be using the item. Individuals should use this online form to submit a supply request.
45. How often do employees need to be tested for the virus?
No official decision has been made yet about the frequency of required COVID-19 testing.
46. For employees who have been telecommuting, do they need to return their ergonomic chair, technology equipment and other supplies?
Ergonomic task chairs purchased through Procurement do not need to be returned. Employees should check with their IT Liaison regarding the return of technology equipment. Any other items should be reviewed with the employee's manager.
47. What can employees do if their colleagues or students are not following the requirement to wear face coverings and don’t feel comfortable approaching them about this?
Employees can submit a concern here for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety who will follow up with employees that are not complying with this requirement.
48. What do employees do if we become ill or need to stay home to care for a family member who is sick?
Please fill out this COVID-19 Reporting Form if you are:
- An employee (State or auxiliary, including student assistants) working on campus or at an off-campus affiliated location (either full-time or intermittently).
- AND if you either test positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or you suspect to have COVID-19, or if you are feeling ill. (As a reminder, your health information is confidential.)
49. What are the possibilities of leave related to COVID-19?
If you need to stay home to care for a family member, you may use sick time through normal sick leave and Family Medical Leave (FML) procedures. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed SB 95, which provides 80 hours of COVID-related leave for employees through September 2021. In addition, CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro has approved an additional 48 hours for a total of 128 hours through December 2021 for full-time (State) employees. These benefits went into effect on March 29, 2021 for non-represented employees and will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.
CSU Systemwide HR continues to engage in the meet-and-confer process with Unit 3 represented by the California Faculty Association, with the goal of making the expanded leave benefit available to faculty systemwide. If you have any questions, managers and staff may contact Human Resources at 559.278.2032 and faculty may contact Faculty Affairs at 559.278.3027.
50. Can we resume travel for University-related business?
Restrictions previously placed on system-wide travel were lifted on June 1, 2021. The CSU has advised that campuses may begin to consider international travel, including faculty research activity and student study abroad. The Cabinet has determined that travel related to academic success, professional development and the benefit of the University will be considered. All travel requests for Academic Year 2021-22 will need to be pre-approved by the appropriate Vice President (this excludes travel associated with a sponsored program managed through the Fresno State Foundation. For Foundation-related travel, please refer to updates here).
51. How do we re-apply for a parking permit?
Employees can request reactivation of the payroll deduction for a parking permit by contacting Traffic Operations via email: email@example.com. Please include your full name and Fresno State ID number to reactivate payroll deductions.
52. If an employee has sniffles or a cough, can they telecommute until their symptoms (whether COVID-19 or other illness) are resolved?
If the employee has indicated they are not feeling well, the default should be that they take a sick day. Sick leave is a benefit and should be used so people can stay home and rest. If sick leave is exhausted, they can contact their Human Resources leaves coordinator to discuss a leave of absence.
If employees need to report a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case, they need to complete the COVID Reporting Form.
53. What if staff want to return to full time work on campus before Aug. 9, but their work space does not meet CDC or Cal-OSHA guidelines? Is there automatic approval to continue telecommuting?
Please contact Amy Luna (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule an appointment to evaluate the workspace and provide recommendations. After June 17, physical distancing and barriers are no longer required (except during outbreaks).
54. Is it possible to bring some employees back later than July 12?
As stated in the May 12 email from President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, the following is the phased repopulation timeline for our staff in order to help ensure that we are ready for the fall semester:
- July 12, staff will be asked to return to campus a minimum of three (3) days per week.
- Aug. 9, staff will be expected to return to campus full-time.
55. What is the process for employees who have child care concerns? How can they submit their request for an alternative work schedule?
As stated in the May 12 email from President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, all staff are expected to return to campus full time by Aug. 9. Staff who are unable to return to campus due to school and/or daycare closures over the summer may make arrangements with their supervising manager to return full-time when K-8 schools reopen in the fall.
Managers will need to check with Human Resources in regards to any request for an alternative work schedule after Aug. 9. We need to provide proper notice per the respective collective bargaining agreement.
56. What is the process for those staff who have a documented health-related concern, and want to request to continue to work remotely?
Staff should contact Kirsten Corey in Human Resources (email@example.com) to initiate a request for an ADA accommodation.
57. How long will it take for staff to be notified once they submit their request due to child care or health-related concerns?
Typically, you will receive notification from Human Resources after 14 days.
58. When employees return to campus, will they be required to meet with students face to face, and when will offices be open for student access?
All campus offices will be open on Aug. 9. Work stations and offices should have been evaluated by Amy Luna in advance to ensure the work environment meets all the CDC and Cal-OSHA guidelines. Physical distancing and plexiglass barriers are no longer required (except during outbreaks).
59. Are employees required to wear face coverings at their desks and common areas? How can they do things like eat their lunches?
Common areas will be open. Staff can eat their lunch in these areas or other areas they would regularly eat their lunch. Staff may remove their masks while eating, but must maintain six foot physical distance.
60. What are the expectations in terms of hiring student assistants for office support in the fall? Who should approve any hires and what should we consider as we make decisions about bringing back student assistants?
Department chairs or managers can approve hiring of student assistants to work on campus in the summer and fall. However, if your department was affected by layoffs and you have not backfilled the impacted staff position, please contact Marylou Mendoza-Miller or Natacha Thompson before you proceed with hiring a student assistant. We are not able to increase the level of student assistant support in departments that were impacted by layoffs.
61. If staff do not pass the current COVID-19 Daily Screening tool, do they have the flexibility to work from home that day or are they required to claim sick time?
If staff receive the red “X” when completing the daily screening tool, they need to complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form, contact their supervisor or Human Resources and claim sick leave or Expanded COVID-19 Paid Related Leave, if applicable.
62. Will staff be sent home by managers if they see symptoms?
Yes. Staff are expected to complete the COVID-19 Daily Screening tool prior to coming to campus, and to stay home if ill. If an employee develops symptoms after coming to campus, their manager should send the employee home. The employee should submit a COVID-19 Reporting Form and an Environmental Health and Safety case investigator will follow-up.
Public Health Response and Testing
63. Are there any confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus?
The University has been reporting the number of cases among the campus community who have tested positive while on campus during their infectious period. The website also includes communications about when the campus community has been notified about positive cases (building specific).
Consistent with the local public health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols for infectious disease response, anyone identified as being a close contact with these individuals will be notified if they need to quarantine or self-isolate. If appropriate, facilities will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected or temporarily closed.
Due to state privacy laws and federal HIPAA privacy rules, the University will not release any information involving private health care information.
64. Where can I get tested?
In an effort to protect the health and well-being of the campus community, the University continues to offer free, voluntary monthly COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff who are on campus. While the testing is voluntary, our University administration is strongly encouraging participation in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
65. Will the daily screening procedures still be in place in fall 2021?
With the lifting of state restrictions, our drive-through screening concluded on May 13. In the fall, we will ask students and employees who are coming to the campus to do a COVID-19 self-screening from home, using the Fresno State app. If an individual comes to a University location to learn or work in-person, including off-campus experiential learning sites, the individual effectively attests they've completed the health screening app from home, and have received the green checkmark. The green checkmark indicates, based on the answers provided, approval to come to campus.
66. What can students and employees do if other individuals are not following the requirements to wear facial coverings or other COVID-19 safety protocols and don’t feel comfortable approaching them about this?
Students and employees can submit a concern here for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to follow up with individuals not complying with requirements.
67. How does the campus clean and disinfect?
The University's custodial staff have implemented a cleaning protocol, including the use of disinfectants, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. We have added custodial staff who are dedicated to disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Here is a video that provides details.
Here are two messages of interest from our Interim President: Maintaining a clean and safe campus environment and Maintaining campus ventilation systems at the highest level.
The Facilities team has also taken recommended measures for the restrooms and the plumbing systems to further safeguard transmission. The exhaust fans have been checked and operate to run 24/7 providing consistent ventilation of the space. The hand dryers are disengaged and paper towel dispensers installed. The plumbing system at each building are flushed and the floor drains and traps are primed on a routine basis. The restrooms will be cleaned and stocked twice a day, following consistent restroom cleaning procedures. We utilize a commercial no-touch cleaning unit that pressure washes fixtures and wet-vacuum the floors at each cleaning cycle.
68. How should I clean and disinfect communal spaces?
As a recommended practice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, keyboards, light switches) with a disinfectant. Please avoid putting disinfectant gels or liquids on electronics and other equipment, including elevator buttons, unless they have been indicated as safe to use on those devices.
69. Are campus restaurants open?
Retail dining operations are not open during summer and will be open in the fall.
70. Will there be on-campus events in fall 2021?
Yes. Meetings and on-campus events no longer have a capacity limit unless they meet the State requirement for a mega event (greater than 5,000 indoors and 10,000 outdoors). We are still required to follow the health and safety guidelines that were communicated on June 21, 2021.
71. Is campus considered an open campus for fall 2021, allowing the public to visit and be on campus? Will campus buildings be open during business hours?
Yes, campus buildings will be open during regular business hours. The public is welcome, but will be asked to do a COVID-19 self-screening on our app before they come.
72. What is the status of athletic events in the fall?
Fresno State Athletics intends to host athletic competitions with spectators in attendance for all sports this coming fall. With the recent public health progress and positive trends in our community, the Department of Athletics is excited that it will be able to have fans at events once again, to the fullest extent allowed by the State of California and with continual guidance from the Fresno County Department of Public Health. Season tickets for football in fall 2021 are on sale now.