Health & Safety in the Classroom, Studio & Lab
SF State follows public health guidance put forth by Cal/OSHA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Visit the Health & Safety page on this site to learn about the safety protocols you can follow to keep our community healthy and safe, and the safety measures SF State is taking to keep you healthy and safe.
SF State's indoor face covering requirement remains in place when the County’s community level is medium or high. Read the latest communications.
KN95 masks are widely available for students, faculty, staff, and administrators coming to campus. State and local guidance has changed but SF State’s requirement has not changed. The CDC recommends the use of well-fitting face coverings such as N95 and KN95 masks. SF State has an ample supply to provide each student and each employee coming to campus with a KN95 mask if needed. SF State also has ample supplies of surgical masks for double masking. Buildings are well-stocked with masks and PPE coordinators can provide masks upon request. KN95 masks are also available at the Cesar Chavez Student Center Information Desk.
Exceptions: Individuals with medical documentation stating they cannot wear a multi-layered face covering should contact Disability Programs & Resource Center (DPRC) to discuss reasonable accommodations. A very small number of courses have been identified on the class schedule as being exempt from this policy (e.g. Swimming). All other courses must comply with this mask requirement.
Multi-layered face coverings are not required when: working alone in an indoor space with a door that can be closed; outside on campus; or eating indoors (where food and drink are allowed, which does not include a classroom, lab or studio).
For performers (musicians, singers, dancers, and actors), masks may be removed during active performances when performing individually and physically distanced from masked spectators, instructors, technicians, and other performers who are not actively performing. For groups of performers (more than one performer) masks may only be removed when a coordinating official (i.e. faculty instructor) has verified all performers have been fully vaccinated; groups of performers who are allowed to remove theirs masks must remain physically-distanced from masked spectators, instructors, technicians, and other performers who are not actively performing. Spectators, instructors, technicians, and performers not in active performance must remained masked while indoors. Performances include rehearsals and instruction led by an SF State faculty instructor.
Physical distancing requirements have been lifted by local and state agencies and Cal/OSHA regulations. Multilayered face coverings are required indoors when the County’s community level is medium or high. When food/drinks are involved indoors in spaces that allow food and drink (not classrooms, studios and labs), participants may temporarily remove their face coverings to eat or drink.
The University is providing personal protective equipment (PPE) items such as face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, plastic face shields and more. Appropriate PPE will be placed in instructional spaces, with more available by contacting the building coordinator. Faculty are encouraged to request the PPE on behalf of their students, and to have a few masks available to offer when needed. A list of PPE coordinators can be found in the Safety Measures section on the Campus Comeback Health & Safety page.
Individuals who have received an exemption for health or religious reasons, or who work in a position that does not require vaccination, will undergo weekly testing on campus. For the small number of people who are unvaccinated and undergo regular testing, they may pick up a free-of-charge test kit from a vending machine housed in the Cesar Chavez Student Center during regular hours of operation. For more information, please refer to the Testing and Contact Tracing page on COVID-19 Self-Administered Test.
Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, via the Dean of Students office, monitors students who must be tested and Human Resources monitors employees who must be tested to ensure unvaccinated students and employees comply with weekly testing requirements. Failure to test results in direct communications with the student or employee.
Any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, or their designee, is asked to complete this form. Within 24-hours of a newly reported case, a “Notification of Potential Workplace Exposure to COVID-19" email, stripped of all personal information, is distributed to all faculty and staff members. This website is updated regularly with the latest SF State exposure notifications.
SF State has a contact tracing team who identifies those who may have been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19. CDC defines close contacts as anyone who shared the same indoor airspace, e.g., home, classroom, etc., for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during an infected person's (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) Infectious period. When the University is notified that an individual is COVID positive, a contact tracing team member will reach out to the individual and conduct an interview. The interviewer determines whether or not the individuals were infectious while on campus. Questions include locations the individual visited/stayed (buildings, room numbers, etc.) and may include possible close contacts. This information is compiled and then uploaded to the SF State COVID-19 Positive Exposure website COVID-19 Positive Exposure | Campus Comeback (sfsu.edu).
Accommodations & Leaves
Accommodations will be made for those infected with COVID-19, as well as for anyone determined to be in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, to ensure that they are not present on campus while they are or may be ill. If an instructor requires an extended absence, they should follow regularly established absence reporting procedures within their departments and colleges to ensure reasonable accommodations for the instructor and instructional continuity for the students. These accommodations may include, but are not limited to, participating in or teaching classes remotely, or taking leave until it is deemed safe for the individual to return. Employees, including instructors, should contact Human Resources if there are questions about what leave options may be available. Students should contact Dean on Call.
Visitors, including but not limited to guest speakers and contractors must comply with SF State’s health and safety protocols. Visitors may access the campus buildings during normal business hours. SF State's indoor face covering requirement remains in place when the County’s community level is medium or high. If individual visitors organize and/or participate in activities on campus, these activities are subject the campus Time, Place and Manner policy. The campus may also exercise its responsibility to control outdoor access.
COVID-19 Teaching Scenarios
Anyone who has tested positive will be required to isolate for 10 days. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators may return to campus and class prior to the 10 days if they test negative at least five days after initial positive test. Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 or who think they may be positive should contact their RA or Area Coordinator who will provide them guidance for isolating in the residential community.
If a student, faculty, staff, or administrator in face-to-face classes or operations tests positive, contact tracers will inform those who have been in close contact with the infected person of their potential exposure (as provided by the infected individual in a timely manner). CDC defines close contacts as anyone who shared the same indoor airspace, e.g., home, classroom, etc., for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during an infected person's (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) Infectious period.
Close contacts may continue their usual activities if they have no symptoms of COVID-19. While close contacts do not require quarantine, they must wear face coverings indoors for 10 days and monitor for symptoms. If they develop COVID-19 symptoms, get tested and stay at home until they receive a negative test result. The CDC and SFDPH now recommend getting tested 3-5 days after their close contact because the Omicron variant can sometimes infect fully vaccinated people.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is available and healthy hygiene and cleaning standards remain in place. SF State maintains an ample supply of general-use and specialty-use masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Facilities Services continues to clean common spaces with upmost care and consistency with CDC guidelines.
- Accommodations & Leaves: Accommodations will be made for those infected with COVID-19, as well as for anyone determined to be in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, to ensure that they are not present on campus while they are or may be ill. If an instructor requires an extended absence, they should follow regularly established absence reporting procedures within their departments and colleges to ensure reasonable accommodations for the instructor and instructional continuity for the students. These accommodations may include, but are not limited to, participating in or teaching classes remotely, or taking leave until it is deemed safe for the individual to return. Employees, including instructors, should contact Human Resources if there are questions about what leave options may be available. Students should contact Dean on Call.
- Resilient Teaching & Learning Plan: Instructors are encouraged to create their own Resilient Teaching & Learning syllabus statement that provides instructions and guidance to students on how, within reason, you plan to “keep teaching” and how they can plan to “keep learning” during periods of disruption, such as those caused by potential exposures to COVID-19. The academic senate’s online education policy gives faculty the latitude to move their class online up to a total of 15% of class time during a semester, as long as they inform the students and chair. More information is available on the Instructional Continuity Website.
Flexibility: Faculty will not be required to transition to remote instruction in the event of a positive case in their class. However, some students may not be comfortable remaining in class because of particular vulnerabilities and faculty should be prepared to accommodate such students, similar to the way in which faculty occasionally have to accommodate students who are ill and not attending class. In these situations, faculty are not expected to deliver course material in a multi-modal (HyFlex) fashion, and CEETL resources can support faculty in providing instruction for these students in a manner with minimal impact on faculty. Likewise, faculty may not feel comfortable continuing face to face interactions in the event of a positive case in their class. The academic senate’s online education policy gives faculty the latitude to move their class online up to a total of 15% of class time during a semester.
Student Showing Symptoms in Class
It is important for the campus community to be informed of all COVID-19 health & safety measures. Our community can only be Stronger Together when we all keep ourselves and each other safe. Here is what we suggest for a step-by-step protocol if an individual shows COVID symptoms in class. It is important to start with an educational and supportive approach:
1. If a student is showing visible symptoms, discretely approach the student, showing concern while maintaining social distance, and ask the student if they are feeling well.
2. Follow the response by stating, “I notice you are showing some symptoms (congestion, sneezing, etc.), have you completed the daily health screen?”
3. If the student affirms they have completed the health screen, then that means they have attested that the symptoms can be explained by another reason that is not COVID. You may kindly restate that they will not be penalized for staying home if not feeling well in the future.
4. If the student has not completed the health screen, kindly excuse the student to take the health screen and let them know that they may return if they have been able to attest "No" to all the questions.
5. If a student is demonstrating symptoms and refuses to complete the health screen, consider ending the class session or meeting.
6. In the unlikely case of a student showing up to class, demonstrating symptoms, and refusing to take the health screen, follow up on this incident with a report the student to Student Conduct for further action (please use the “Non-Academic Student Conduct” reporting form).
Student Conduct will follow-up on all reports received.
For more information on how SF State is monitoring non-compliance with health and safety protocols and how you can report non-compliance, visit the Health & Safety page.
Classroom Health & Safety Compliance
Class Rosters & Checking Student Vaccination Status
All students who intend to be on campus are required to upload proof of vaccination/booster or request a medical or religious exemption.
How will instructors know if a student has complied with the SF State vaccination policy?
Instructors will know that a student has complied with the vaccination policy and can remain in the classroom, studio or lab when the instructor can see one of these validations:
- All faculty members, including lecturer faculty, now have access to the Campus Solutions Advisor Center which updates the student vaccination/booster policy compliance status every 24 hours. The student compliance status is listed as a service indicator under the General Info tab, see screenshot below. For more detailed instructions on how to reach that level of information in the CS Advisor Center, download the "Checking Vaccination Status" PDF from the link below.
These guidelines were developed by colleagues at Chico State and are offered for your consideration:
Prior to the start of classes, faculty should consider doing the following:
- Reinforce the face covering requirement in any announcements or introductions that you send prior to the first meeting;
- Post a statement about the face covering requirement on your course in iLearn;
- Include a statement about the face covering requirement in the class syllabus (see section below for suggested Health & Safety Commitment syllabus language);
- Familiarize yourself with the Office of Student Conduct referral link and guidance on how to handle face covering-related disruptions:
On the first day of class, faculty should consider doing the following:
- Remind students about the CSU systemwide vaccination/booster policy and the face covering requirement;
- Inform students where they can get masks should they forget to bring one and offer one;
- Reiterate to students that the University has determined that face coverings are a safety requirement necessary to protect individual and public health, similar to other safety requirements in campus laboratories and similar facilities;
- Start instruction when everyone has a face covering.
It is important for the campus community to be informed of all COVID-19 health & safety measures. Our community can only be Stronger Together when we all keep ourselves and each other safe. Here is what we suggest for a step-by-step protocol if someone refuses to wear a mask or comply with other COVID-19 health & safety measures. It is important to start with an educational and supportive approach:
- Ask the student to wear a mask, explain why it is important to do so
- Offer the student a mask to put on, if available
- Ask the student to leave the classroom if they refuse
- Consider ending the class session or meeting if the student refuses to leave
- If a situation requires immediate attention due to a health or safety threat and/or emergency that cannot be addressed by the other reporting options above, the University Police Department should be contacted at (415) 338-2222. Please note that an individual not wearing a mask does not constitute a health or safety threat and/or emergency and does not warrant UPD involvement.
- Report the student to Student Conduct for further action – conduct.sfsu.edu (please use the “Non-Academic Student Conduct” reporting form). Student Conduct will follow-up on all reports received.
For more information on how SF State is monitoring non-compliance with health and safety protocols and how you can report non-compliance, visit the Health & Safety page.
Resilient & Inclusive Teaching Support
The events of the past few years have shown us the importance of planning for the unexpected, as a way to support our students but also to manage teaching workloads. Instructors are encouraged to consult the Instructional Continuity website to help you develop a resilient teaching plan.
CEETL is also offering a variety of faculty development programs and faculty learning communities to support you in your teaching.
In particular, CEETL's Teaching Through Transitions and Teaching New and Newly Returning Students are designed to help faculty learn additional teaching and time saving strategies to use during periods of disruption.
At a minimum, instructors are encouraged to set themselves and their students up for success before any disruption occurs by using iLearn, Canvas, and the SF State Syllabus tool to post contact information, course materials, and instructions for students on what to do in the event of a disruption. Be sure to prioritize asynchronous, low-bandwidth teaching and learning opportunities during disruptive moments.
The course syllabus is one of, if not the primary method for communicating information on class-specific policies that support the health, well-being and continued academic success of all students within a class. Consistent, proactive messaging is especially important to maintain instructional continuity during periods of disruption due to COVID-19 and other events that may run concurrent to the pandemic, such as personal illness or unhealthy air quality from wildfires.
The Academic Senate has approved an update to Syllabus Policy (SU21-292) which requires the following language to be included in iLearn banner sites, department webpages, and the syllabi of all courses and continuing as long as COVID-19 continues to impact the SF State community:
Health & Safety Commitments
Your health and safety are our paramount concern at SF State. We ask every member of our campus community to join a pledge to make and follow plans to keep fellow students, faculty, and staff safe and well. Feeling confident, safe and well will help you focus on your academic success. To participate in this class, all students are expected to:
- stay informed on the most up-to-date information related to SF State’s COVID-19 response and Campus Comeback plan
- plan ahead for possible class disruptions due to COVID-19 or other unexpected events, such as unhealthy air quality caused by smoke
- take care of yourself and others by staying home when you aren’t feeling well or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, and
- follow all required health and safety guidelines, including verifying your proof of vaccination or exemption status before coming to class; and wearing a multilayered mask over your nose and mouth at all times when indoors on campus; and wash your hands as often as possible (i.e. soap and water, hand sanitizer).
For more information about SF State’s response to COVID-19 and how you can keep yourself and others safe and well, visit the Campus Comeback Website.To plan for how you will maintain your academic success when unexpected events disrupt regular teaching and learning activities, follow the information on the course syllabus and consult the Keep Learning guide.
The Academic Senate has approved an update to Syllabus Policy (SU21-292) that requires, in addition to the above Health and Safety Commitment Syllabus Statement, that the course syllabus include contact information and instructions for students on ways to ensure instructional continuity during periods of disruption due to COVID-19 and other events that may run concurrent to the pandemic, such as personal illness or unhealthy air quality from wildfires.
CEETL encourages instructors to create their own resilient teaching syllabus statement that provides instructions and guidance to students on how you plan to “keep teaching” and how they can plan to “keep learning” during periods of disruption. Trauma-informed teaching emphasizes the need to provide students with choice and flexibility, since they did not have the choice to avoid the trauma they experienced.
The author of this article says that in these uncertain times, "what instructors do have control over is their policies and pedagogy, and making it possible to for everyone to succeed even in the case of disruption should be a central concern in planning for this semester." He suggests we ask these questions as we plan for the coming semester:
- Do I have an approach that allows students who must isolate, but are not incapacitated by illness, to continue to make progress in the course?
- Can students succeed in this course if they are incapacitated for a couple of weeks?
- Do I have attendance policies that empower students to make the best decision regarding caution over the virus? In other words, is there any chance that a sick student may choose to come to class for fear of being punitively affected?
- Do I have grading and makeup policies that reflect the likelihood of disruption?
- Do I have a plan for students continuing to learn if I, the instructor, get sick or must isolate because of exposure?
CEETL has prepared this suggested syllabus statement instructors may complete and adapt for their Fall 2022 course:
Resilient Teaching & Learning Plan
Our campus community is often called to demonstrate compassionate resiliency by adapting and responding to a number of unexpected events, or disruptions, such as personal illness or injury, the COVID-19 pandemic, or unhealthy air quality and power outages due to wildfires. A disruption is a situation that will prevent you, me, or the entire class from participating in 'class as usual' for a reason we could not have predicted at the beginning of the semester. Our goal as a learning community is to do our best to keep teaching and learning with as little interruption as possible, so here’s my plan to keep teaching in the event of a possible class disruption:
If I’m out:
- How I will communicate my absence:
- How I expect you to participate in my absence:
- Possible alternative assignments in my absence:
If you’re out:
- How you can communicate your absence:
- How you can keep pace with the course in your absence:
- Possible alternative assignments in your absence:
If the campus is closed:
- How I will communicate with students about next steps:
- How the course will change:
- Possible low-bandwidth assignments in case poor access:
For more information and to help you prepare to “Keep Learning,” visit the Instructional Continuity website.
The Instructional Continuity website provides a collection of resources on many topics that support teaching and learning during times of disruption and unforeseen events, including instructor planning guides on resilient teaching, teaching modalities, equity and inclusion, academic integrity, technology, and well-being.
Adapted from: In Case of Disruption Plan by CSU Channel Islands
Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA)
Supporting research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA) is part of our University’s commitment to academic excellence. Moreover, providing the vital opportunities for our faculty to engage in RSCA support our commitment to equity by promoting the professional development of historically underrepresented faculty. We know that when we support faculty, your successes translate to the academic successes of our students and their educational goals.
SF State is back to near full capacity for RSCA and masks must be worn at all times. For more information, please visit the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.