Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated on Sept. 23, 2021

These FAQs are intended to provide information about fall 2021 and other critical information for students, faculty and staff. The questions and answers will be updated as the situation changes or as more information becomes available. New questions and recently updated questions, followed by the date it was added or updated, are highlighted in blue. On Mondays, the questions revert back to black and a new week of updates begins if needed.  

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 (S)

S1. Is a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in order to return to classes on campus in fall 2021? (9/8/21) 

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. 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. As an exception to the vaccination requirement, individuals may submit a request for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons.

Read this July 27 message for more information about safeguarding student health.

S2. Why do we need a vaccine mandate?

A vaccine mandate is our best opportunity to create a secure space for everyone who works and studies on campus. This is especially important for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and those who live with young children and others who cannot yet be vaccinated. Additionally, we now know that the Delta variant is much more transmissible than earlier forms of the virus.  

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone will be required to wear face coverings indoors.

S3. If I am enrolled in only virtual/online courses in fall semester, will I still need to get vaccinated?

Students who only enroll in virtual/online courses in the fall are not required to provide proof of vaccination. However, these students will need to declare/attest on their Self-Certification form that they do not plan to access Campus/Programs, and that if their plans change, they will submit a revised Certification in advance of any such access. If students need to access any in-person support services, they will need to revise their Certification in advance of arriving to campus.

S4. Will students be required to prove that they are vaccinated?

Yes. Students need to complete a simple COVID-19 Self-Certification form that is available through their student portal. Students are required to upload a copy of their vaccine card, an electronic copy of their vaccine record, or another type of documentation that confirms their vaccination. A student may be excused from vaccine requirements if they attest to a medical or religious exemption. Any medical exemption must be verified by a certified or licensed healthcare professional.

S5. When is the deadline for students to submit proof of vaccination?

All students must have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, with documentation uploaded by Aug. 20. Students have until Sept. 30, 2021, to complete their certification with documentation of full vaccination (the second dose if they receive a two-dose vaccine).

S6. What happens if a student who is accessing campus does not meet the September deadline to submit proof of vaccination?

Students who do not complete certification with documentation of having received at least the first dose of a COVID vaccine by Aug. 20 will be contacted by Student Affairs. If students fail to comply by the Sept. 30 deadline, they will not be permitted to be on campus. 

S7. Can I get a vaccine exemption for religious or health reasons? (8/25/21)

The CSU COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy announced on July 27, 2021, allows for students to seek an exemption based on medical or religious reasons.

If a student submits a declaration for a religious exemption, they will not need to provide any supporting documentation at this time. If documentation is needed in the future, a personal statement from the student explaining the basis for the religious exemption will likely be required. The University does reserve the right to seek further documentation in any instance where there is significant evidence that a student has fraudulently requested the exemption.

If a student submits a declaration for a medical exemption they will need to upload documentation from a licensed healthcare professional.

Students seeking either a medical or religious exemption will need to attest to this on the Self-Certification which is an online form available through their My Fresno State student portal.

For students who seek either a medical or religious exemption, the University will require mandatory, weekly COVID-19 testing beginning Aug. 26. Additional information on the hours and campus location for the COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated students can be found here.

S8. 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. 

S9. How can Fresno State, a state and federally funded school, require its community members to get a vaccine that is not FDA approved?

The CSU system has joined many public and private universities around the country, including the University of California system, in adopting a vaccine mandate to protect the health of our communities. Due to the urgency of the situation, the CSU does not have to wait for full FDA approval to implement this requirement.

S10. Why should I get the vaccine?

  • To protect your personal health as well as that of others, including friends, loved ones, and your campus community. Getting immunized helps prevent serious illness, and even death, due to COVID-19.
  • It is safe, effective, free and convenient at upcoming campus clinics.
  • The vaccine helps to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading and replicating, which would allow it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines.*
  • The sooner we stop the spread of COVID-19, including the far more contagious Delta variant, the sooner we can all get back together on campus — for studying, enjoying campus events, cheering our fellow Bulldogs and working toward our future goals.

*Source: MayoClinic.org

S11. 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. 

S12. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination on campus?

The Student Health and Counseling Center in partnership with the School of Nursing will offer five (5) free vaccination clinics beginning Aug. 9. Free community resources are also available; find a clinic through MyTurn.ca.gov. Or schedule an appointment with your health care provider.

S13. Does requiring the Fresno State community to report vaccination status violate HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations?

Requesting that a student/employee provide documentation as to their vaccination status does not violate their privacy. The University will restrict access to this information to specific campus staff in Human Resources, Faculty Affairs and Environmental Health and Safety.

S14. Am I required to wear a mask, even if I am fully immunized?

Yes.

S15. Why do we need to wear a face covering in class or indoors on campus if we have been vaccinated? 

Due to the severity and highly contagious nature of the new Delta variant, the CDC recommends that vaccinated people wear masks indoors when there is substantial community transmission. At this point in time, Fresno County has substantial community transmission; therefore, it is recommended that we require everyone to wear masks in all indoor spaces, including classrooms.This may change when transmission rates decline, and/or should the CDC revise its recommendation.

S16. Where can students obtain masks?

The Student Health and Counseling Center has complimentary masks available for students.

S17. What happens if a faculty member refuses to wear a face covering in class?

Wearing face coverings indoors is not optional for students and employees. Concerns can be submitted via the University’s “Report a COVID-19 Concern” form for follow-up by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, regarding employees who are not complying with this requirement.

S18. What happens if a person (student/faculty/staff) has difficulty hearing when a speaker is masked?

The campus community will be required to wear face coverings in indoor spaces, including classrooms and laboratories. If a student has difficulty hearing/understanding a faculty member because of their face covering, the student should discuss this with the faculty member to determine options. Students with hearing disorders should contact Services for Students with Disabilities to discuss options for any accommodations needed.

S19. How many classes will be offered in-person? 

About 65% of our courses will be offered in-person, including off-campus (practicums, arranged, supervision). The remaining courses are being offered virtually or in a hybrid mode.

S20. 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. 

S21. 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. Please check your course syllabus.

S22. Will there be any alternatives to in-person classes? Can students choose to take a class online if it has been designated to be in-person?

Classes are taught in a variety of modalities in the fall semester, including fully online, virtual, hyflex, hybrid, and face-to-face. The modality of the class is listed in the schedule of classes in the student portal, and designated on the course syllabus. Each course will be offered in the modality listed only, and face-to-face classes will not have an online option. Students who have health concerns about specific courses are encouraged to discuss them with their advisors for options. Fresno State is not accredited to offer online degree programs, and some courses cannot be offered online. 

S23. Can students who are vaccinated, but prefer not to be in Fresno for the semester, request that an in-person class (or lab) be delivered to them virtually?

No, the instructor is only obligated to teach in the modality specified in the student portal and the course schedule.

S24. If a student is on campus for a face-to-face class, but also has a virtual class meeting the same day, where on campus can they go to participate in their virtual class meeting?

The Henry Madden Library provides spaces for taking Zoom classes in between in-person courses. The best option is for students to “Book a Study Room” on the library website. The library has individual and group study rooms available. The North wing study areas are collaborative, and could be used as well. Library Tech Lending has headphones and some other peripherals available to support virtual learning. Besides the library, many outdoor areas of our campus are Wi-Fi accessible. In addition, we are exploring other spaces that students can access while on campus. 

S25. If a class is not being offered in the modality scheduled, should the student report that? If so, to whom? 

Students should take such concerns to the chair of the department in which the course is offered. If the instructor is the department chair, they should take the concern to the College Dean. 

S26. Where can I get support for technology resources (computers, internet, software)?

Henry Madden Library Tech Lending desk and DISCOVERe are available to assist with technology resources.

S27. Is the Henry Madden Library open?

The Henry Madden Library reopened for students, faculty, staff and the community on Aug. 9. Visitors may browse the stacks and check out items from Tech Lending and circulation without a reservation. Some select services will continue to be limited until the start of instruction on Aug. 23, when the library returns to full operation.  

Masks are required in the building. Eating and drinking (aside from bottled water) are limited to the second floor Starbucks area, which is set up for social distancing. Many of the library’s virtual research services will continue online. See the library’s Services-At-A-Glance page for information about specific service points or the Services Overview page for more information. Please call 559.278.2551 to confirm the availability of services.

S28. When will the University Student Union and Student Recreation Center reopen?

The University Student Union and the Student Recreation Center reopened on Aug. 9. The facilities are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masks are required.

S29. Are the residence halls and dining hall open in fall 2021?

They will be open for fall 2021. For more information, see Student Housing.

S30. Will daily health screenings be required before coming to campus?

Daily health self-assessments using an online daily screening tool are required for anyone coming to campus. Individuals are approved to come to campus if they clear the health screening. Anyone with COVID symptoms will not be allowed on campus, and must follow the guidelines/protocols given by the assessment.

S31. How often do students need to be tested for the virus? (8/31/21)

For students with a medical or religious vaccine exemption, the University requires mandatory, regular COVID-19 testing beginning the week of Aug. 23. This mandatory testing (self-collected saliva PCR) is available in the Satellite Student Union at no cost. Days and times are subject to change. Test results will be available within 24 - 48 hours. 

For non-vaccinated students living in the residence halls, bi-weekly testing at the Student Health and Counseling Center will be required.

S32. 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.)

S33. What happens if I am exposed to someone with COVID, or if I test positive for COVID during the semester? (9/23/21)

Illness and exposures due to COVID-19 must be reported at: online reporting form. A case investigator from campus Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will contact you to provide guidance. Do not come to campus for any F2F activities until you have received clearance from an EHS case investigator. If you are asked to isolate or quarantine, you will be provided an email that can be forwarded to your instructors as needed. 

As of Sept. 13, if the individual who was potentially infectious was in a classroom environment and if we are unable to determine duration or proximity to others in the classroom, our EHS case investigators are notifying all students and the instructor (via email) in that particular class and also providing applicable guidance. 

S34. 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.

S35. 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.

S36. 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 asi-president@mail.fresnostate.edu. 

S37. Can student clubs and organizations resume their campus activities?

Yes, student clubs and organizations may hold activities. However, all established policies and procedures (such as masks indoors) must be followed.

S38. Will the SCOUT program be reinstated soon?

Yes, the SCOUT program will be available in fall 2021.

S39. 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 international@mail.fresnostate.edu or call 559.278.2782.

S40. Do students need to complete an online COVID-19 training in fall 2021? (8/31/21)

Yes, all fall 2021 students participating in in-person activities (such as: on-campus classes and research, use of the library, and participation in internships, service-learning, or practicums [on or off campus]) are required to complete the 10 minute online CSU - Student Safety On Campus During COVID-19 training.  

Click the link below to access the course in the CSU Bridge student learning platform. Login using your Fresno State student email credentials and then click LAUNCH to begin the course.

Use this link to access CSU - Student Safety on Campus During Covid-19 training.

Be sure to print out or take a screenshot of your completion certificate in case you are requested to show proof of training. The deadline to complete the course is Sept. 17, 2021.

If you have any questions about this training, email EHSRMSREQUEST@listserv.csufresno.edu

S41. If I am unvaccinated, or have had one shot of a two-shot vaccination series, and have COVID-19; how many days do I have to wait to get vaccinated? (8/31/21)

You can get the vaccine after you have been determined to be recovered by your healthcare provider, and are allowed to exit isolation, but no less than 14 days from the start of your COVID-19 illness. 

S42. If I recently had COVID-19, how long should I wait before I can get a COVID-19 test for the results to be accurate? (8/31/21)  

It will take approximately 90 days from the start of your COVID-19 illness for a test to indicate accurate results. Unvaccinated individuals who have had COVID-19 illness within the last 90 days may request a temporary exemption from testing. Please contact EHS case investigators to request a review at ehsrmsrequest@listserv.csufresno.edu.

Guidance for Faculty (F)

F1. If a student comes to a face-to-face class while feeling sick, thereby potentially exposing the whole class to illness, can the faculty member cancel class? Can the class move to a virtual modality? 

The instructor may discreetly ask the student to leave the class and contact the SHCC for guidance from a medical professional. If the instructor deems it appropriate, they can ask the student to follow the protocols for COVID exposure/illness, which include submitting a COVID report. If a faculty member is concerned about the health and safety of a class, they may cancel a class meeting or temporarily meet virtually. Faculty should contact both their department chair and Lisa Kao, Director of Environmental Health and Safety/Risk Management, at lisak@csufresno.edu for guidance on returning to face-to-face instruction. 

F2. Do faculty need to take the student’s temperature each class session?

No. That is not necessary.

F3. What happens if a student refuses to wear a face covering in class? When a student shows up in the classroom but refuses to wear a mask, what authority does the instructor have, and how should they handle such confrontations in general?

Instructors can remind the class that everyone must be masked. If compliance is not forthcoming, the instructor can ask the student to leave and report the incident as disruptive behavior to the Dean of Students. Guidance about how to handle this and other examples of disruptive classroom behavior is available here, and includes links to the Student Conduct Report Form that instructors may choose to utilize.

F4. Will the vaccine mandate and the face covering policy be in the syllabus template?

Yes. Updated policy language is included in the syllabus template.

F5. 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.

F6. As the new variants spread with greater efficiency, will social distancing requirements be imposed in classrooms and labs? If yes, how will that be managed when there is not enough space to accommodate such social distancing (especially in a lab)?

No, the California Department of Public Health no longer requires physical distancing. However, the wearing of face coverings indoors is required.

F7. 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

F8. Can students travel on field trips and use vans?

Yes, they will be able to travel on field trips. 

F9. Are we allowed to take students to competitions that involve traveling?

Faculty need to apply for travel and obtain approval after review by the Office of the Provost based on current public health guidelines and CSU and CDC travel guidelines.

F10. 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.

F11. 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.

F12. 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.

F13. 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.

F14. If a student asks a professor for a religious or medical exemption, what should the professor do? To which office should the instructor refer the student to for this request/question?

Instructors should direct students to the student portal, where students may submit their certification form and find guidance on how to submit an exemption request.

F15. Will faculty be informed if any students in their classes have been granted an exemption to the vaccine mandate?

No. This will be treated as confidential health information. Student Affairs will deal with exemptions and with non-compliance. 

no

F16. When a student requests a vaccination exemption, but still wants to attend a face-to-face course, does the instructor have the authority to deny their enrollment?

No. Students with approved exemptions can attend face-to-face classes. Instructors will not have individual student vaccination status reports. Students are required to provide a Certification in accordance with campus procedures by no later than Sept 30, 2021. 

F17. If students have a valid medical exemption from vaccination, must accommodations be made for them in face-to-face courses with mandatory attendance?

No accommodations are made for such students. Students with a certified valid medical exemption are allowed to attend in-person classes. Any student with a medical or religious exemption will be required to have a weekly COVID test (at no cost). 

F18. 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.

F19. Are instructors able to make attendance mandatory in face-to-face classes?

Yes. Attendance requirements are governed by existing policy and have not changed for the fall 2021 semester. 

F20. 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.

F21. Are faculty required to wear a face covering during an in-person class/lab?

Yes. All students and faculty, vaccinated and unvaccinated, will be required to wear face coverings while in classrooms and laboratories. Faculty have the option to request a face shield with a drape at no cost, using this Request Form.

F22. If someone wears a face shield, will they also need to wear a facemask? 

No. A face shield with a drape can be worn in lieu of a facemask.

F23. Will there be microphones in large lecture rooms for instructors, since they must remain masked while lecturing?

The campus is working to provide microphone options for instructors teaching in large classrooms. A process for instructors to request microphones for the Fall 2021 semester will be available soon.

F24. What happens if a student reports to an instructor that they have been exposed to or have tested positive for COVID19? (9/23/21) 

Instructors should direct the student to submit an online reporting form which can be found on the Fall Repopulation/COVID-10 webpage, or the instructor may choose to submit an online report on behalf of the student. A case investigator from campus Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will contact the student to provide guidance, and determine if there have been any close contacts (i.e. within 6 ft. for over 15 minutes aggregate within a 24 hour period), and determine the need and arrange for special cleaning and/or room closures.

As of Sept. 13, if the individual who was potentially infectious was in a classroom environment and if we are unable to determine duration or proximity to others in the classroom, our EHS case investigators are notifying all students and the instructor (via email) in that particular class and also providing applicable guidance. 

If the student is asked by EHS to isolate or quarantine, the student will be provided an email that the student can forward to instructors as needed. If the student needs to be absent, the APM 232 is the guiding policy for handling such absences.

F25. For in-person classes, will there be class-specific contact-tracing for students who test positive for COVID during the semester?

The university follows up on all notifications made through the online campus reporting process. A case manager from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety will follow up and conduct appropriate contact-tracing, and guidance will be provided to students in regards to quarantine or isolation, depending upon their vaccination status. 

F26. Will community guests have to wear face coverings when indoors?

Yes. Fresno State requires that all individuals who access the campus wear a face covering in indoor spaces. Face coverings are optional at outdoor events and may be removed briefly when eating and drinking indoors while keeping a distance of 6 feet from others. 

Guidance for Faculty and Staff (FS)

FS1. 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.

FS2. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination on campus?

The Student Health and Counseling Center in partnership with the Nursing Department will offer five (5) free vaccination clinics beginning Aug. 9. Free community resources are also available; find a clinic through MyTurn.ca.gov. Or schedule an appointment with your health care provider.

FS3. 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.
  • Aug. 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).

FS4. 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.

FS5. 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.

Read this July 21 message for guidance around instructional and research activities for fall.

FS6. 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.

FS7. 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

FS8. What is the COVID-19 mandatory testing program for employees? (9/1/21)

The mandatory testing program applies to all employees, including managers, staff and faculty in accordance with CSU systemwide Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs).

  • Employees who are fully vaccinated and who have voluntarily provided proof of vaccination will not be required to do weekly testing.  
  • As outlined in the Aug. 27 message, all employees who did not complete their Self-Certification form by Aug. 29 (including proof of vaccination) in My Fresno State portal will receive a weekly email about mandatory weekly testing. Employees can upload their proof of vaccination at any time in order to opt-out of the mandatory testing program.

Regardless of vaccination status, no employee is required under this employee testing program to provide proof of vaccination. However, employees who do not provide proof of vaccination will be considered unvaccinated and will be required to comply with the mandatory weekly testing.

Employees will be allowed to do their COVID-19 test during work hours and paid accordingly. These weekly tests are being provided by a third-party provider at no cost to employees. For location and times, please visit the COVID-19 Testing section of the University COVID-19 website.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Human Resources at 559.278.2032.

FS9. 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. 

FS10. 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.

FS11. 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.)

FS12. 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.

FS13. 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).

FS14. 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: transportation@mail.fresnostate.edu. Please include your full name and Fresno State ID number to reactivate payroll deductions.

FS15. 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.  

FS16. 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.  

FS17. 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 (kirstenc@csufresno.edu) to initiate a request for an ADA accommodation.  

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FS18. 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. 

FS19. 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).

FS20. 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.

FS21. 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.  

FS22. 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.    

FS23. 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.  

FS24. Can fully vaccinated employees use the on-campus COVID-19 testing site? (9/1/21)

Given the expected volume of testing required for unvaccinated students and employees, currently we are not offering voluntary testing for vaccinated individuals unless someone is identified by EH&S/RM as a close contact while on campus. We will reassess after Sept. 30 once the volume is more manageable. Vaccinated employees can be tested at an off-campus location.

Public Health Response and Testing (P)

P1. 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.

P2. Where can I get tested? (9/1/21)

Students, ​​faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated or have submitted a vaccine exemption, are required to complete mandatory, weekly COVID-19 testing. This mandatory testing (self-collected saliva PCR) is available in the Satellite Student Union at no cost. Visit the COVID-19 Testing page for hours and dates.

Vaccinated employees can be tested at an off-campus location.

P3. 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. 

P4. I was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Why does the university not accept antibodies or an antibody test as an option in lieu of vaccination? (9/23/21) 

A positive antibody test does not necessarily mean you are immune from SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it is not known whether having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will protect you from getting infected again.

General Information (G)

G1. 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.

G2. 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: 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.

G3. 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.

G4. Are campus restaurants open? (8/24/21)

University Dining Services will re-open many of its operations for the fall semester. The following retail dining operations will be open by Aug. 16: Starbucks (Madden Library), Taco Bell and The Bucket (University Center), Panda Express and Subway (USU Food Court), Juice it Up (USU Snack Bar), University Dining Hall and select Paws-N-Go locations. More information on hours of operation and menu items can be found here.

G5. 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.

G6. 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. 

G7. 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.