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Frequently Asked Questions
Sacramento State leaders continue to work with health experts, public officials, and the California State University to gather and share the most current information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), best safety practices, and current and potential impact on the University. The following questions and answers reflect the latest information available on the status of classes and other important issues at Sac State, as well as how to deal with health issues associated with the virus.
This section will be updated as new information becomes available.
For questions pertaining to:
- Classes and Campus Operations
- Sacramento State Faculty and Staff
- Health, Safety, and Wellness
Classes and Campus Operations
Q: Is Sacramento State going to close the campus?
Sacramento State is open, but most campus buildings and facilities have closed until the pandemic crisis eases. This includes significant campus buildings such as the University Union, the recreation side of The WELL, the University Library, the Academic Information Resource Center, and the ASI Children’s Center. Currently, only Student Health and Counseling Services, Lassen Hall, and limited residence halls remain open.
The University transitioned all courses to online delivery for the spring semester, and the University staff has transitioned to virtual operations wherever possible through Aug. 21, 2020. (Please see the Academic Continuity web page for details.) We are following the guidance of the CSU Chancellor's Office, the Sacramento County Public Health Department, and the California Department of Public Health.
In addition, persons aged 65 and older, as well as those whose health makes them vulnerable to COVID-19, have been asked to self-isolate and not come to campus, in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom's directive of March 15, 2020.
Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 will take place May 20-23, 2021, at Golden 1 Center. A virtual graduation celebration will take place June 6, 2020, to honor the Class of 2020. For details, see the Commencement website.
In addition, Summer Session classes will be online. The first six-week session classes as well as the full 12-week session classes will begin May 26. Please visit www.csus.edu/summer for more details about the 2020 Summer Session. And no in-person events or group activities may take place on campus or at Sacramento State Downtown through the end of Summer Session, Aug. 14, 2020.
In accordance with direction from the CSU Chancellor's Office, Sacramento State and other CSU campuses are making plans for most courses to be taught virtually in Fall 2020. Limited exceptions will be made for classes that cannot be taught virtually.
Q: Are classes cancelled?
Classes have not been cancelled, but all classes have been moved to virtual instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester and for Summer Session. Most classes will be online in the Fall 2020 semester. Students with questions about classes, assignments, and other academic issues should contact their professor, department chair, and/or dean.
Q: How will I know if classes are cancelled or if campus is closed?
Employees and students are first notified of closures or other emergencies through the Emergency Notification System (ENS). If the campus is closed or classes are cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19), an ENS message will be sent out along with information via email. Information also will be shared on our social media platforms and on the University website.
Q: Can I get a refund of my mandatory student fees (the Union/WELL, intercollegiate athletics, etc.)?
While we offer refunds for services such as on-campus housing and parking, we are not able to refund mandatory student fees (like those that continue financial support for operations, facilities, and employees at the Union/WELL) due to California State University system policy. You can find the CSU policy here: https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/7826195/latest/. If you have additional questions about the policy, please email email@example.com.
Since classes are still continuing, at this time there are no tuition refunds for the spring semester.
Sacramento State Faculty and Staff
Q: I am a faculty member with questions about course instruction and academic continuity. Where can I go for more information?
Information about academic continuity during a campus disruption can be found at https://www.csus.edu/academic-affairs/academic-continuity/.
Q: I am a Sac State employee, and my co-workers and I have questions about work issues related to COVID-19. Where can I go for information?
Employees will find Employee-Specific FAQs on the Human Resources website. In addition, employees can call (916) 278-2888 with COVID-19-related HR questions.
Q: How long should we expect to work remotely?
We anticipate that virtual operations and telecommuting will need to continue at least through the end of the spring semester, May 20, 2020.
Health, Safety, and Wellness
Q: Where can I find information about Student Health and Counseling Services?
You can find information about Student Health and Counseling Services at https://www.csus.edu/student-life/health-counseling/.
Q: What do I do if I am sick?
All employees and students should stay home if they are sick. Notify your professor or your manager if you will miss school or work. Students can access medical and mental health care at Student Health and Counseling Services. A 24-Hour Nurse Advice line is available at (916) 278-6461. Employees should contact their healthcare provider if they require medical attention.
Q: What medical services are available for students?
Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) is available to students Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Many routine primary-care medical services are now available using our confidential telemedicine and Zoom appointment technology. In-person urgent care appointments also are available for students who are sick or injured. All students are asked to call (916) 278-6461 before coming in.
If a student is not currently in the Sacramento area, a medical visit conducted via telemedicine is a great option. Students also may contact their medical provider or request medication refills in the SHCS pharmacy by using the patient portal on our website at https://www.csus.edu/student-life/health-counseling/. The after-hours advice line is available when SHCS is closed by calling (916) 278-6461.
How do students access counseling services?
Individual counseling and urgent care services are available. At this time, SHCS is conducting a limited number of onsite appointments for students who healthy and not appropriate for telehealth. The majority of services have moved to telehealth.
All students are asked to call (916) 278-6461to be connected to a triage counselor who will assess what services are needed and help them secure those services. Urgent care is still available on a walk-in basis as usual. All students coming to SHCS for any service will receive a wellness screening before their visit.
Q: What mental health resources are available to employees?
Sacramento State employees and their family members have access to mental health services and other services through the Employee Assistance Program. Employees and family members in need of helpful guidance, counseling, referral to local resources, or reliable professional care may contact LifeMatters by Empathia services 24/7 telephone assessment/counseling at (800) 367-7474 (TDD/TTY: 877-307-2812) (password: SacState), or access information and resources online at www.mylifematters.com. All employees, their dependents (including dependent children not residing with the parent) and other family members living in the employee's home are eligible for services and may contact LifeMatters directly.
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may be mild or severe, and can include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. At this time, more than 80 percent of confirmed cases have been mild. (source)
Q: What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?
You should self-isolate at home and contact your healthcare provider. Notify them that you suspect COVID-19 and ask what precautions should be taken before you arrive for any appointments. Inform your professors or manager that you will be missing class and/or work. Follow the advice of your healthcare provider regarding staying at home.
Q: Should I self-quarantine if I believe I have had contact with someone who may have COVID-19?
Sacramento County Public Health has issued the following recommendations for any student, staff, or faculty member who may have been exposed to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19:
- Self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days:
- Check for fever (temperature 100.4 degrees or higher two times/day)
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- If you become sick, self-isolate at home. Contact your supervisor to let them know you will not be working. Many illnesses, including the coronavirus, do not need a doctor’s care. You should self-isolate at home until cough, fever, and respiratory symptoms are gone for at least three full days, or for seven days from when the symptoms first started, whichever is the longer period.
- If the illness is severe, call your personal healthcare provider or the Student Health and Counseling Services nurse advice line at (916) 278-6461. Do not go directly to urgent care or emergency department without calling first. This will allow them to prepare for you and provide you with guidance. To avoid overwhelming an already busy hospital, do not call 911 or go to an emergency department unless you are having severe symptoms.
- Testing for COVID-19 is being done only on symptomatic individuals.
- Anyone who lives with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days.
- It is especially important to self-isolate from anyone ages 65 and older or with a chronic health condition (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.), or who has a weakened immune system. These individuals are particularly vulnerable and at high risk for complications due to the COVID-19 virus.
Q: What if I feel that I am being treated unfairly or being discriminated against or harassed in connection with COVID-19?
Sacramento State is a welcoming and inclusive community and does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. (Please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site on knowing the facts about COVID-19 and helping stop the spread of rumors and bias.)
Students, faculty, and staff who feel they are being treated unfairly should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the Vice President of Inclusive Excellence at email@example.com. The University also provides counseling services for students through Student Health and Counseling Services.
Updated: May 14, 2020, 11:30 a.m.
More Information For:
Additional ResourcesFor Employees:
- Call (916) 278-2888 with COVID-19 related HR questions
- Remote Work Preparedness for Employees
- Zoom Security Essentials
- HEERF Emergency Grants for students
- Grading Choice Options for Students
- Remote Learning for Students
- Interim CSU Refund Policies for Tuition and Fees
- Operational Updates on Services from Associated Students Inc.
- Information on Affordable Internet Service
- Updates on Athletics Cancellations
- Information on CSU Response to Coronavirus
- Sacramento County: Community Resources
- State of California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
President Robert S. Nelsen sends a message to the campus community about a semester like no other.
Messages from President Robert S. Nelsen
- May 12, 2020 - "Most Fall 2020 classes will be taught virtually"
- May 7, 2020 - "Remote operations will continue through Aug. 21"
- May 4, 2020 - "Travel suspension extended through July 31"
- April 30, 2020 - "CARES Act and HEERF Emergency Grants for students"
- April 16, 2020 - "Join us in June to celebrate 2020 graduates virtually"
- April 13, 2020 - "No in-person events through the end of Summer Session"
- April 6, 2020 - "Come together virtually for Out of the Darkness walk"
- April 1, 2020 - "Despite the COVID-19 crisis, be sure to fill out the 2020 Census"
- March 30, 2020 - "Telecommuting will continue through the end of the spring semester"
- March 29, 2020 - "All Summer Session classes will be online"
- March 25, 2020 - "Two interim deans and interim VP will remain in their positions"
- March 24, 2020 - "A marked slowdown in our hiring practices"
- March 19, 2020 - "All face-to-face instruction will be suspended"
- March 17, 2020 - "Commencement ceremonies have been postponed"
- March 17, 2020 - "New directives from the CSU regarding COVID-19 response"
- March 15, 2020 - "All persons aged 65 and older are asked to self-isolate and not come to campus"
- March 15, 2020 - "Sacramento State will transition to virtual operations in all feasible areas of the University"
- March 12, 2020 - "We will be transitioning courses to online delivery for the remainder of the spring semester"
- March 11, 2020 - "All in-person events must be cancelled, postponed, or moved to a virtual format"
- March 10, 2020 - "Instructors can shift course content to a non-face-to-face setting"
- March 10, 2020 - "Sac State is evaluating scheduled events and meetings"
- March 10, 2020 - "CSU is suspending international, non-essential domestic travel"
- March 8, 2020 - "Sacramento State will remain open for the time being"
- March 6, 2020 - "Sac State is proactive amid concern about COVID-19"
- Feb. 28, 2020 - "No one at Sacramento State has tested positive for COVID-19"/a>
- Feb. 24, 2020 - "Sac State is taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus"
- Jan. 29, 2020 - "We are actively monitoring the coronavirus crisis"
Ron Lutz, counseling director for Sacramento State's Student Health and Counseling Services, discusses ways to approach the COVID-19 crisis with mindfulness and an emphasis on self-care.
The best way to stay healthy is to avoid exposure. On campus, Student Health and Counseling Services will remain open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following measures help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses (source):
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as keyboards and shared desktops and tabletops, using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfectant wipes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. (But always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. More information is available from the California Department of Public Health.