Dear USF Students and Families,
The University of San Francisco’s highest priority is — and will continue to be — the health, safety, and well-being of our community. As you know, we are committed to and preparing for a primarily in-person fall semester, and we continue to work closely with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) in regard to COVID-19 safety measures. Guidance from public health officials continues to change, as we saw this week with the CDC’s announcement about the use of face coverings. Keeping this evolving situation in mind, we have contingency plans in place to ensure we are always complying with state and local mandates. We will continue to adapt as needed and will continue to share information with our community.
At this time, institutions of higher education in California are still mandated to maintain six feet of physical distancing on campus and in classrooms. We have redesigned our classrooms to meet current SFDPH distancing requirements. Classrooms that could not be converted to meet these requirements will not be used for classes. We have converted what was traditionally non-academic space into academic space, and we have expanded the academic schedule to accommodate more classes and options.
Throughout our preparation, top priorities have been students — their classes, dining, and housing. This was followed by structuring student space for studying as well as for socializing safely. The final priority area is space for faculty and administrative meetings, as these can continue via Zoom. We are fortunate that construction on the new dining area on Lone Mountain is complete. That beautiful new space will provide even more food options and gathering spaces for our students.
USF community members will continue to be required to wear face coverings indoors and to participate in daily symptom monitoring through the USF Dons Health Check online survey. Students will be provided educational material and be required to complete an online course “Staying Healthy in a Changing Environment for Students on Campus” and will sign a pledge that they understand expectations and our community commitments.
Our surveillance testing of residential students will continue through the summer. We are continuously assessing testing procedures as vaccinations become more available and testing requirements change based on vaccinations.
We are monitoring vaccine accessibility for those 16 years of age and older, who are now eligible to be vaccinated. We continue to advocate that all our community members be vaccinated when it is their time and continue to follow all science-based safety measures. We are monitoring what is happening in other states and countries and will have vaccination sites upon arrival for our students who may not have had access to the vaccine. They will be able to receive the vaccine when they arrive at USF.
We recommend students be vaccinated prior to coming to campus. Students should:
- Schedule their first vaccination appointment as soon as possible.
- Make a plan for the second dose at the same time.
- Protect and duplicate vaccine documentation cards.
Domestic resources for locating a vaccination appointment:
- Visit VaccineFinder.org to find vaccination providers near you. In some states, information may be limited while more vaccination providers and pharmacies are being added.
- Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination appointments are available. Find out which pharmacies are participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
- Contact your state health department to find additional vaccination locations in the area.
International students are eligible for the vaccine in the U.S. and SFDPH has announced that vaccinations are available to all individuals 16 years or older. International students living in the U.S. can follow the steps above to book a vaccination appointment in their current location or in San Francisco. Students arriving from abroad will be able to receive the vaccine upon arrival.
We are working with health and legal experts as we consider requiring all students, graduate and undergraduate, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for fall 2021. The requirement would go into effect when the vaccine has received full approval from the U.S Food and Drug Administration or at the start of the fall semester, whichever is later.
Current local guidance, which continues to evolve, requires unvaccinated students moving into campus housing from outside of California to quarantine for 14 days. Residential students who are required to quarantine will complete their quarantine either in their unit or in a room designated for quarantine as determined by Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE). Quarantine accommodations will be provided for the 14 days prior to any orientation activities or the start of classes so that students can be vaccinated when they arrive on campus. Additional information will be sent to all residential students regarding move-in times. While in quarantine, meal delivery service will be available. For more information, see the SHaRE website.
Currently, unvaccinated students coming into San Francisco from outside of California, but living off-campus, are expected to quarantine for 10 days. Those living off campus should quarantine in their off-campus residence. For those students who come to San Francisco fully vaccinated, there will be no requirement to quarantine.
The new website USF Together, has all of this information in one place. This central site will continue to be updated throughout the summer to help with your own planning.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Vice President, Student Life