Update on Campus Operations

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, San Francisco has been assigned “purple tier” status by the State of California.

Dear Members of the USF Community,

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, San Francisco has been assigned “purple tier” status by the State of California. Many indoor activities must cease immediately, though some are allowed to continue, albeit at greatly reduced density levels. The state’s public health order also calls for non-essential work, movement, and gatherings to cease between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The university’s current campus operations will not change significantly based on the new purple tier status. Our plans for the spring 2021 semester remain the same. However, we want to update you on several matters.

Our thanks to the Academic Spaces Working Group for developing this plan. If you have questions about accessing campus next week, please contact your associate dean or supervisor. We realize that the additional restrictions were not expected, but they are necessary given the surge in COVID-19 cases. The Academic Spaces Working Group is considering a supplementary “open week” prior to the start of the spring semester if public health directives permit.

  1. Access to campus buildings
    We had originally planned an “open week” from Dec. 7 through Dec. 11 for faculty and staff to access their work spaces and retrieve materials for class preparation and other work-related needs. We will still expand faculty and staff access to campus during this week, but with additional restrictions in place. In particular, we now must require faculty and staff visiting campus next week to reserve their visit using the EMS reservation system.
    • In the EMS reservation system, generic reservation slots (i.e., for access to a particular building, but not a specific office) will be made available by building and listed under “Office Supply Pickup.”
    • Each faculty or staff member can reserve a single two-hour block of time to enter a building and their office to retrieve materials necessary for ongoing work or for preparation for intersession 2021 or spring 2021 classes. The purpose of this access opportunity is not to allow employees to sit and work. Socializing with other employees during your visit is strongly discouraged.
    • Slots must be reserved by 3 p.m. the day before access is desired.
    • Staff and faculty must complete the Dons Health Check on the day they are visiting campus. While on campus, all appropriate health and safety protocols must be followed.
    • Once the reservation is confirmed and the Dons Health Check is completed on the day the access is granted, your OneCard will be set to provide you with appropriate time-limited access.
    • No more than five individuals will be allowed to make a reservation associated with any particular building at any given time. For some smaller buildings, the number of available reservation slots will be less than five.
    • While buildings will be powered, individuals should not plan on printing or making photocopies. Internet access, wireless or otherwise, may incidentally be available, but is not guaranteed.
    • Many restrooms and water fountains will be deactivated. There will be signs to indicate available restrooms. Do not leave food or trash in office spaces, as custodial service will not be available.
    • Mail will not be delivered to department or program offices during this week, and individuals making reservations should not necessarily expect to have access to their campus mailboxes. For assistance with retrieving mail, please contact your associate dean or supervisor.
    • Other private offices and classrooms at the Harney Science Center, the Lo Schiavo Science Center, and the Gleeson Library will remain available for reservation during this week.
    • It is possible that public health orders from the city or the state may force the university to make unexpected last-minute changes to the access being provided during this week. We will do our best to keep the community apprised of any late-breaking news.
  2. COVID-19 cases on campus
    On Friday, Nov. 6, Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE) learned of a student living on campus who reported a positive COVID-19 test via the Dons Health Check platform. This student was contacted by the Contact Tracing Team and, through contact tracing efforts, it was determined that the student’s two roommates were close contacts. SHaRE worked with the three students using the university’s COVID-19 isolation and quarantine protocols. It was later determined that all three in the room had tested positive and further contact tracing identified three other students who either tested positive themselves or were considered close contacts of those students who tested positive. All students involved have met the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) criteria to end isolation or quarantine and have been released.

    The university continues to monitor and report COVID-19 cases on the COVID-19 resource page dashboard.
  3. Ongoing need for safety precautions
    Even at the end of the semester, when the number of individuals on campus is greatly reduced, it is still essential that all members of the university community adhere to our on-campus COVID-19 health and safety protocols when they have access to campus. These protocols include wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and completing the Dons Health Check.

    Thank you for taking care of yourself and each other during this challenging and difficult time. We appreciate all you do to protect our community, and we are grateful for the work taking place across the country to address the pandemic. We are all in this together.

Tyrone H. Cannon
Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Julie Orio
Vice President of Student Life

Wednesday, Dec 02