Update on USF's Roadmap to Reopening

We write to update you on the plans for fall. We thank you for your patience as we continue to work with local and state guidance to ensure we are preparing the campus for a successful fall semester.

Dear USF Students,

We write to update you on the plans for fall. We thank you for your patience as we continue to work with local and state guidance to ensure we are preparing the campus for a successful fall semester. As we have stated previously, the health and safety of our community is our highest priority. We know the best working and learning environment is one where faculty, staff, and students feel supported in both their physical and mental well-being. 

USF’s Roadmap to Reopening will continue to be updated with detailed information so you can confidently transition back to the university both in person and virtually, and sometimes both together. 

Modes of Instruction

As referenced in the June 8 email, we are preparing for a multi-modality model of teaching. The academic deans are working closely with faculty on a revised course schedule for fall semester. It is a tremendous amount of work in a very short period of time. The new schedule will allow us to move into more concrete planning, a very important stage in our response to the pandemic. Faculty advisers, program staff, and CASA will be available to help you make any required adjustments. We are also creating an FAQ to answer your questions.

The revised course schedule will have one important addition. We will now see a listing for modality alongside day, time, and other course information. Due to this change the Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes and Student Registration will be unavailable in Banner from 8 a.m. on Monday, June 22 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1. We regret the inconvenience. The outage is necessary so that we can update fall 2020 classes and students' class schedules with revised course teaching modalities, as determined by each school. Once the revised teaching modalities are updated in Banner, you will be able to search for classes by modality in the Schedule of Classes. Students will also be able to adjust (add/drop courses) their fall schedules as needed.

The modes of instruction for fall 2020 will be:

In-Person Socially Distanced Instruction In person instruction is what we call formats in which a class meets in-person (or “on ground”) for every class session for lecture, problem solving, discussion, etc.
Hybrid Instruction Hybrid instruction is what we call formats that mix in-person and remote learning. This can take a variety of forms, including: a) a format in which some students are in-person and some join remotely (sometimes known as “Hyflex”); b) a format in which some meetings are in-person and some are remote.
Remote Instruction Remote instruction is what we call formats in which a course is taught roughly the way it was as an in-person course, but delivered remotely with mostly synchronous meetings (e.g., via Zoom) or a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Online Instruction Online instruction is what we call formats in which a course has been designed specifically to be taught online, primarily through asynchronous learning with some synchronous elements. 

Health and Safety Guidelines

We continue to base our work on health and safety guidelines that reflect best practices and current scientific understanding of the virus. 

Measures that will be put in place include a required Canvas course for employees and students. This will ensure all have accurate and timely information and that all understand and commit to the following campus guidelines:

  • Pledge for all campus community members and visitors to follow campus guidelines
  • Dissemination of health education and promotion materials and messages across campus
  • Symptom screening via questionnaire for all individuals prior to daily entry to campus buildings
  • The creation of a community norm and expectation that if you feel unwell you will not attend in-person classes
  • Requirement that face coverings be worn on campus
  • Continued exploration of the testing of all community members prior to a return to campus in the fall to provide a baseline
  • A phased return of student-facing employees to campus followed by a gradual return of additional employees
  • Providing options for those at highest risk of contracting COVID-19
  • Providing classrooms that follow physical distance guidelines and provide a safe area for faculty to teach and students to learn
  • Providing working spaces that follow physical distance guidelines and provide a safe area for faculty and staff to work and collaborate with one another
  • Preparing faculty and staff to offer courses both in person and via remote delivery to maximize resiliency

Classroom with chairs six feet apart

Health and Safety Measures

The university is also exploring contact tracing technologies and symptom monitoring technologies, including apps, which will give us the ability to trace the contacts of those testing positive for COVID-19 in order for us to quickly prevent spread of the virus. This work is being done in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Symptom Monitoring

Currently, the COVID-19 symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms that you haven’t experienced before
  • Loss of taste or smell that you haven’t experienced before

Contact Tracing

Here is how contact tracing works:

  • If a member of our USF community tests positive, we will speak with them to determine with whom they came into contact so we can assess potential exposures. The most up-to-date information can be found here.
  • If a student has been exposed to, or come in contact with, an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, either at school or elsewhere, that student must self-isolate at their residence. Those on campus will be moved into quarantine housing. Detailed protocol will be shared with all members of the community.
  • The identity of employees and students who test positive will not be disclosed beyond a need-to-know basis. However, contact tracing and the need for exposed individuals to self-isolate may result in revealing their identity to some individuals.

Face coverings

All persons on campus – visitors as well as employees and students – must wear a face covering. A reusable face covering has been ordered for each student, faculty, and staff member. The university will not provide these face coverings to visitors, who will not be allowed on campus if they do not have one of their own.

Person wearing a face covering at USF

Social Distancing Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends that people remain a minimum of six feet apart. Here are some other steps we will all engage in:

  • Avoiding physical contact, such as handshakes or fist bumps.
  • Using Zoom or alternative meeting tools for person-to-person meetings, including appointments and faculty office hours. Detailed information will be provided to all students prior to their arrival on campus.
  • Limiting non-essential interaction across campuses, buildings, and work sites.
  • Increasing physical space between your fellow students, faculty, staff, and anyone else you may encounter on campus. Additional information will be covered in the Canvas course.

Signage is being installed throughout our campuses with reminders about social distancing, especially in public spaces. Please respect these guidelines.

Signage on USF campus stating to remain 6 feet apart and wear a face covering

Student Engagement

Engagement is an integral part of a student’s college experience. For fall, we anticipate regulations from SFHD significantly limiting our ability to gather in person. This includes many meetings and events held by our student organizations. Departments within the Division of Student Life, as well as other departments across campus, are working on plans that will offer students and student organizations opportunities to gather, perform, and socialize in virtual spaces. We anticipate having opportunities for small events and gatherings in person, in compliance with SFHD regulations. If students have unique ideas for events or approaches to engagement, please send suggestions to Student Leadership and Engagement. Without a doubt, student engagement will look different but it will be as vibrant as always. Campus departments are committed to providing students with the best experience possible. We will be ready for the challenge ahead.

International Students

USF recognizes the challenges that international students face in returning to campus and we are committed to providing students support and advice in navigating these issues. International students who have visa or immigration questions should please contact ISSS at isss@usfca.edu. Students with questions about international travel should please contact the USF Global Mobility Team at travel@usfca.edu.

Graduate Students

Because many graduate school departments will be virtual for fall semester, all graduate programs sponsored by GSS and Student Leadership and Engagement (SLE) will be online as well. GSS executive board and staff in SLE are working to have a schedule of events available to students prior to opening. We are excited about this change because it allows students from all campuses to have greater access to events and programs geared toward graduate students and their unique experiences.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Our facilities team will be engaging in even more frequent and robust cleaning protocols in our classrooms, residence halls, restrooms, and common areas. Additional information will be shared prior to the return to campus regarding these spaces (and all work and social spaces) describing how we will all take care of shared areas. We also have protocols and processes in place to perform enhanced, deep cleanings of spaces if a member tests positive for COVID-19.

USF mascot at desk wearing a face covering and cleaning desk with disinfecting wipes

Elevators and Stairways

The number of individuals allowed in elevators will be dictated by the social distancing rule. If six feet apart is not practical, then one person will ride at a time. Facilities will insert markers on the ground in the elevators to remind riders where to stand to promote optimal social distancing.

The university is looking into designating stairwells as unidirectional — i.e., only used to go up or down — to help limit face-to-face passings.

Additional information about all of these areas will be provided in the coming weeks.

Our working groups will continue to be in contact with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and will update all current plans to include the most up-to-date local and state guidance and protocols.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate to ensure a safe and effective campus community for all.


Tyrone H. Cannon, Provost
Julie Orio, Vice President Student Life

Monday, Jun 22