Stay Safe Together in Fall 2021

Classrooms, offices, and residence halls have been set up to best protect students, faculty, and staff. To help the whole community stay safe, we will follow the procedures and protocols set forth by health officials.

Please use this site as your single source for all announcements and actions related to life on campus this semester. And please note that all plans are subject to change.

Fall 2021 Campus Reopening FAQ

COVID-19 Prevention

USF is aligned with state and local guidance as we proceed with our previously announced phased reopening and a return to in-person instruction. As of June 15, there are no capacity limits in campus buildings and no physical distancing requirements. On July 29, the university announced that it will align with city, state, and CDC guidance and require face coverings, including for fully vaccinated individuals, inside all campus buildings and at outdoor events. The updated guidance and protocols are detailed in the July 29 announcement. In addition, beginning on Aug. 20, everyone must be fully vaccinated (two weeks after a full vaccination cycle of an authorized vaccine) to utilize the Koret Health and Recreation Center and to eat inside the University Center and Lone Mountain dining facilities. The policy adheres to the health order issued by the City and County of San Francisco. More information is available in USF's Aug. 19 announcements to students/families and to faculty/staff.

To open safely this fall, USF following state and local public health guidance and is building upon current COVID-19 safety measures, including vaccinations, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, hygiene practices, symptom monitoring, and more. Classes, residence halls, and dining facilities have been set up to best protect students, faculty, and staff using the above guidelines. While we cannot predict with certainty what USF will look like in the months ahead, we have made informed plans, are in regular communication with public health officials and other experts, and are prepared to adjust our plans and procedures as necessary based on the course of the pandemic and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of San Francisco will require all undergraduate and graduate students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for fall 2021. The requirement will go into effect at the start of the fall semester on Aug. 24. Faculty and staff must attest to their vaccination status, and we strongly urge all members of the community to be vaccinated. 

USF is targeting regular double occupancy in residence halls for academic year 2021–22. Triples will not be an option at this time to help ensure safety and maintain health and safety protocols, as outlined by the city and county public health officials.

We are continuously assessing testing procedures as vaccinations become more available and as testing requirements change based on vaccination rollout.

In addition to testing, USF will rely upon students’ self-monitoring of symptoms to limit the transmission of the virus. Students will self-monitor and report the presence or absence of symptoms of COVID-19 every day, beginning on the first day of return to campus. Students will self-report symptoms through the Dons Health Check online survey. All students must remain at home or in a designated isolation space if they test positive for COVID-19. 

The university is considering a number of options in regards to testing different segments of the USF community as needed. All testing plans and protocols will comply with San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) guidance for institutions of higher education. Residential students who self-disclose symptoms will be sent an in-home test kit to take and be mailed by the university.

Unvaccinated students arriving from outside of California to live in on-campus housing are expected to quarantine for 10 days. Students living in on-campus housing will quarantine either in their unit or in a room designated for quarantine as the situation dictates.  Quarantine accommodations will be provided for the 10 days prior to any orientation activities or the start of classes. While in quarantine, meal delivery service will be available. 

Unvaccinated students arriving from outside of California and living off-campus are required to quarantine for 10 days. They may quarantine in their off-campus residence. 

Fully vaccinated students will not need to quarantine.

It is important to report the results of a positive test, either by emailing covidtracing@usfca.edu or by answering the appropriate question in the Dons Health Check survey. Any reported close contacts will be notified and guided through next steps. An abridged version of USF’s COVID-19 contact tracing protocol is available on USF Together.

For those who believe they qualify for an accommodation to their work, as required by law, USF will engage in the interactive process to determine if accommodations are necessary, reasonable, and feasible. The process for requesting an accommodation is detailed on myUSF. This process will determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made to remove barriers so the employee can perform the essential functions of their job. The objective of the process is to remove obstacles that keep employees from performing their jobs. Employees who want to explore this process can contact leaves@usfca.edu.

If you would like to view the complete Facilities Planning Guide (PDF file), contact the Facilities Management team.

Beginning Aug. 20, everyone must be fully vaccinated (two weeks after a full vaccination cycle of an authorized vaccine) to utilize the Koret Center and to eat inside the University Center and Lone Mountain dining facilities. For those who are not fully vaccinated or have an exemption, grab and go options are available.

For the students who have uploaded their documentation into Med+Proctor, their vaccination verification will be attached to their OneCard. Then all students need to do is swipe/tap their card at the entrances to Koret and the dining halls and they will be reminded of the expectations.

Employees may verify their vaccination status for Koret and dining hall access by either showing their vaccination card (photo or hard copy) or their personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record (California residents only) and photo ID at the entrances.

Course Delivery

We have several tools that will help us remain safe and healthy while resuming the in-person campus experience. An expanded schedule has been created for fall 2021 to allow courses that would normally meet during congested times to meet earlier in the morning, later in the evenings, or on Saturdays. The temporary change to the schedule will allow us to both reduce foot traffic that would impact offices and provide more options for identifying space for in-person courses. Campus services necessary to meet this expanded schedule will also make key adjustments.

We have also invested in new hyflex (hybrid-flexible) classrooms, portable equipment, and faculty training initiatives. We will be able to accommodate cohort models in which different groups of students join classes in-person on specific days, while participating remotely (either synchronously or asynchronously) on other days. Several non-academic spaces have been converted to classrooms and we are also studying the possibility of conducting classes outside. Deans will be able to make adjustments to course modalities for pandemic-related reasons during the transitional fall 2021 semester. Finally, faculty, librarians, and staff who are unable to teach and work in-person for documented medical reasons will be able to request an accommodation through the Office of Human Resources.

  • In-Person Instruction is what we call formats in which a class meets on-campus in-person for every class session.
  • Hybrid instruction is what we call formats in which a class consists of a mixture of on-campus in-person and remote/online learning.
    1. The class does not meet on-campus every session. Some instructors may choose to deliver remote/online sessions through remote synchronous meetings (e.g., via Zoom) or through asynchronous work for all students in the class.
    2. The instructor is on campus for every class session. Half of the students in the class meet in-person on one set of days (cohort A) while the other half of the students in the class (cohort B) are asynchronous. The cohorts switch for the next class session. Like HyFlex instruction, the instructor always holds classes in-person for at least half of the class.

      Generally, curriculum content in hybrid courses is delivered less than 50%, but more than 0%, through remote/online learning and at least 50% of curriculum content is learned through on-campus in-person instruction. For fall 2021 only, up to 50% of instruction may be delivered through remote/online learning.
  • HyFlex instruction is what we call formats in which a class meets on-campus in-person for every class session, with synchronous remote participation for some students.
  • Remote instruction is what we call formats in which a course is taught basically the same way it can be as an in-person course, but every class session is delivered remotely with synchronous meetings (e.g., via Zoom). There could be some additional asynchronous learning. Emergency remote is a form of remote instruction that is implemented quickly in response to an emergency situation.
  • Online instruction is what we call formats in which a course has been designed (and approved) specifically to be taught completely online, primarily through asynchronous learning with some synchronous elements.

USF plans to resume substantially in-person curricular offerings in the fall 2021 semester. More than 70 percent of courses in the fall course schedule feature some in-person element, including traditional in-person instruction, hybrid, and HyFlex.

Possibly. If the situation with COVID-19, including vaccines, changes, or if public health guidance requires a change to our fall plans, we will quickly adjust. We are committed to communicating our plans as early as possible to all members of our community. While we cannot predict with certainty what USF will look like in the months ahead, we have made informed plans, are in regular communication with public health officials and other experts, and are prepared to adjust our plans as necessary based on the course of the pandemic and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

Deans are working with their faculty on options for students who must continue online, including offering remote sections of courses and the ability to join an in-person class remotely, also known as “hyflex” technology.

USF Information Technology Services (ITS) has been working with the community to ensure a safe and smooth semester. A number of technology enhancements are in place to support teaching, learning and working this year.

visit the ITS service portal for details