USF Guiding Principles of Decision Making
- Health, safety, and wellbeing of the entire community is of the utmost importance
- Strive to uphold USF’s mission and values
- Preserve the institution's financial footing
- Utilize science and data in decision-making, while remaining rooted in compassion, empathy, and respect for everyone in the community
- Comply with local, state, and federal public health orders and guidance
- COVID-19, a novel coronavirus infection emerging in 2019, has led to an unprecedented infectious disease risk for all persons. The duration of this pandemic remains unclear, and the situation continues to evolve. COVID-19 will peak in different states at different times and will impact each institution of higher education across the country differently. Public health guidance, scientific knowledge, and clinical best practices will change, so these guidelines may require updates or risk quickly becoming obsolete. The road to recovery will be long. We can anticipate restrictions and limitations in activities will be in place for the next 12–18 months, if not longer.
- The high-touch, highly interactive, mobile, densely populated living and learning environment typical of most campuses is the exemplar of a congregate setting with multiple risk factors for ready transmission of COVID-19.
- Protecting our most vulnerable populations (medically susceptible, undocumented, students of color, underinsured, non-traditional, older, DACA, and homeless students, faculty, and staff members) is a moral and ethical obligation. Some vulnerable individuals may need to observe ongoing physical distancing for a prolonged period of time.
Current Working Groups
As the university navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of working groups have been established and are meeting regularly to plan and coordinate responses. Additional information and membership can be found on the COVID-19 Working Groups page. This document will inform the work of the working groups and the working groups will inform this document.
Governmental Public Health Guidelines Used for Reopening / Loosening Restrictions
- The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed
- The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19
- The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges
- The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand
- The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing
- The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary
Five Bay Area Criteria for Loosening Restrictions
- The total number of Cases in the community is flat or decreasing, and the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing for at least a 14-day period
- Hospital capacity - Public health officials want to keep that occupancy rate below 50%
- Testing - Goal is 200 tests/day per 100,000 residents
- Contact tracing - “90-90-90-90” target for contact tracing: They must reach 90% of all newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients; they must make sure that 90% of those patients are able to safely isolate; they must reach 90% of the patient’s close contacts; and they must make sure that 90% of those contacts go into quarantine for two weeks
- Personal protective equipment - All hospitals, outpatient medical clinics, skilled nursing facilities and first responders must have a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment
Public Health Considerations
Personal strategies for limiting COVID exposure. These strategies are things that everyone within our USF Community can undertake in order to limit the risk of exposure community-wide
- Social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people)
- Not gathering in groups and avoiding crowded places and mass gatherings,
- Limiting travel
- Using cloth face masks in public
- Frequent proper personal handwashing or use of hand sanitizer
- Staying home if feeling unwell and getting tested
USF-initiated strategies for limiting exposure
- Continued use of teleworking where possible to limit number of people on campus
- Frequent cleaning of shared spaces and surfaces
- Robust social distancing measures across campus
- Promotion of education, resilience, and countering stigma attached to COVID-19
COVID-19 testing, isolation, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine. USF is working closely with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH).
Special populations. Any lifting of control measures (e.g., stay-at-home orders) must consider vulnerable subgroups within the population (e.g., persons > 65 years of age, those with pre-existing medical conditions) and special instructions or requirements for such subgroups.