January 11 2022
Dear Sonoma State campus community,
Yesterday, amid a local and regional increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Massey issued a health order restricting gatherings of large groups of more than 50 people indoors and groups of more than 100 people in outdoor places. Dr. Massey also appealed to Sonoma County residents to stay home as much as possible for the next 30 days and limit interactions with people outside their immediate homes. The Sonoma County Department of Public Health also recommends that residents limit travel outside the home to activities such as going to work, school, and essential trips to the grocery store or medical office. The health order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, and will be in effect until Friday, February 11, 2022, unless changed or rescinded.
The Sonoma State University campus is open and will remain open. The health and safety of our campus community has been a primary concern throughout the pandemic. In line with public health recommendations, and after listening to many of you, in consultation with the various leaders who make up the campus including faculty, staff, and students, and out of great caution, I have decided:
- Most classes will be taught in an online manner until Friday, February 11, 2022. If a faculty member decides that it is best to teach the course in person, they may request approval to do so from their Dean. Any faculty member who teaches courses that require personal teacher supervision, counseling, or nursing must have the Dean’s approval to move completely remotely. The Vice-Chancellor’s Office will maintain and publish a list of approved personal training courses. Labs will remain open for research and education, and students can work with lab faculty, as long as everyone maintains compliance with current COVID-19 safety protocols on campus — completing daily wellness checks, wearing face masks, and certification of vaccination status or approved exemption for weekly tests. Faculty members may continue to work on campus in their offices and laboratories.
- In the coming days, the Center for Teaching and Educational Technology will outline a series of workshops to help faculty prepare for the online method, as well as support additional magnification room in the weeks leading up to the resumption of classes. Matthew Polucci Callaghan, interim deputy vice-president for faculty success, will provide resources and training to enhance student engagement in the first remote weeks.
- With the approval of the appropriate administrator, employees and managers may continue to work in-person on campus or temporarily return to remote work arrangements for Fall 2021 through Friday, February 11, 2022, provided services remain open and available in person. These decisions will be made at the unit and departmental level by the appropriate administrator based on business functions and operational needs.
- Staff and managers required to continue operating on campus will be notified by the appropriate administrator. Student services, including Strategic Enrollment, Financial Aid Office, Psychological Counseling and Services, Learning Center and Academic Resources, among others, should be available in person and online during this short period.
- The residence halls and library will remain open to students, faculty and staff, and dining services will be limited.
- Some other aspects of campus operations, such as spectators at athletics events, audiences for performing arts programs and the Green Music Center, facility reservations, and hours at the campus recreation center may see short-term changes. Details of the modifications will be shared in the coming days via e-mail and from the respective units’ websites.
The public health environment is changing rapidly. Health experts note that vaccination and reinforcement, wearing a face mask, and limiting mass gatherings are the best actions we can take individually and collectively to “bend the Omicron curve.” Thank you for your flexibility and support for the campus’ commitment to health and safety and our educational mission.
If you have questions regarding Spring 2022 changes in response to the latest Sonoma County health order, please contact the SSU COVID Monitoring Team at email@example.com.
Judy K. Sakaki