CU Safely Back Update, Jan 22

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Update From President Struppa, January 22, 2021

The pandemic continues its devastation across the country and around the world, however, we are seeing early signs that the local situation is improving. Orange County is at a 16.7 percent positivity rate, down from almost 20 percent. Unfortunately, hospital ICUs remain at 0 percent capacity. In order to move into Gov. Newsom’s “Red” tier which allows for in-person instruction, we need to have a positivity rate of 8 percent or lower and a minimum of a 15 percent capacity in our ICUs. I remain hopeful that the situation will improve soon, but for right now we remain in remote instruction for the immediate future.

As we approach the start of spring semester, I want to remind and clarify on our current processes and actions:

Campus Access 

  • Access to campus remains limited to essential staff and the limited in-person instruction taking place at both Orange and Rinker campuses. All teaching faculty are designated as essential staff and do not need permission to access their offices or classrooms for teaching purposes but will need to have completed COVID-19 training and had a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Students can be approved to be on campus to access open study areas for convenient WIFI access.
  • In order to access any campus facilities, including outdoor spaces, students, faculty and staff must follow the steps to gain approval and begin receiving the Daily Health Screening (DHS) needed to access campus. Upon completing the DHS and a determination that you are not at risk for COVID-19, you will receive an ALL CLEAR email which will be needed when accessing campus.

Weekly COVID-19 Testing 

  • Weekly COVID-19 testing is now required to maintain access to campus facilities. The testing locations and schedules are posted on the CU Safely Back website.
  • In order to receive the DHS, an automated system will look at the previous week to determine if a test was taken (not specifically which day of the week you were tested).
  • If you were not tested anytime in the previous week then the DHS emails will stop on Sunday night/Monday morning and your permission to access campus will be suspended. After you take your COVID-19 test on campus, the DHS will be started that night. You can be tested any day during the week for the DHS to resume.
  • Please answer your DHS each day you are planning on being on campus. There is no requirement for you to fill it out if you are not going to be on campus. Not completing your DHS will not stop it from being sent.

Positive COVID-19 Protocol and Contact Tracing

  • Chapman follows the CDC guidelines of quarantine until at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms, and no fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication use and other symptoms have improved.
  • Students can be provided campus housing to quarantine, and employees/contracted staff are asked to not return to campus until this criterion is met.
  • Additionally, consistent with the protocols for infectious disease response, anyone identified within our campus community as being at risk of exposure from these individuals will be notified if they need to be isolated or tested. You can review the full protocol for positive cases here.
  • Contact tracing process will occur upon a positive diagnosis and will be managed by Chapman staff. This is an anonymous process, and no action is needed by the person diagnosed to begin.
  • We ask that all faculty and staff report a positive case, even if you are not accessing campus. It will remain confidential. Please contact Karen Beam RN, Student Health Center, (657) 348-1340, kbeam@chapman.edu.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • We encourage vaccination and are working with Orange County Health Care Agency to obtain a supply for the campus community. Many universities are getting supplies and we feel we are in a good position to also begin receiving one of the vaccines in the near future.
  • If we get a supply, distribution will be a very strict process that will need to follow the state mandates, which currently is limiting distribution based on the stated priorities.
  • Many may have seen that Soka University has become a vaccination site. I want to clarify that they gained access to a large supply to become a community vaccination center similar to Disneyland. Chapman is seeking a supply that would be distributed only to the Chapman community. Unlike Soka University, we have students, faculty and staff on-site which prevents us from having the capacity to support mass distribution.
  • If we do receive a supply, it will likely be very limited. Therefore, we encourage you to not wait and leverage any of the available vaccination sites as you become eligible.