March 9, 2020
From: SDSU President Adela de la Torre, Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa and Agnes Wong Nickerson
Dear SDSU Community,
San Diego State University, which has been actively monitoring and developing contingency plans since January given concerns with the coronavirus (COVID-19), has made additional decisions that will impact students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.
At the time of this writing, local and state public health authorities affirm that the COVID-19 risk to the regional community remains low, however, detailed planning to promote instructional continuity in digital and alternate capacities is continuing. More details are expected this week, incorporating guidance from both the CSU and the County of Health and Human Services.
Given the range of new guidance provided and actions we are taking as a campus, we encourage that all students, faculty and staff carefully review this message in total, and as soon as possible.
Spring Break and Summer Study Abroad
Upon careful consideration of the potential health and financial risks to students and their families, and due to the long-term uncertainty of the impact of COVID-19, SDSU has decided to suspend all study abroad programs administered by SDSU Global Affairs for spring break and summer. The university does not have the authority to suspend third-party partner programs in other countries.
This decision follows the previously announced suspension of spring semester study abroad programs in China, South Korea, and Italy after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. The Department of State issued levels 3 or 4 travel advisories due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in those countries.
Among the spring break and summer programs now suspended are:
- SDSU faculty-led programs,
- Transborder programs,
- Travel embedded in SDSU courses,
- SDSU’s Health and Human Services 350,
- And summer SDSU Exchange programs.
Students should speak with their assistant deans who, at the department level, can identify the best alternate options. Also, to help mitigate academic disruption, SDSU will offer waivers to the international experience requirement to seniors graduating in May, August, or December 2020.
SDSU Global Affairs will send additional guidance to students and faculty regarding the suspension of either their spring break or summer 2020 program. Students who are unsure if their study abroad program is administered by SDSU Global Affairs, should contact the SDSU Study Abroad office at 619-594-2475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Well-being and Campus Planning, Preparedness
Local, state and federal county health officials continue to say the COVID-19 risk in the U.S. remains low. For students, faculty and staff who are immunocompromised, we recommend that you connect with your medical provider to obtain guidance specific to your health situation. If students feel academic accommodations are needed, they should contact SDSU’s Student Ability Success Center by calling 619-594-6473 or emailing email@example.com.
Students, faculty and staff who may be immunocompromised and at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 should adhere to the following:
- Students may provide medical documentation for temporary disability accommodations by contacting the Student Ability Success Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. After an expedited review of the student’s medical documentation SASC will provide an accommodation letter for students to share with their instructors in order to work out the best accommodations for their courses. Students will not be penalized in any way if they request academic accommodations.
- Faculty and staff may utilize campus resources to limit their exposure through, for example, remote work (all employees can call the Office of Employee Relations at 619-594-6464; faculty are asked to connect the Office of Faculty Advancement at 619-594-6111).
As a reminder, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to stay home and away from classes and work if they are feeling ill, and to inform their instructors and supervisors if that is the case. Please follow the direction from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding prevention. The recommended steps include washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when you are ill, and also cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
SDSU also encourages all members of the campus community to check your university email regularly, sign up for SDSU Alerts to be notified in the event of an emergency and to also visit the SDSU’s public-facing COVID-19 web page, as it is updated frequently.
We will continue monitoring the situation and update everyone should the situation change.
Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President
Salvador Hector Ochoa
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Agnes Wong Nickerson
Interim Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer