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Return to Campus Guidance and Resources

CSUSM is preparing to welcome back a limited number of students, faculty, and staff for the Fall semester. The health, safety and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff is our highest priority as we begin a phased approach for returning to campus. Employees should continue to check with their managers throughout the Fall semester in regards to their work format. Employees who can effectively work remotely should continue to do so unless otherwise directed.

Returning to Campus

While most employees will continue to work remotely, CSUSM has identified which employees will return to campus in a phased approach based on guidance from state, local, and university administrative policies. 

As a reminder, access to the campus is restricted to employees who have been designated by the campus as essential personnel.  All other employees and visitors must complete an Access to CSUSM Campus Request Form and obtain approval prior to coming to campus.

Phase Details
Phase 1                                          
Essential Operations - Spring/Summer 2020
  • Only "essential personnel" report to campus as scheduled and monitored by supervisors
  • Other employees may access campus with appropriate administrator approval
  • Employees with circumstances that do not permit essential on-campus work or cannot work remotely may exercise use of available leave programs through HR
  • Face covering and physical distancing required

Phase 2
Limited On-Campus Operations - Fall 2020
  • Staffing expanded to include employees and faculty pre-determined to support essential on-campus academics and operations, which may include some staff who are not able to effectively perform work remotely
  • Limited in-person student support services may be allowed
  • Critical and time-sensitive on-campus and field research may be permitted in gradual phases
  • Employees who can effectively work remotely are encouraged to continue to telecommute
  • Employees with circumstances that do not permit essential on-campus work or cannot work remotely may exercise use of available leave programs through HR
  • Face covering and physical distancing required

Phase 3
Non-Essential On-Campus Operations - TBD
  • Staffing expanded to include non-essential employees based on CDC and County of San Diego Public Health guidance, as determined by supervisors in accordance with university administrative policy
  • Some additional research may be permitted
  • Employees who can effectively work remotely should continue to telecommute with supervisor approval
  • Managers to consult with appropriate campus departments to coordinate on-campus work schedules and locations to minimize concentration of population within work area
  • Employees with circumstances that do not permit essential on-campus work or cannot work remotely may exercise use of available leave programs through HR
  • Face covering and physical distancing may continue to be required
Phase 4
Return to Normal Operations - TBD
  • All employees permitted to work on-campus without restrictions

Health and Safety Precautions

Each department will develop a safe Return to Campus plan including risk assessment and appropriate protective equipment as needed. Below are additional precautions CSUSM is taking to protect the safety of our community:

  • Training for managers and employees on topics such as symptom recognition and reporting, social and physical distancing standards, PPE and face covering expectations, etc
  • Providing face coverings and guidance on use, along with PPE as needed
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures and availability of additional cleaning supplies
  • Physical barriers to protect distancing guidelines and reduced campus population density
  • Clearly delineated occupancy information that enforces physical distancing requirements within the classroom
  • Extended transition times between class sessions to allow appropriately spaced transitions and cleaning
  • CSUSM is supporting campus and community testing and contact tracing in collaboration with San Diego County. Protocols are being developed in accordance with public health guidance. More information can be found through the campus Testing FAQ Page.

Safety procedures for more specialized spaces, such as laboratories and studios, are being developed individually and approved by appropriate administrators.

Employee Responsibilties

In order to be considered for return to campus, employees should work with their managers in order to obtain approval and ensure sufficient safety precautions are in place.

  • Access to Campus: If not already designated, employees needing to work on campus and/or access any campus buildings must complete the Access to CSUSM Request Form and obtain approval prior to coming to campus each day.
  • Return to Campus, COVID-19 Awareness Training: All employees will be required to complete the online Return to Work training. Details will be forthcoming.
  • Symptom Monitoring: Conduct online symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. 
    • Employees who are not clear to work must notify their manager immediately to determine if there are opportunities for them to work remotely. If there is no ability to telecommute, please contact Melanie Hobbs (mhobbs@csusm.edu) in HR to consider eligible leave programs.
  • Self Reporting: If an employee becomes aware that they may have been exposed to COVID and were on campus for any length of time in the prior 14 days:
    • The employee must not return to work on campus if they are scheduled and must notify their supervisor immediately
    • CSUSM's COVID Response Team will collaborate to assess and guide the campus response for notification and sanitation, if appropriate
  • Physical Distancing: Practice physical distancing whenever possible and adhere to barriers and designated signage when on or around campus
  • Face Coverings. All campus community members must wear face coverings in the following situations while on University property and/or when participating in any University-related activities:
    • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public or common space;
    • Obtaining services from any campus department or office;
    • Waiting for public transportation, private transportation, a ride-sharing vehicle or private car service;
    • Engaging in work, whether on University property or off-site at a University-related activity; specifically when:
      • While in or passing through public or common spaces on campus; such as common workspaces, classrooms, labs, common areas in student housing, hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
      • Working in any space where there is an expectation of interaction with a person who is not from their own household or residence, regardless of whether any such person is present at the time;
      • Interacting in-person with another person who is not from their own household or residence;
    • In any space where food is prepared, packaged, or sold;
    • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present;
    • When operating a vehicle on University business when passengers are present;
    • While outdoors in public spaces where consistently maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.
    • Face coverings may be removed for a minimum time-frame for eating or drinking.  Because facial coverings will be off while you are eating, it is recommended you maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet from others if possible while eating.
  • Hand Washing: Practice regular and effective hand washing 
    • May supplement (but not replace) with hand sanitizer that is at least 60% ethyl alcohol
  • Personal travel: Be cautious in making personal travel choices as restrictions can change at any time and you may encounter difficulties returning or be requested to self-quarantine based on where you travel to or through. Check the latest travel health notices for each destination. We recommend staff inform their supervisor or HR of personal international travel destinations and update emergency contact information before traveling. Faculty should inform their Dean before traveling internationally.

Manager Responsibilities

Along with following the employee responsibilities, managers will need to consider many factors to facilitate a healthy and safe return for all. Guidelines have been put in place, but there are still many decisions to be made specific to each department or unit.

  • Encourage continued remote work opportunities whenever possible
  • Return to Work, COVID-19 Awareness Training: All employees will be required to complete the online Return to Work training. Ensure employees have completed the training prior to coming to campus. Details will be forthcoming.
  • Access to Campus: Ensure employees who are not already designated as essential employees request access to campus each day 
  • Symptom Monitoring: Confirm that all employees working on campus complete a screening form for each day that they work on campus
    • Follow up immediately with any employee who receives a "not clear"
      • Do not ask why they did not receive clearance and advise them that they do not need to share the reason. If they offer the reason, it is OK to answer questions they may have.
      • Advise employee about remote work options and if none are available, refer them to Melanie Hobbs (mhobbs@csusm.edu) in HR to consider eligible leave programs.
      • Advise employee that if they have a fever of 100F or higher, they are required to stay off campus until they have been fever-free (without the aid of fever-reducing medicines) for at least 48 hours.
      • Advise employees who have additional questions about their ability to return to campus versus needing to work remotely to contact HR.
  • Self Reporting: If an employee becomes aware that they may have been exposed to COVID and were on campus for any length of time in the prior 14 days:
    • The employee must not return to work on campus if they are scheduled and must notify their supervisor immediately
    • Supervisors must notify the CSUSM's COVID Response Team to assess and guide the campus response for notification and sanitation, where appropriate
  • Physical Space: Consult with Safety, Health and Sustainability to ensure building, suites and/or offices are prepared with safety elements including, but not limited to:
    • Signage and resources regarding COVID-19 prevention strategies
    • Directional guidance for safe foot traffic
    • Face covering and other necessary PPE requirements
    • Ensure frequent disinfection and sanitization of high touch surfaces based on occupancy density and usage
    • Provide ample supply of hand sanitizer and cleaning/disinfectant products in appropriate location