The Reopening Task Force has recently reviewed the feedback received regarding our COVID policy and has made a change to the message we sent last week.
Effective August 1st, we strongly recommend that all members of the GGU community stay current with their COVID vaccinations. Proof of vaccination-booster is not mandatory for entry into the building. However, face masks must be worn while inside the facility.
If you are immunocompromised, or require a COVID accommodation, please submit a letter from your health care provider to Human Resources (for employees) or Student Services (for students) stating such and the recommended accommodation(s).
And regardless, if you are on campus or not, if you test positive for COVID, or have COVID symptoms, or are exposed to someone who has tested positive or is ill with COVID, please report such to the COVID Response Team at COVID@ggu.edu
This policy will remain in effect until further notice.
Also, we will begin issuing the new Fall ‘22 validation stickers for your GGU ID card. They will be available at the Main Entrance starting on August 1st.
Effective on August 1, 2022, we will rescind the requirement to be vaccinated and boosted, and we are also lifting the requirement to wear face masks.
We know that this may not be the direction some may want to continue, but we feel that as we “follow the science” and the guidance of the various public health organizations, and upon the recommendation of the Reopening Task Force (ROTF) it is time to make this change.
But we also remain concerned about those who may be immunocompromised or who may need accommodations because of this. If you are in this position, please contact the COVID Response Team directly at COVID@ggu.edu … and we will work with you on this.
As we have requested in the past, if you test positive for COVID, or are ill with COVID-like symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or is ill with COVID-like systems we ask that you immediately report this to us … the COVID Response Team … at COVID@ggu.edu
And of course, this policy is subject to change depending upon recommendations or directives from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) or other public health officials.
These past 2+ years have been difficult, and we have overcome many new and unprecedented challenges as the COVID landscape changed almost daily at times. We thank each and every one of you for your continued support and understanding as we tackled all of this.
As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
GGU COVID Response Team,
Jessica Bride, Paul Gibson & Mike Koperski
Dear GGU Students and Colleagues,
I hope that you are as thrilled to be back in person as I am. I would like to share a few updates on our exciting transition back to campus. However, I recognize that this transition will have its challenges, and I thank all of our students, staff, and faculty for their continued flexibility as we navigate the future of learning together. Our goal will always be to provide our students with safe and flexible access to high-quality education that meets the needs of our diverse population of adult-learners. This is a task that we take seriously.
It was brought to my attention that there may have been some confusion regarding our COVID vaccination policies and procedures, the various modes of instruction, and our in-person expectations. Below is information on each of these.
Our updated vaccination process is that any visitor entering GGU’s campus must show proof that you are fully vaccinated, including a booster, or have a negative COVID test. The following are accepted as proof of a negative test:
- Printed document from your test provider or laboratory
- An email or text message displayed on your phone from your test provider or laboratory
- Test results that include name of person tested, type of test, and date of the negative test result
- For PCR, the negative result must be from the last 3 days; For antigen, the negative result must be within the last day
- A self-reported attestation that you tested negative using an at-home antigen test taken within the last day
If you have any questions related to this process, please contact COVID@GGU.edu.
In an effort to afford the most amount of flexibility for our students, GGU has a variety of instructional modes, which are explained here: Instruction Modes (Effective Spring 2022) (ggu.edu). Each of these modes has different attendance requirements, so please review your course syllabus or contact your professor if you are unclear about your class instruction mode or meeting times.
As a reminder for our military-connected students, the Department of Veterans Affairs requires that you attend a minimum of one in-person class meeting per term. Effective for the summer 2022 trimester, Zoom web-conference sessions will no longer satisfy the VA’s in-person requirement. Please talk with your academic advisor if you still have any concerns about your course schedule. For information about returning to campus for students using VA benefits, you can also visit the Diller Center webpage Back to Campus — GGU Military or contact DillerCenter@ggu.edu.
I am thankful every day to be part of this outstanding GGU family of educators and students. I look forward to finally meeting many of you in person for the first time this summer.
President David J. Fike
Golden Gate University
Dear GGU Community,
I am grateful to be able to share the news that, starting with the summer terms, we will return to our pre-pandemic offerings of in-person, online, and combined instruction.
Summer term registration opens March 14, and students can differentiate among our various instructional modes and choose courses that best fit their learning preferences or needs.
It was almost exactly two years ago that we shifted all instruction online in response to the quickly developing worldwide health crisis. Since then, our students and employees have shown incredible resilience, and I am proud that we have continued to provide a high-quality learning experience.
But with the pandemic entering what appears to be a less-worrisome stage, and the lifting of some health restrictions, we feel confident that we can bring students and employees back to campus in a safe manner.
Up to this point, our campus safety measures have included vaccination verification and masking requirements. Those will remain in place through the spring, and we will monitor the need for them heading into the summer.
I appreciate everyone’s diligence, extra effort, and commitment to community safety during these difficult and extraordinary times. Time and again, through deeds and words, you have demonstrated the best of GGU. I promise that we will always place health and safety first among our priorities.
This is an important and long-awaited milestone. While most of us have adapted—even embraced—a remote work and learning environment, many have also missed the hum of an active and vibrant campus, face-to-face interaction among students and colleagues, and the full slate of in-person events.
But I have no illusions that this is a return to “normal.” People and organizations have been profoundly—in many cases, permanently—affected by the past two years. Faculty, staff, and students will carry with them different levels of comfort with the idea of returning to campus. It’s important that we respect each other’s opinions and concerns, and demonstrate continued patience, kindness, and understanding.
We will, of course, closely observe the public health situation, consider all guidelines from experts, and respect any mandates.
Dr. David Fike, President
Golden Gate University
Dear GGU Community,
We previously communicated that, starting on January 3, 2022, all students, employees and visitors who wish to access the campus facilities on Mission Street must provide proof of full COVID vaccination: either both doses of the Modena or Pfizer vaccines, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The growing infection rate from the Omicron variant has heightened our concerns about the continued health and well-being of our community and led us to make the following changes:
Booster shots required
Effective February 1, we will further require proof that all students, employees and visitors have received a COVID-19 booster shot before they enter the building. For proof of the booster, we’ll follow the same procedures we have been using to verify vaccination status. Once you provide proof of receiving the booster, you will receive the new facility entry credential.
All law school instruction online
As previously announced, all graduate and undergraduate courses will be conducted online for the spring term. This plan continues with no change. However, all law school courses will begin the spring term on January 10 online as well, with a decision regarding any in-person law instruction being made as soon as possible after we are able to better assess COVID infection rates and the impact on GGU. This means that some, or all, of the law school courses may migrate to in-person after February 1st.
The building and library will remain open as planned.
Employee remote work unchanged
We will delay the transition of employees back into the building. At least through January, our operations will closely mimic those of the fall term, with most employees continuing to work remotely, save for those who are required to work in-person to support academic or infrastructure needs. Please consult with your school or division leader if you have questions. Building hours remain as previously announced for January.
The pandemic is currently a rapidly moving target, forcing us to remain nimble. Thank you for your continued support during these ever-changing times.
Dr. David Fike, President
Golden Gate University
Dear GGU Community,
Mindful of the ongoing pandemic, particularly the uncertainty the new Omicron variant poses, GGU has decided to maintain a significant number of classes in remote learning mode for the spring term.
Months ago, we began planning a full transition back into 536 Mission in January, with all our schools—undergraduate and graduate business, as well as law—resuming in-person instruction and all associated activities. Given concerns about the Omicron variant, we believe it is advisable to slow our transition plans slightly.
The undergraduate and graduate business programs will remain in remote mode for the spring term, and the law school will move forward with plans for the re-introduction of in-person instruction.
We believe that limiting the number of people in the building and continuing to follow recommended health protocols will allow us to judiciously and safely expand in-person classes and some other activities.
Fortunately, as the past two years have shown, we can enjoy an intellectually vibrant educational experience online. Indeed, online education is one of GGU’s core strengths, and a significant number of students choose to take advantage of our online offerings.
Employees will work remotely or in-person in consultation with their managers. We will continue to ensure that any students on campus receive the in-person support that they need.
Building hours will be similar to fall, and we encourage students to make use of the resources that we offer, including library and learning commons space, and internet access.Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday: Noon until 8 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (JD Flex weekends only) Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (non-JD Flex weekends)
[Note: The building hours are subject to change.]
As communicated before, proof of vaccination will be required to enter the building starting January 3, and masking will continue to be mandatory inside the building.
At every milestone over the past two years, we have sought to be deliberate and thoughtful in considering all available options and the well-being of our community. At this juncture, I believe that slowing down our return is the prudent course of action.
Thank you for your continued support and resilience.
David J. Fike, President
Golden Gate University
Dear GGU Community,
As most of you probably know, the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has captured considerable attention because of genetic mutations that may make it easier to transmit from person-to-person and possibly challenge the effectiveness of current vaccines.
The World Health Organization designated Omicron a variant of concern on November 26, and scientists around the world are studying this new threat closely.
We realize this is provoking concern among many members of our community.
In coordination with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), GGU is monitoring this development closely. So far, current guidance for isolation and quarantine of confirmed or suspected Omicron cases does not differ from the guidance provided for other COVID-19 variants. Guidance regarding the importance of getting vaccinated, including booster shots, remains in place. However, California officials have reinstated stricter requirements for indoor mask-wearing.
The SFDPH is taking several measures in response to the Omicron variant to try to stem its spread, including:
- Conducting surveillance testing on a proportion of COVID-19 positive samples from across San Francisco to monitor for Omicron activity in our community.
- Prioritizing case investigation and contact-tracing for confirmed or suspected Omicron cases.
- Recommending international travelers follow the CDC guidance to test for COVID-19 within 3-5 days after arrival, quarantine for seven days if not fully vaccinated, and isolate and repeat testing if COVID-19 symptoms develop.
- Reminding the public to mask in indoor places regardless of vaccination status, and optimize mask fit and filtration.
- Emphasizing the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and booster efforts for all persons aged five years and older.
- And emphasizing caution when traveling or joining together for holiday festivities.
At this time, we are continuing with our current health measures. These include the requirement that all people who wish to come onto campus starting on January 3—including visitors, contractors, alumni, etc.— must show proof that they are fully vaccinated, or agree to be tested regularly. Additionally, when we opened the doors for law school in-person instruction last August, we decided that, out of an abundance of caution for our community, we will require that masks be worn in the facility regardless of attestation or vaccination status. That requirement will remain in place for now.
Our vaccination and masking mandates comport with new federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements and the reimplementation of the indoor masking requirement recently announced by the California Department of Public Health. The SFDPH is in the process of updating its directives to be in line with the OSHA and CDPH requirement.
As always, your health and safety is our top concern, and we will modify our safety measures as conditions warrant. If you have any questions regarding the vaccination/masking policy, or any other COVID-related questions, or to make reports of COVID infection, please contact a member of our COVID Response Team below, or send an email to COVID@ggu.edu
Dear GGU Community,
With at least a partial reopening of the building approaching in the coming months, we have been examining how we can best keep our learning and work environment as safe as possible once students and employees return.
The last many months have shown that vaccinations are crucially important in combatting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With that in mind, GGU is joining more than 500 educational institutions in requiring that all students, faculty, and staff who will attend classes or work in-person on campus be fully vaccinated with approved vaccines. This requirement will go into effect on August 1.
We are doing this to allow us to safely resume on-campus instruction and activities, and to help reduce the risk of infection on campus and in the local community.
Vaccination appointments are now widely available through myturn.ca.gov, and many places now accept walk-ins with no appointments. The City and County of San Francisco also hosts a web site for those who live, work, or learn in the city that aids in finding vaccine appointments.
All students and employees will be asked to complete an online form that attests that they are fully vaccinated. For purposes of this verification, you are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after receiving a single dose of a one-dose vaccine.
Students who have not received full vaccination will not be permitted in the building; they will be able to take advantage of online classes offered across undergraduate, graduate and law school programs.
Employees who are unable or unwilling to receive a vaccine will not be allowed to be in the building and might be required to work remotely if their supervisor approves. Employees who will continue to work remotely, but who may also need to come to campus periodically, are subject to the same vaccination requirement.
We recognize the need for exceptions in some circumstances. If you believe that you qualify for an exemption (disability, medical, or religious), you will have an opportunity to state that on your attestation form.
Our vaccine mandate does not mean that we will abandon other safety protocols related to COVID-19. We have upgraded our HVAC system to provide substantially better air circulation, we continue comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting of our facilities, and we will abide by any regulations related to social distancing or masking.
We all have a role to play in ending this pandemic, and I appreciate your commitment to working together to keep the GGU community safe and healthy.
David J. Fike
Golden Gate University
Golden Gate University will remain exclusively online through the summer, administrators have announced.
President David Fike said the university’s decision about instructional mode was influenced by the same factors in play since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last spring: the safety and comfort of employees and students, restrictions imposed by the City of San Francisco, and the ability to carry out a high-quality academic experience under any such restrictions.
The university, which has a long history of online instruction, moved to all remote learning in March 2020 in response to San Francisco Bay Area shelter-in-place orders.
“From the first day of the pandemic and restrictions on in-person instruction, we have been supporting a high-quality learning experience for our students,’’ Fike said. “We know this from student feedback and the fact that we are enjoying strong enrollment from both returning and new students.”
Although the roll-out of vaccines may ultimately make it possible to teach in-person courses this summer, the school chose to make its decision now so that students, staff, and faculty can prepare.
The college said it may be able to support some limited in-person instruction or studying where possible and appropriate. But for now, its Mission Street campus remains closed.
Golden Gate University, a private nonprofit, has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing undergraduate and graduate education in accounting, law, taxation, business and related areas since 1901. Programs offer maximum flexibility with evening, weekend and online options. GGU is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Quarantine Care Package
José F. Mata, L.M.F.T. This is an article which includes practical steps people can take in their day to day lives to manage the intensity of emotions at this time. It includes things like to-do lists, but also mind/body regulations to provide grounding.
Somatic Centering Practice
With Sumitra Rajkumar. 16 minute podcast that provides a time to be present in the moment and focus on the experience in your body at the moment.
Compassion in the Time of Coronavirus - Jack Kornfield - This 13-minute audio practice is a way to hold yourself and all those around you in a heart of compassion.
A Zen Master's Tips for Staying Sane During Challenging Times
An article which gives you ideas for how to structure your day in a way to enjoy the small moments, like your first cup of coffee (for some of us following this advice might be hard if we have lots of little people around!)
Staying Physically Active During Self-Quarantine
Includes basic exercises that can be done at home without equipment. Uses photos to show you what to do.
Not Losing Our Minds and Hearts When We Most Need Them: Mindfulness, Healing, and Wisdom in a Time of COVID-19
A 90-minute interview and meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn.
How to Protect Your Mental Health During Quarantine
Very concise, simplified tips on how to stay engaged during the pandemic. Includes basic things like getting dressed, sticking to your routine, planning out your week, setting intentions, getting outside, being helpful to others, creating space (if co-habitating), etc. All in all a very quick, digestible read.
COVID Calm: Stress Management for Health Care Professionals
This is a line that professionals can call to receive support through talking to someone about their stress related to COVID-19. Seems really user friendly and accessible. Free!
Managing in the Midst of COVID-19 – Podcast by Peter Levine, Ph.D. Dr. Levine reviews some techniques to reduce stress that are very meditative and calming. He discusses the importance of staying connected to people through this time and makes the distinction "Physical Distancing" versus "Social Distancing."
COVID-19 Anxiety, Cultivating Safeness, and Polyvagal Theory - Stephen Porges, Ph.D. This interview can help you feel like you’re normal in these times, even if you're struggling. It explains how our nervous systems are on high alert due to threat, and that we need togetherness as a way to find safety and re-regulate by connecting with soft voices, friendly virtual faces, calming music, nature and yes -food.
Public health officials announced today that the Bay Area shelter-in-place directive, originally scheduled to run through April 6, has been made stricter and extended to May 3. At least until the directive is lifted, the existing social-distancing and health protocols at GGU will continue. The Mission Street building will remain closed, classes will remain exclusively online, and staff and faculty will continue to work remotely.
Mail will continue to be available for pick-up at the Mailroom Customer Service Counter each Thursday from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon.
Our ability to adapt quickly to these social-distancing directives has been impressive. We are all working diligently—and making personal sacrifices—to help move the Bay area through this crisis as quickly and safely as possible. I’m confident that our collective efforts are making a meaningful difference.
David J. Fike
Golden Gate University
GGU announced today that all summer courses, except those in the law school, would remain in an online format. More information is available on the Student Updates Page.
In light of today’s shelter-in-place order for the entire Bay Area, here is an update regarding GGU operations.
University operations are continuing, including the remote learning we initiated on March 9. However, starting tomorrow (March 17), the GGU San Francisco building will be closed at least until the shelter-in-place order is lifted. Currently, the order is scheduled to run until April 7. All GGU employees will be working remotely, and students will no longer be able to access the building.
While the university will remain open, beginning Monday, March 16, we are strongly encouraging employees whose roles can be conducted remotely to work from home. This will remain in effect until Monday, April 6, at which point we will reassess the situation. This is a proactive measure designed to minimize COVID-19 exposure to everyone.
Our San Francisco campus will remain open to support critical business needs that cannot be met any other way. But we are reducing building hours to 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday, and closing on Sundays.
GGU is indefinitely postponing the April 25th 2020 commencement ceremony. We have not made a decision regarding the law school commencement ceremony, which happens a little later in the year.
Yesterday afternoon, the City of Oakland banned all events and gatherings for over 1,000 people through the end of March. Our commencement ceremony is held at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, which is owned by the City of Oakland. While the current ban only goes through the end of March, we anticipate it will be extended. In order to give students some certainty and prevent them from unnecessarily purchasing plane tickets, booking hotel rooms and making travel plans, we have decided to postpone the commencement ceremony on April 25th for the School of Undergraduate Studies, Ageno School of Business, School of Accounting, and the Braden School of Taxation.
We are exploring options to celebrate all of the students who are graduating. In the next week, we will be sharing and soliciting ideas so that we can honor our students and their remarkable achievement.
When we schedule a new date for the commencement ceremony, all students who are eligible to participate will be invited to attend.
All students who have paid their commencement fee will receive a refund. If any students have concerns regarding this postponement, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear GGU Community,
Our overarching principle throughout the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19 ) situation has been one of striving to maintain our educational mission and campus operations while also preserving the health and safety of community members.
As I announced last week, GGU decided to move all our non-law classes online, effective yesterday, to help limit coronavirus risk on campus. The law school will follow suit on Thursday.
As of today, the university itself remains open and operational. However, the libraries will close Thursday because of the absence of students on campus. Library services will remain available to students online as indicated on the Student FAQ page.
While we remain an open campus, we are also prepared—where possible—to support staff members who would like to engage in social distancing practices by working off-site. This includes, but is not limited to, employees who may be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 because of age or underlying health issues, or who need to remain home for other reasons related to the coronavirus situation. We encourage staff members to seek approval from their managers to explore work solutions that can accommodate their concerns or personal needs and maintain continuity of services. In some instances, work functions must be performed on campus, and requests for telecommuting will need to consider this. If you have questions, please speak with your manager or GGU HR (email@example.com).
For hourly employees who prefer to work remotely, they can do so with manager approval. If the manager does not approve remote work, the hourly employee can either work on campus or decide not to work and not be paid for those unworked hours.
The university has a very limited supply of extra technology equipment that can be used off-site. Thus, with very few exceptions, the university will not be able to provide additional equipment to support working from home for staff who prefer to do so. (Staff who are not using already assigned GGU equipment, e.g., laptops and mobile devices, are encouraged to return them to ITS for redeployment to others for off-site work). The university cannot allow workstations (desktop computers, monitors, etc.) to be relocated off-site, where they will not function properly. The university is also not in a position to reimburse employees for their use of personal equipment, or phone and internet connection services. However, our ITS support staff will strive to provide technical support (assistance with forwarding phones, enabling VPN, etc.) where possible for staff who prefer to work remotely.
As a reminder, for employees working with physical student records, those must remain on campus in secure storage following FERPA guidelines.
We are also encouraging units to make use of existing technologies including Zoom video conferencing and Microsoft Teams to facilitate collaboration when staff members are in different locations. ITS is prepared to provide support for this.
As always, the health and safety of our community is paramount. Employees who have a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms must stay home. Doctors advise that you follow the same treatment as you would if you had the flu, including calling a doctor if symptoms become severe. Employees who believe they have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19—and feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days—must also stay home and should definitely call their doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, or emergency department ahead of time and tell them about the situation.
Some of the steps the university has taken to ensure the safety of our employees include:
- We have extended the extra disinfecting cleaning regime that we started two weeks ago. This will continue through at least this week.
- We are upgrading the air filters in our HVAC system to be more robust.
- We are cancelling rental client events that would bring non-GGU people to our campus facility.
- We added a link to our COVID-19 FAQ page to the home page of the GGU website.
- We participated in a COVID-19 workshop hosted by the SF Department of Emergency Management for Bay Area colleges and universities, and we are monitoring their ongoing response and sharing advice on best practices.
- We remain in contact with and receive multiple daily updates from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Department of Emergency Management.
These are extraordinary times. As always, we will continue to monitor the evolution of the coronavirus outbreak and couple our best judgement with the guidance of outside professionals to determine appropriate responses.
If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to your manager.
Dr. David Fike
President, Golden Gate University
March 6, 2020 message to community:
Today, we instructed all faculty in the School of Undergraduate Studies, the Ageno School of Business, the Braden School of Taxation, and the School of Accounting who have not yet done so to move their classes online, effective Monday. No in-person classes outside of the law school will be held after this weekend at the San Francisco campus while our coronavirus team continues to monitor the situation.
The law school has different considerations and is responding to this situation slightly differently regarding online classes.
Concurrently, we are reiterating to all GGU staff members that we strongly encourage you to contact your manager if you have concerns or issues that you feel warrant your working remotely. Your manager will work with you to devise an accommodation that works for you and your department.
Several factors contributed to the decision to go to web conferencing, which allows faculty and students to hold live video meetings over the web. The factors included emerging concerns about local travel and congregation by students and instructors, and the relative ease with which we can pivot to remote courses. GGU is fortunate in that we already offer many courses online, and consequently have expertise and a robust platform to expand our delivery to all web conferencing.
Having everyone use the same delivery method—which is Zoom web conferencing—will consolidate and streamline the support services we offer instructors and students. And it will remove ambiguity and resolve questions about why some instructors are teaching remotely and others are not.
As this situation rapidly evolves, we are aggregating information for the various stakeholders at GGU. A coronavirus updates web page is now linked to on the GGU home page and within the helpful links section of the myGGU portal. There you will find links to resource pages for faculty and students, and we will soon be adding a Staff FAQ page.
While we do not yet view the coronavirus situation in the Bay Area to be critical, it is evolving daily. We are mindful of the growing concern among staff, faculty, and students—and community members around us—about congregating in public spaces. The well-being of everyone connected to school will always be our top priority.
Some of the steps the university has taken include:
- We have extended the extra disinfecting cleaning regime that we started last week. This will now continue through March 13th.
- We are upgrading the air filters in our HVAC system to more robust filters.
- The supply of disinfectant wipes/liquid, face masks and related supplies are severely limited. We have standing orders and are following up with projected delivery dates.
- We have implemented limited social-distancing by cancelling several rental client events that would have brought many non-GGU people to our campus facility.
- We added a COVID-19 FAQ page to the main page of the GGU website.
- We participated in a CORVID-19 workshop hosted by the SF Department of Emergency Management for Bay Area colleges and universities.
- We remain in contact with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Department of Emergency Management. We receive multiple daily updates.
- The GGU Senior Leadership Team and Emergency Response Team have been meeting and/or communicating about the current status and our next steps on a daily basis.
We are writing with an update on developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. As of this morning, no confirmed cases have been reported in San Francisco. However, cases have been confirmed in nearby Santa Clara, Sonoma, and San Mateo counties, and potential cases are being investigated in Marin and Alameda counties. Currently, all GGU classes, campus events, and activities are proceeding without interruption.
GGU is receiving daily updates from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Services and the Department of Public Health, as well as monitoring developments elsewhere throughout the region.
A team of faculty and staff is communicating regularly to prepare for the possibility that the situation may impact university operations. This includes moving all in-person classes to a web conference format as a precautionary measure and/or suspending some events, if warranted. No decision on remote classes has been made yet, but instructors have been asked to prepare for that possibility. Moreover, the university is preparing for the possibility that staff may be asked to work remotely instead of in our San Francisco building, or that other social distancing measures are enacted.
These preparations are in line with our established protocols for responding to an emerging event of this type; in no way do they suggest that we will take such actions anytime soon. Until otherwise notified, you should assume that business is usual.
This is an uncertain and stressful time for many in our community. We will continue to keep you informed as we prioritize the safety and well-being of our community.
Will members of the GGU community be tested?
We understand your concerns, however, the CDC determines who gets tested.
Is GGU going to issue face masks to the community?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that healthy people wear face masks. They are not effective for preventing transmission of this disease, and they limit the supply for health workers and others who need them.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Stay home from school or work, wash hands thoroughly, cover your cough and avoid close contact with others. If you are sick and think that you may have been exposed to coronavirus, contact your health care provider.
What is GGU doing to stop the virus from being spread to the campus?
Although this is currently a low-risk situation for our community, we are taking the following actions:
- In addition to our regular housekeeping cleaning services, effective this week and continuing through March 7th, we are bringing in an extra housekeeping person to focus on cleaning/disinfecting high-traffic common areas, including classrooms, bathrooms, and elevators.
- Extra disinfecting cleaning will also occur at high-traffic customer service counters, such as the Switchboard, HUB Counter, Business and Law Library Reference Desks and Checkout counters, and Café tables.
- We are making available Handzies Wipes that you can pick-up at the Switchboard in the Main Lobby.
What can I do to protect myself?
We are in the middle of regular flu season, so we want to stress that the most effective way to protect yourself from the flu or the COVID-19 virus is to practice good hygiene.
Health officials urge the following hygiene practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Because we have a law student with a life-threatening allergy to most hand sanitizers, we are asking people to refrain from using sanitizers in the building unless they are the following brands: Handzies (Amazon), EO Products (stores and online), and Babyganics (Amazon).
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick, and do not come to work, attend classes, or attend public events, particularly when a fever is present and there are respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing. Tentative guidelines suggest that employees stay home for at least five days after onset of illness, and they should not return to work until cough has improved and fever has been absent for 48 hours. The CDC offers additional advice here.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- It’s not too late to get a flu shot if you have not already received one for this flu season.