March 9, 2020
To the Campus Community,
CSUN leadership and the university’s emergency operations team have been meeting daily to monitor and plan for COVID-19/Coronavirus and the safety of the campus community. This extensive work is in alignment with the direction of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases at CSUN. LADPH has stated there is no immediate threat to the general public, and Los Angeles County residents, students, workers and visitors may engage in typical activities, following recommended public health hygiene practice.
Out of an abundance of caution, a group of 13 CSUN students, who recently attended a conference in Washington, D.C. where two non-CSUN-affiliated attendees from New York tested positive for COVID-19, will self-isolate for 14 days from the date of potential exposure as they monitor their health for symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. CSUN has contacted each student to assist with these efforts and arrange for alternative learning options. The students who attended the conference currently remain without any COVID-19 symptoms.
Initial guidance from the LADPH advised that these students self-monitor their health and report to their health care provider if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier today, the CDPH offered additional recommendations — to take the steps outlined above — again out of an abundance of caution. The LADPH and other health agencies monitoring this issue have stated that the risk of exposure for conference attendees is low, and LADPH is not recommending self-isolation of those who may have come in contact with these CSUN students.
To reiterate earlier recommendations for every member of the campus community: if you have a fever at or over 100.4 degrees, cough or shortness of breath, do not come to class and do not come to work. Call your doctor or the Klotz Student Health Center at 818-677-3666, and then press Option 1. Faculty and supervisors should not require notes from medical providers for those who may have absences due to illness.
If you are healthy, follow these preventative measures:
- Frequent and complete hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
- Stay six feet or more from strangers and those who are ill.
- Stop shaking hands with others to reduce the spread of germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your sleeve. Wash your hands thoroughly and safely throw away used tissues.
Additionally, CSUN has already instituted additional cleaning protocols. Cleaning staff have shifted their cleaning and disinfecting focus to add extra time to door knobs, doors, restrooms, and other high-touch surfaces, across campus, including classrooms.
Following guidelines and recommendations of the LADPH and CDPH, CSUN is discouraging all nonessential travel, instituting new event protocols, and preparing for the possibility that classes may need to move to alternative- or virtual-instructional delivery.
Alternative/Virtual Learning Delivery
Given the fast-changing circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19, CSUN’s academic leaders and faculty, in communication with Faculty Senate, California Faculty Association and Associated Students leadership, have been preparing for the possibility that classes will not be able to meet in person. While LADPH is not currently recommending any changes, CSUN may face the necessity of moving to alternative/virtual learning delivery. CSUN’s Information Technology Division has developed the following webpage resource to assist faculty and students with this alternative/virtual learning delivery.
COVID-19 is now found around the globe and across the country, including multiple communities in California. Nonessential travel is discouraged. Employees who feel that planned travel is essential should contact their administrators, e.g., Deans, Associate Vice President or Vice Presidents, for guidance and consideration of exceptions. This may result in disappointment for some, but the health of our students and employees must take precedence. Further CSU guidance will be forthcoming.
Following LADPH and CDPH guidelines, events are proceeding with additional measures, including attendee distancing, hygiene and public health coordination. Should community spread of COVID-19 be found in Los Angeles, the guidelines call for instituting more stringent measures that may include modification of event elements and potentially cancelation. For any event, individuals with symptoms should not participate. Further CSU guidance is expected.
Thank you for the continued steps you are taking to protect your own health and the health of the campus community. I ask all Matadors to be supportive of their classmates and colleagues as we navigate this difficult time together. You can find the latest information about COVID-19 campus planning, preparedness and prevention at https://www.csun.edu/COVID-19.
Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.