CSUN COVID-19 Fall 2022 Semester Q&A

Fall 2022 In-Person Instruction FAQs (rev 8/22/22) Health and Safety

1. Why are we returning to in-person instruction?

In Spring 2020, almost two and half years ago, we were forced to pivot to a virtual modality as COVID-19 surged across the country. As the global pandemic gained traction, we had no choice but to shut down most elements of our daily lives. At that time, we committed to finding alternate pathways to deliver our academic programs and services while COVID-19 made it unsafe to meet in person. As we left, we also committed to return to campus when it was safe to do so. With the widespread availability of vaccines, the effectiveness of masking, and the better understanding of how COVID-19 is transmitted, we have been able to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus. While we have exposures on campus due to community transmission, transmission of COVID-19 on campus is rare. With all of this in mind, we are confident that our in-person instruction is safe.

2. What is CSUN doing to keep students and employees safe?

Our campus is working hard to ensure that all students and employees are safe and comfortable. Vaccines are required of all students and employees. Vaccination rates for both students and employees are higher than the Los Angeles County vaccination rate of 77% for both primary doses. Please go to the COVID-19 Dashboard for details and more information. In addition, CSUN is now requiring boosters for all students and employees when eligible. CSUN continues to require daily self-screening to further reduce the presence of symptomatic individuals from attending in-person activities and to comply with local regulations. The campus continues to require masks in all in-door instructional / academic spaces. While there are no mandates for distancing, we encourage distancing to the extent that it is reasonable and practical. Hand sanitizer and cleaning materials are available throughout the campus and may be requested through your Department COVID Coordinator. The COVID Operations Team does active contact tracing on campus cases to reduce the likelihood of transmission. And, to further minimize the risk of transmission, the campus has had every HVAC system independently assessed by a third-party mechanical peer reviewer, P2S Engineering, and has installed MERV 13 filters to better capture virus particulates should they be present. The campus follows all Los Angeles County Public Health mandates, and along with the CSUN’s protocols, has made CSUN one of the safest spaces to be.

3. How will I know if a student is compliant with the campus vaccine mandate?

All students attending any in-person class have attested to be compliant with the California State University Chancellor’s Office COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students are unable to register for Fall 22 classes until they have completed the vaccine certification requirement.

4. How will I know which students in my class are vaccinated and which are exempted?

Individual vaccine status is confidential and will not be available to faculty or other employees outside of the Student Health Center and the COVID Operations Team. However, since compliance with the campus vaccine mandate is confirmed through the university vaccine process, all students in your class are either vaccinated, or have been granted a medical or religious exemption.

5. May I request a student’s vaccine status before allowing them into a class or research lab?

No. Student and employee vaccination status is confidential, and faculty or staff may not request health information. More information on vaccine compliance is available at

6. What is my role in enforcing university COVID-19 protocols?

Faculty should remind students in their classes that masks are required while in indoor instructional / academic (e.g., classrooms, lecture halls, all laboratories) spaces and in areas accessible by the public in the University Library at all times. You may also remind students to take the daily COVID-19 health self-assessment before coming to campus.

7. Do permission numbers for enrolling in an in-person class override the COVID-19 vaccination mandate?

No. Permission numbers allow students who are eligible to register to enroll in a restricted class – permission numbers do not override COVID-19 holds or other vaccine mandates.

8. Is social distance in classrooms still required?

LA County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are no longer requiring distancing. However, in most cases, the instructor can remain physically distant from the seated students.

9. What will we do if there are additional COVID-19 surges?

Our priority remains keeping our campus community safe. If COVID-19 surges in a manner that threatens student and employee safety, we are able to pivot specific courses to virtual through a structured process that is incremental and prioritizes safely retaining in-person. We remain prepared to make changes quickly if necessary to accommodate additional safety measures and any emerging guidance from LA County Public Health.
Classroom Management

10. What do I do if a student refuses to wear a mask or comply with other CSUN health and safety mandates?

Our experience in over thousands of in-person sections over the last years demonstrates that students will be committed to maintaining all campus protocols that keep us safe. We have not had any substantive
COVID-related disruption in our in-person classes, and in the few instances where a student arrived unmasked, when reminded to wear a mask, the student did so. We recommend the following steps should you encounter a student in class who is not wearing a mask:
•Gently remind the student that a mask is necessary; you may provide a new mask to the student if they do not have one (your department and/or college COVID coordinator has spare masks available for distribution).
•If the student explains that they are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, ask the student outside for a private conversation with you. When in a more private space explain that university policy requires that all employees and students must wear a mask in all in-door instruction /academic(e.g., classrooms, lecture halls, all laboratories) spaces as a condition of attending any on campus class or activity, regardless of vaccine or testing status. Students seeking a medical accommodation must go through DRES before coming to campus. There are no medical accommodations for coming to campus mask less, but other course accommodations may be approved by Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES).
•If the student continues to be unwilling to wear a mask, explain that the student is not able toremain in the class without a mask, and that the student will need to leave the class if they remain unwilling to wear a mask. In the unlikely event that the student continues to be unwilling to wear a mask, request that the student leave the class.
•In the extremely unlikely event that the student continues to be unwilling to wear a mask, and refuses to leave the classroom, please end the class for the day, dismiss all students, and leave the room. Tell the student that you will need to consult with the Office of Student Affairs. As soon as practical, please then notify Dr. Zeina Otaky-Ramirez, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Student Conduct ( ). Student Affairs will contact the student to clarify the student’s options and pursue any appropriate student discipline.

11. May a faculty member convert a scheduled in-person class to an online class and stay virtual?

No. As in pre-COVID, all classes must be held at the time, place, and modality as scheduled in the Schedule of Classes (SOC). With over 6000 sections offered across the university it is especially important to hold classes as scheduled to allow students to experience the course as intended, and to avoid further confusion.

12. Are in-person classes required to accommodate students who wish to remain online?

Students enrolling in an in-person class are expected to be able to attend the class on campus in a regular manner. Faculty are not required to accommodate students who wish to remain online but have no formal accommodation approved by the university. Faculty can, at their discretion, choose to informally accommodate students who may be experiencing some difficulty in attending in person. Of course, as in pre-COVID, faculty must accommodate students who may be unable to attend a class in person due to illness or other approved absence. In such cases, the faculty may use their discretion in how best to accommodate the student. Students requesting formal accommodations for prolonged absences/illness should be referred to DRES.

13. What should I do if a student in my class tells me they tested positive for coronavirus?

If a student or employee reports that they have recently tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19, please request that they immediately isolate and that they complete the Student Self-Reporting Form or Faculty and Staff Self-Reporting Form. Visitors may self-report here. You may also report the information to: for employees for students

Contact tracers from the COVID Operations Team will follow-up quickly thereafter.

14. How does CSUN determine if a student with a COVID-19 positive test exposed any other students or me in my class?

When a COVID-19 case is reported to the Campus or through one of the self-reporting forms, the COVID Operations Team will assess the exposure and initiate contact tracing as appropriate. The COVID Operations Team will contact students and employees who are close contacts directly to instruct them should isolation or quarantine be necessary. Employee close contacts will be reported to HR for Cal OSHA compliance. The COVID Operations Team will work with the Registrar’s Office to inform students and faculty through a group notification to the class if there was an exposure. The notification will include information on isolation, quarantine, and self-reporting. More information is available on the COVID-19 webpage:

15. How do I verify if a student who claims to have a coronavirus infection has tested positive?

We are not requiring students who self-report as having tested positive or having been a close contact to verify their status. Our overriding priority is to ensure a safe and healthy campus, and we are intentionally working to incentivize compliance with our campus COVID-19 protocols. We do not want any student or employee who may have been exposed to COVID to attend a class or campus function out of a fear they would be unable to make-up the work through an appropriate accommodation.

16. How will I know when a previously infected student is allowed to return to class safely?

Students recovering from COVID-19 will be informed by the COVID Operations Team as to how long they should isolate or quarantine, and whether additional preventive measures are necessary. Once a student has completed these protocols, they are free to return to class. Just as in pre-COVID, students returning from an illness do not require any type of clearance to return to the classroom.

17. What do I do if I am feeling ill or have been exposed to COVID-19?

Faculty or staff who may be experiencing symptoms of illness, or have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19, should stay off campus and notify their chair. In addition, please complete the Faculty and Staff Self-Reporting Form to allow the COVID Operations Team to begin contact tracing. If you are feeling healthy enough to teach, you may teach remotely without charging sick days during the period of isolation. If you are experiencing symptoms and are unable to meet classes virtually, you may consult with Human Resources on eligibility for COVID-19 leave time which is available through December 31, 2022 or charge sick days as appropriate. More information on health and safety is available here.

18. Can a faculty member request a larger room for 'social distancing'?

In most classrooms faculty will be able to remain distanced from students as they teach. And, with MERF 13 filters and ventilation systems regularly refreshing the air in buildings, masking protocols, and the high campus vaccination rate, university classrooms can once again accommodate full enrollment courses. Still, if a larger room is preferred, please reach out to your chair. In some cases, a larger classroom may be available. Please email requests to .

19. May I hold Office Hours in person?

Yes. You may hold Office Hours in person, online, or both.

20. Will student forms be processed electronically, or will both paper and electronic forms be acceptable?

The campus is currently accepting student forms in both paper and electronic format where both versions exist. Electronic forms may be submitted as directed on the form. The Student Forms website provides additional information on submission options.

21. What are the health and safety rules/guidelines for taking students on field trips, and as passengers in CSUN vehicles?

Many classes have been holding in person field trips and we no longer require COVID-19 safety review or approval as long as basic COVID-19 protocols are in place (compliance with the vaccine mandate, masks and hand sanitizer are available). Students and employees may carpool or travel in CSUN vehicles with added protocols. EHS has recommended the following protocols for travel by carpool or van related to instructional and co-curricular activities:

•Compliance with the CSUN vaccination policy.

•Daily self-assessment surveys sent to the employee in charge of the trip before leaving.

•A negative Rapid Antigen test (self-administered / at home tests are acceptable) is recommended within 3 days of travel for overnight or extended trips; Students should not be required to show a negative result to any university employee. Instead, a positive test result should be reported by the student to SHC and the student should isolate.

22. Will all campus resources be opened for in person use by students?

Yes. As we come back to be primarily in person, all campus resources will be open for in person use by students and employees. In fact, most of these are already open for in person use, including several food spaces and the bookstore complex, the food pantry, University Counseling Services, Klotz Student Health Center, the Library, and more.

23. Is professional travel possible?

Yes. Professional travel in Academic Affairs is using pre-pandemic approval criteria. If COVID-19 surges make professional travel unsafe we will adjust approval as necessary.

24. Will advising offices, department offices, and deans’ offices be open for use by students and faculty?

Yes. Most of these offices are open for in person services now and in many cases, virtual services will also remain available.

25. How can I provide social and emotional support to my students, my colleagues, and myself during the pandemic?

Please see Campus Care Recovery Planning Group resources below:

Tips for Providing Socio-emotional Support for Students
(Prepared by the Campus Care Recovery Planning Group)

It’s important to view the current pandemic through the lens of trauma as we work with our students. The first step to addressing trauma is recognizing the existence of trauma. 20% of people in the US have lost a family member or close friend to COVID-19, and even greater losses are found in diverse communities. 80% of CSUN students report moderate to severe anxiety since the onset of the pandemic. Below are tips for faculty to support our students, many of whom have been impacted by the pandemic.

How can faculty support the socio-emotional needs of students returning to in-person classes?

•Begin the semester with introductions in classes to facilitate connection and belongingness among students.
•Assure your concern for student safety by reviewing safety expectations for classes-wear a mask at all times.
•Request student feedback and suggestions for creating a safe and supportive learning environment in your class.
•Promote and model self-care. Check in with students at the beginning of class about how they are doing and ask how they are taking care of themselves. Express understanding that crises like the pandemic can have a negative impact on them both personally and academically. Students are coming back with varying degrees of emotional impact from the pandemic and other social stressors and will appreciate this expression of compassion and caring.
•Share well-being campus resources with the entire class and in the syllabus:

○Institute of Health and Wellbeing

○University Counseling Services

○Self-Care for You at Northridge

○CSUN with a Heart for food and housing needs

○REVITALIZE: The Campus Care Recovery Program

○Klotz Student Health Center


•Take stretch breaks with in-person classes or on zoom for hybrid classes.
•Besides a regular class break, if scheduled, let students know that they may excuse themselves if they
need a break during class. Tell students to notify you if a student needs to be absent for an entire class, but be respectful of their privacy. Let students know that they will be responsible for acquiring and completing missed material from classmates or the instructor.
•Provide flexibility yet also clear expectations regarding how to request extensions and flexibility with course requirements and talk about this with students at the beginning of the semester. Also put this in your syllabus.
•CSUN Student Disability Resources and Educational Services is available for students who want to request academic accommodations.
•Provide a list of CSUN academic resources to all students, and especially to support students who are struggling.
How can faculty support a student exhibiting emotional distress during an in-person class?
•Understand the emotional complexity and social nature of learning. When students are faced with an emotional crisis, like the pandemic, their ability to learn and perform is diminished. Anti-Black racism and other forms of racism further adds to student stress.
•Watch for signs of crisis indicators such as verbalizing anxiety or depression, crying and irritability, looking fatigued or acting withdrawn, and sharing personal struggles. Share that these feelings are normal when impacted by a crisis like a pandemic.
•Support and validate students when they are expressing their own experience and difficult emotions;listen and express support even if you may not understand or agree.
•Provide CSUN well-being and socio-emotional support referrals:

○University Counseling Services
○Strength United
○Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic consortium/mitchell-family-counseling-clinic
○Klotz Student Health Center

•If a student becomes agitated or escalated in the classroom, deescalate by remaining calm and supportive. Validate feelings, but set limits related to returning to class activities, and making yourself available after class.
•If student escalation continues, invite the agitated student to take a few minutes outside of the classroom to calm themselves.
•If the situation does not de-escalate in class, and it is disruptive to the class environment, calmly end class early in a supportive manner. Contact University Counseling Services for immediate help and guidance
•University Counseling Services Crisis Line – 818-677-2366, select option 1, Monday through Friday 8:00AM to 5:00 PM. After hours and on the weekend, 818-677-2366, select option 3.
•Klotz Student Health Center  818-677-3666 option 1, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, from8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Thursday from 9:00 AAM-5 PM.

Tips for Providing Socio-emotional Support for Faculty and Staff Returning in Person
(Prepared by the Campus Care Recovery Planning Group)

It’s so important that we as faculty and staff (and administrators!) take care of ourselves. Research across the country indicates that many faculty and staff have been impacted socio-emotionally by the pandemic. Below are tips for us to support ourselves, and tips for supervisors to support those in their area.

How can faculty and staff take care of themselves when impacted by the pandemic?

•Understand the emotional complexity and social nature of our ability as faculty and staff to perform,which can be diminished in this pandemic crisis. Anti-Black racism and other forms of racism further addsto stress levels. Be kind and patient with yourself.
• Be aware of indicators that may be adversely affecting you: feelings of anxiety, fatigued, or fear about safety, more physical aches and pains, not sleeping well, feeling withdrawn.
• Develop healthy coping mechanisms. Reengage yourself socially with people by having lunch together, joining an affinity group, enjoying time together at the end of the day, etc. Exercise regularly. Be patient and listen to your body. Process your emotions at your own pace. Remember that you aren’t alone and that so many others are experiencing physical and emotional symptoms as a result of the pandemic.
• Engage in self-care that works for you at home and at work. Take breaks. Consider participation in campus self-care activities:

○ Institute of Health and Wellbeing -
○ Self-Care for You at Northridge -
○ Campus Care Recovery Program - Revitalize: The Campus Care Recovery Program | California State University, Northridge (
○ Calm App - Calm - Our Newest Employee Wellness Resource | California State University, Northridge (

• Remember that your responses are normal. It’s our circumstances that aren’t normal.
• If you are struggling emotionally, consider counseling through your personal insurance or through our campus Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters at
• Explore additional resources provided by LifeMatters which include but are not limited to: Health - behavior and physical health self-assessments; web MD resources, smoking cessation program; Worklife - baby welcome program, advanced adoption, child/elder care resource and referrals, college resources and referrals, online searches for varied topics such as summer camps, pet care, etc.; Education - online topical videos, interactive E-learning modules on emotional well-being, family life, and the workplace, and a newsletter on various subjects; Phone Consultations - available with attorneys for most legal concerns and with certified financial planners.
LifeMatters@CSUN Other Services | California State University, Northridge

How can supervisors support faculty and staff who also are expressing emotional distress?

• Provide positive welcome back notices and events, and reassurance at the beginning of the semester.
• Establish community by fostering supportive connections with faculty and staff through community activities-lunches, holiday gatherings, celebrations.
• Things may not be going back to the way they were pre-pandemic and adjustments are likely to be necessary.
• Understand that people will be affected differently from the pandemic. Some will be excited to be returning to the workplace. Others will be impacted in varying degrees by the stress and anxiety they have experienced.
• Provide structure and routine but also grace and flexibility as returning faculty and staff adjust and discuss their needs with supervisors.
• Have regular check-ins to provide a supportive and collaborative work environment.
• Encourage self-care that can be implemented into office practices by taking breaks, and engaging participation in campus self-care activities:

○ Institute of Health and Wellbeing
○ Self-Care for You at Northridge
○ Campus Care Recovery Program - Revitalize: The Campus Care Recovery Program | California State University, Northridge (
○ Calm App - Calm - Our Newest Employee Wellness Resource | California State University, Northridge (

• Provide information through our campus Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters for those who may need extra support.