Expectations for Fall 2020 Semester During COVID-19 Pandemic

Sent: August 12, 2020
From: President Mary A. Papazian

SJSU campus community,

With the start of the fall semester just days away, I want to take this opportunity to again thank each of you for your hard work, commitment, and patience during a time that has been hard not only for our SJSU community, but also those around us, wherever we may be. As we prepare for a semester that most of us could never have imagined, I want to remind everyone of our health and safety expectations for the entire campus community and preview other information that is forthcoming over the next several days.

SJSU Adapt Plan Phase 2

As of today, San José State University remains in Phase 2 of our SJSU Adapt plan. It is important to remember that the SJSU Adapt plan is subject to change as state and county public health guidelines change. As noted on the SJSU Adapt site, Phase 2 is marked by the following characteristics:


Teaching and learning will be conducted in a hybrid model — in person and online — with most courses being held online. SJSU is currently reviewing all plans for indoor instruction to ensure that arrangements are in compliance with the updated State of California's guidelines for institutions of higher education that were released on Friday, August 7.


Critical and time-sensitive research activities have gradually resumed while maintaining physical distancing in combination with the use of PPE and sanitization. All Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (RSCA) projects that can be done remotely should continue to be conducted remotely. For the full RSCA plan for Phase 2, visit the RSCA Adaptation Plan site.


All indoor meetings and gatherings are prohibited per Santa Clara County’s public health order that went into effect July 14, 2020. Special events may be held outdoors, with no more than 60 people, if approved by the President’s Cabinet, FD&O, and Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). Visit the SJSU Adapt website for more information on meetings, gatherings, and special events for the fall. Guidelines for obtaining the appropriate approvals will be posted soon.

Obtaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Facilities Development and Operations (FD&O) will provide COVID-related safety supplies and equipment including face coverings, disinfection supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for students residing on campus or those faculty or staff members who have on-campus work requirements during the pandemic. To request supplies, complete the Obtain COVID-19 Safety Supplies form. Supplies will also be available throughout the campus, as well as stationed at FD&O (Corporation Yard A building) and at a kiosk located near the Event Center and Student Wellness Center.

Responsibilities and Expectations

My highest priority during these extraordinary times is the health and safety of our community. COVID-19 has impacted all of us personally in our ability to teach and learn, work, pursue research, socialize, and go about what used to be our everyday activities. The only way for us to regain the ability to move freely is to help control the spread of the virus. Therefore, out of concern for your health and well-being, our students and colleagues, and for our greater community, I am asking everyone to do their part in protecting the health and safety of our campus.

Presence on campus

Essential staff and faculty who need to access campus resources to perform essential work or teach, as well as students who have in person classes or are residing in university housing, are permitted on campus. Staff who do not need to be present on campus to perform their responsibilities must obtain approval from their direct supervisor before coming to campus. Faculty coming to campus should alert their department chair so we are aware of who is in campus buildings and can plan accordingly for health and security protocols. If you are planning to come to campus for technology resources, like WiFi, visit the SJSU IT Equipment Loaning site to see if we have equipment you can check out for the semester.

Face coverings

If you must come to campus to teach, perform essential work, or attend in-person classes, you must wear a face covering and practice physical distancing. More information can be found in the Face Coverings section of the SJSU Adapt plan. Exemptions are permitted as articulated in the California Department of Public Health guidelines. Students who need accommodations should contact the Accessible Education Center (AEC). Employees should contact Employment Accommodations Resource Center (EARC).

Tower ID cards

You must bring your Tower identification card to gain access to buildings.

Symptom checking

Students, staff, and faculty who must be present on campus are expected to self-check for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 before coming to campus. Additional guidance on self-checking symptoms is forthcoming. If you answer yes to either or both of the questions below, you should stay home. If you are already on campus and begin to exhibit any of these symptoms, notify your supervisor and go home. 

  • Am I experiencing any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever or feeling feverish
    • Chills
    • Congestion
    • Runny nose
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headaches
    • New loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Have I been in close contact (within 6 feet) for more than 15 minutes with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19?

Reporting cases

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or believe you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are expected to report information through the COVID-19 Report a Case portal. This confidential questionnaire collects information that will be shared only with the necessary campus officials.

Forthcoming Information

SJSU will soon provide additional guidance on self-checking symptoms, requesting permission to host meetings, gatherings, and special events, and reporting cases.

I encourage you to regularly check your SJSU email for updates as we move closer to the start of the semester. You can also stay up to date by visiting the SJSU Health Advisories site, where you can find FAQs, resources, and the SJSU Adapt plan for the fall 2020 semester. This will be an unprecedented semester, and we move through it successfully by continuing to stand united and by taking care of ourselves and our fellow Spartans.