Update from the President March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Campus community,

Sonoma County has announced that, effective at midnight tonight, it will be joining seven other Bay Area counties in issuing a “shelter-in-place” order effective through April 7, 2020.

This shelter-in-place order directs county residents to stay in their homes and only go out for essential purposes. The intent of this order is to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Educational institutions, including Sonoma State University, are partially exempt from this directive. For example, our students are still allowed to travel for purposes of teaching and learning, and faculty and staff are permitted to be on campus to deliver instruction, provided that appropriate social distancing is maintained and other directives are followed.

In accordance with this order and with updated guidance from the Chancellor’s Office, Gov. Gavin Newsom and health officials, we are taking the following step, effective immediately:

  • Effective March 18 through April 7, employees are NOT to come to campus. The only exception will be for employees who are deemed on-site essential by their Appropriate Administrator. 
  • Appropriate Administrators will contact their employees to ensure that work arrangements are in place within a timely fashion. 
  • All salaried employees will receive their usual pay. 

Please note that the Emergency Operations Center has identified the essential on-site university functions and is working as quickly as possible with supervisors to notify impacted on-site essential employees.

As a result of this order, staff, faculty and students who live off campus should shelter in place and not come to campus. 

Sonoma State remains open and remote instruction will continue as scheduled from Tuesday, March 24 to Sunday, April 19.

In preparation for shelter-in-place, when you leave campus please take the following:

  • Any items or materials you may need to perform your work remotely. 
  • Non-sensitive computer files that may be useful to help you continue to perform your work duties remotely. Note that Level 1 and above data may not be transferred to home computers.
  • Please note that you can access your voicemail from off-campus by following these instructions: Avaya phone voicemail access
  • If employees need to return to campus to retrieve appropriate items to work from home, they should contact their appropriate administrator. 

The following facilities and services remain open on-site:

  • Residence halls remain open, although all students who are able to go home safely should do so. Those who feel safer at the university and those who have no other housing options and may have limited access to technology at home are welcome to remain on campus.
  • Dining services in the Student Center for on-campus residents will be open for food pick-up. Essential personnel required to work on campus during the shelter-in-place order will be able to order food as well. 
  • The Student Health Center remains open.
  • The University Library will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for students, faculty, and staff who need access to computers for remote teaching and learning. Other services will still be delivered, but virtually (e.g., accounts, references, research support, e-access). Seawolf IDs will be required for library access. Other CSU campus IDs will be accepted. Social distancing will be required. Also, we are aware that many individuals may need to use computers on campus especially after classes resume remotely on Tuesday, March 24. We will open additional computer labs if needed.
  • Essential services will continue to operate on campus, including the University Police Department, critical facilities services, payroll, critical financial and mail services, and emergency operations support. 

All other campus operations will continue remotely. Operational support will be available during regular business hours via phone, email, and teleconferencing. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Student services: CAPS, Academic Advising, EOP, Seawolf Services, Registrar, Financial Aid, Admissions, Student Affairs, tutoring services (LARC).
  • Faculty support: Faculty Center, Academic Programs, Faculty Affairs, Academic leadership (deans), Human Resources.
  • Administrative operations: Accounts Payable, Contracts and Procurement, University Advancement, I.T., and Human Resources.
  • Due to the public health crisis, the Student Recreation Center will be closed until further notice. 

We will continue to provide updates and clarifying information in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, please check your email frequently and go to the SSU coronavirus FAQ page to access up-to-date information. We encourage students to scroll to the Student Information section of the SSU FAQ page.

We know these are stressful times as we all grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic. I encourage you all to stay healthy, practice social distancing, and abide by the directives of our local and state health officials.

The best way we can do that is to stay calm and, if possible, stay home. I appreciate your continued flexibility, cooperation and understanding. 

With gratitude,

Judy K. Sakaki signature

Judy K. Sakaki