Procedures in Place at Fresno Pacific University
With COVID-19 still around, there may be concerns that you might have about being back on campus. For many, it is scary, but Fresno Pacific University is doing a lot to ensure the safety of its students, staff, and faculty. So, you can be on campus and feel comfortable knowing your school cares about you! I got the opportunity to sit down with the Vice President of Student Life, Dale Scully, and Residence Director, Rayna Harris, and ask them some questions about the COVID-19 procedures FPU has in place and how things look on campus as of right now.
Scully states that FPU closely follows the advice from Fresno County, the state of California, and the CDC guidelines. This includes social distancing, face covering, visitation limiting, and vaccinations. In all indoor spaces, everyone is required to wear masks and maintain a safe distance from each other.
Classrooms have also asked professors to keep a seating chart to track possible outbreaks and exposure. In outdoor spaces, it is not required to wear face masks, but social distancing and limiting the number of individuals sitting on benches or tables are encouraged. FPU has also altered visitation rules for residents, so that no outside visitors or commuters are allowed in any of the residential areas on campus; this includes dorms and houses.
As for vaccinations, all residents are required to be fully vaccinated. Currently, 90% of the population are vaccinated, with the other 10% having medical or religious exemptions. Commuters are not required to be vaccinated, but it is highly encouraged. In a survey collected by Student Life, from the students who chose to participate, 68% of the population is vaccinated. In addition, FPU has recently announced all employees on campus will be required to be vaccinated.
How does FPU become aware of positive cases or exposures? How do they handle them? Cases are self-identified, and the university asks its students, faculty, and staff to notify the front office if they have symptoms, are exposed, or test positive for COVID-19. According to Harris, once they are notified, the rapid response process begins and a team on campus takes action.
“Once we get notified of an exposure or that someone is having symptoms, we contact them as soon as possible,” Harris said.
As Residence Director, she deals primarily with residents, but the process is similar for all cases. The person affected is asked a series of questions and they are asked to quarantine for 10 days, which complies with CDC advice. However, the time spent in isolation varies from case to case and depends on whether a person tests positive or was exposed. There is also contact-tracing, where they investigate where an individual has been so they can notify those in contact with them about possible exposure.
With many COVID-19procedures, everyone can feel safe on campus knowing there are rules in place to prevent people from getting sick. When asked about the university’s campus life in future semesters, Scully says it is unclear whether these policies will change.
“I don’t have an answer, and so we’re going to continue to follow the state of California Public Health Guidelines. We’re optimistic that once the delta variant passes and these numbers keep declining, that we might see ourselves in a place, after the new year, where we can relax some of our mandates and restrictions on dining capacity, residence hall visitation, and mask wearing. If we’re allowed to do so,” Scully said.
Since cases are self-identified, it is important for everyone to report symptoms and testing information to the Campus Life/ Student Development Office. Together, we can keep FPU safe.
Active/ Recovered Cases since August: 20
(According to the FPU website updated every Monday.)
For more information on covid procedures and cases on campus, please visit the website below:
By: Valerie Claustro