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COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Update: Fresno County’s Transition to Tier 2

Sept. 30, 2020


Dear Campus Community,

You may have heard the encouraging news yesterday about the California Department of Public Health moving Fresno County into the Tier 2 (red) status from Tier 1 (purple) in accordance with California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This is significant as it denotes an improvement for our county’s designation from “widespread” risk for transition of the novel coronavirus to a “substantial” risk. 

We are very pleased that Fresno County has transitioned to the Tier 2 status, which will allow for the reopening of many local businesses with limited capacity, such as restaurants, retail stores, gyms and houses of worship. (Please visit the County’s webpage to learn more.)

As we saw this summer, the virus positivity rate in our county can change quickly. It is vitally important for each of us to be diligent about adhering to public health guidelines, including wearing facial coverings, maintaining physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

By doing so, we will do our part to help Fresno County and our local businesses to potentially move to Tier 3 (orange), which would allow even greater flexibility. 

Please note that the change in the county’s status will not alter our fall semester plan in regards to the number of in-person courses and our overall on-campus population of 2,200 students, faculty and staff. It is our collective responsibility to ensure a healthy environment for our students and colleagues as our efforts will also help to mitigate the spread of the virus in the county. 

Further, on-campus meetings and events will continue to be limited to no more than 25 socially-distanced persons, through the fall semester. (Additional information regarding in-person events and meetings for spring 2021 will be reviewed in early November.)

Whether you live in Fresno County or elsewhere, whenever leaving your home, we urge you to:

  • Avoid large gatherings. In some cautionary tales from other universities, outbreaks of the virus can be traced back to a single party. Also, if you go to a place of business that is crowded, it is wise to leave and instead go to another business that is following the public health rules, for everyone’s sake.
  • Continue wearing a facial covering.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance with your peers.
  • Stay home if you are feeling mildly ill.
  • Wash your hands frequently as part of your daily routine.
  • Get a flu shot for the seasonal influenza. As the fall and winter cold and flu season ramps up, getting a flu shot is particularly important. The University will offer voluntary flu shots for all students on Oct. 13 and 15. Faculty and staff who are authorized to be on campus this fall will be offered voluntary flu shots Oct. 19-21. More information will be forthcoming.

We also thank our campus community for maintaining a high standard of public health protocols. Though we have had some cases on campus, the spread has been avoided because we have kept a focused and intentional concentration on wearing facial coverings, ensuring social distancing and proper hand hygiene.

Thank you for your diligence and for doing your part, as a member of the larger community, to reduce the spread of the virus. We truly are all in this together.


Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Debbie Adishian-Astone

Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer