Campus moves to virtual instruction for the rest of the semester and will close nonessential services. Details...
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ—which will be updated on an ongoing basis—is intended to provide information about COVID-19; preventive measures for avoiding infection; how Chico State is responding to the COVID-19 threat; and other critical information to keep our campus community safe and healthy.

**Note: Specific information for students, faculty, and staff can be found on those resource pages.

Information from the CDC and other well-known domestic and global health organizations informs this FAQ.

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  • Has anyone in Butte County or at Chico State tested positive for COVID-19?

    Yes, Butte County's first COVID-19 case was announced on March 22, according to the Butte County Public Health Department. View the latest information from the county on the BCPHD website.

    The University continues to follow the situation very closely and has instituted significant changes to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, and continuity of Chico State's educational mission.

  • Has Chico State suspended in-person classes?

    After much contemplation and following guidance of the CSU Chancellor's office and public-health experts, Chico State has transitioned to the virtual delivery of instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, including finals week. No in-person classes, labs, or studio or field-based instruction will take place. We are asking students not to return to campus.

    Governor Gavin Newsom, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and health officials across California and the country have called for rigorous shelter-in-place measures to greatly limit person-to-person contact and travel across the state to reduce the potential for COVID-19 transmission. The seriousness of the situation continues to escalate, and it's imperative Chico State further reduce the number of students and employees on campus or unnecessarily returning to Butte County to help bring the pandemic under control. 

    The campus is not closed but on-campus staff will be reduced to the minimum required to provide limited essential services. “Essential services” include such functions as building operations, grounds, maintenance, security, and animal and lab maintenance.

    Read the University's full announcement.

  • Is Chico State closed?

    The campus is not closed but on-campus staff will be reduced to the minimum required to provide limited essential services. “Essential services” include such functions as building operations, grounds, maintenance, security, and animal and lab maintenance. Campus facilities, such as Meriam Library, computer labs, and the Wildcat Recreation Center will be closed through the end of the semester, as will residence halls. Other business operations will continue to be available through phone, video conference, or email. The majority of staff will transition to work off-site starting March 23.

    The University will, however, continue work on important infrastructure projects such as the partially constructed Science building—a critical higher-education infrastructure project deemed essential in Governor Newsom's March Executive Order related to COVID-19. Chico State’s number one priority is the health and safety of our campus community, including contractors and their staff at all of our construction sites. In alignment with Newsom's Executive Order, we've implemented robust mitigation measures to keep individuals healthy and safe, including enforcing the use of gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment, and adherence to social distancing recommendations.

  • Why didn't the University suspend in-person classes sooner?

    Until March 22, there were no positive cases of COVID-19 in Butte County and, therefore, no closure recommended by the Butte County Public Health Department. However, the California State University Chancellor's Office released a memo March 10 asking campuses to prepare to shift the delivery of as much of the curriculum as possible to non-face-to-face modalities. The Chancellor's office advised ceasing in-person instruction for 2–4 days to allow faculty to prepare for such a conversion. We followed that guidance.

    Based on changing conditions, on March 13 it was decided to suspend face-to-face instruction from March 25 to April 24 to give faculty time to transition to delivering courses online. Then, with the growing concern over COVID-19's impacts and using an abundance of caution, Chico State decided to transition to online and alternative instruction on March 18.

  • How should campus offices implement social distancing?
    The campus community should implement social distancing within their workspaces. Social distancing guidelines are based on a 6-foot separation of individuals, but physical barriers are also appropriate.
    • Consider the physical barriers which are in placed such as doorways or cubicle walls.
    • Consider establishing temporary barriers such as rolling whiteboards and sealing openings between cubicles.
    • Where there are no barriers, but the appropriate distance exists, consider placing a visual reminder to maintain social distance.
    • In reception areas, limit the number of seats. Organize seats in such a manner so there is at least 6-feet between seats.
    • Use phones, videos, or video conferencing to reduce the need for meetings and other close personal contact.
    View full guidelines for social distancing.
  • Does the University have isolation spaces identified?

    The University has designated parts of Konkow Hall as COVID-19 recovery space. We coordinated with the hall’s current residents to make their move-out as easy as possible, found alternate on-campus housing that met their needs, and assisted with relocation. Chico State is exceptionally grateful to Konkow Hall residents for their above-and-beyond sacrifice. They’re stepping up to keep campus safe and ensure the continuity of education for their Wildcat peers should the need arise.

  • Are the residence halls open?

    No, based on guidance from the CSU Chancellor's Office and public-health experts, the majority of Chico State residence halls are closed. Students with no other housing options will be accommodated. Prorated refunds for room and meal charges are available.

  • Can I get a refund for the residence halls?

    Yes, prorated refunds for room and meal charges are available.


  • Is Chico State canceling on-campus events?

    The most recent guidelines from California Department of Public Health strongly recommend postponing or canceling events across California to protect public health and to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19. Most campus events are now canceled or postponed.

    • All public events hosted by the following have been canceled through the end of the semester: Chico Performances, North State Symphony, School of the Arts, and Book in Common. Find a partial list on the University Box Office website.
    • University museums and galleries including the Gateway Science Museum, Janet Turner Print Museum, University Art Gallery, and Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology will be closed through the end of the semester.
    • All University athletic events, recreational sports, and intramural and sport club programshave been suspended through the end of the semester. 
    • Choose Chico on April 4 has been canceled and Commencement in May has been postponed until later in the year.
    • All on-campus gatherings have been canceled.
    • Recruitments
      • All potential employee interviews for non-essential staff and administration employment vacancies are suspended until further notice.
      • All in-person student recruitment (non-employment) has been suspended. This includes campus tours and off-campus recruiting.
    • Campus Visits
      • Programs that invite members of the public to campus have suspendedinvitations until further notice.
  • Are athletic events canceled?

    Yes, the California Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) Presidents/Chancellor Board suspended until further notice all intercollegiate athletic activities. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of rescheduling such events during this academic year.

    Effective immediately, Chico State has suspended all intercollegiate spring competitions for Wildcat athletes, post-season, practices, and student-athlete recruitment. All scholarships will continue to be honored.

    In addition to the suspension of intercollegiate athletics, all recreational sports, intramural, and sport club programs are also suspended for spring 2020.

    This decision follows a meeting earlier today of the CCAA presidents and recommendations from all the CCAA university athletic directors and local health officials. All campuses within the CCAA are taking similar courses of action.

  • Is Choose Chico canceled?

    Yes, Choose Chico has been canceled. Look for further details from the Office of Admissions.

  • Will Chico State cancel Commencement?

    In service to the University’s priority of keeping our graduates and their families safe and healthy, Chico State has decided to postpone its May Commencement ceremonies. We have done so under the guidance of the California State University Chancellor’s Office and multiple public-health experts. Information about registration, regalia refunds, and future ceremony dates is available on the Commencement website.

    The University will announce plans for a special virtual celebration on May 15.

  • What are social distancing best practices?

    Here are some steps individuals can use to establish social distancing. Social distancing guidelines are based on a 6-foot separation of individuals, but physical barriers are also appropriate.

      • Consider the physical barriers which are in place such as doorways or cubicle walls.
      • Consider establishing temporary barriers such as rolling white boards and sealing openings between cubicles.
      • Where there are no barriers, but the appropriate distance exists, consider placing a visual reminder to maintain social distance.
      • Use phones, videos, or video conferencing to reduce the need for meetings and other close personal contact.
      • More social distancing guidelines available here.

About COVID-19

  • What is coronavirus or COVID-19?

    A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

    A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

  • What are the symptoms?

    Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

    More from the CDC.

  • What do I do if I feel like I have COVID-19 symptoms?

    Chico State wants students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, to self-isolate until their symptoms go away and/or call their health care providers to get guidance. 

    Students experiencing symptoms should call the WellCat Health Center at 530-898-5241 for instructions. Outside of WellCat Health Center hours, students should contact the Butte County Public Health Department at 530-552-4000 for guidance.

    Students should contact their instructors via email or phone to work out a plan for meeting ongoing academic success.

    Faculty and staff should reach out to their medical providers or Butte County Public Health at 530-552-4000.

  • How does COVID-19 spread?

    Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

    Person-to-person spread

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    More from the CDC.

  • How do I help prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19?

    Face Coverings

    Chico State highly recommends wearing a face covering to protect against the transmission of COVID-19 both on and off campus. Health care professionals recommend individuals wear non-medical fabric face coverings while outside their residences.

    Because surgical and N95 masks are in very short supply and should be reserved for health care workers, experts recommend the public use homemade face coverings or masks to ensure commercially produced medical masks remain available for first responders. Acceptable alternatives could include a bandana, scarf, or other fabric-based options. Check out this short video on how to make a no-sew mask using a bandana or similar cloth.

    The use of masks is recommended based on research and the high rates of transmission from people who are infected yet asymptomatic, indicating individuals should take extra precautions to keep themselves and others protected. Wearing a face covering puts a physical barrier between your hands, nose, and mouth. More importantly, it helps to prevents individuals from touching their faces.

    Other Preventive Measures

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Stay home when you are sick
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes
    • Keep your immune system healthy by getting plenty of sleep, nutrition, stress-relief, and exercise

    The CDC shares tips for preventing the flu on its website.

  • Should I wear a mask when I leave the house for essential activities?

    According to a Butte County Public Health Department update, it’s recommended that all persons outside the home for essential activities wear a face covering like a bandana or buff. You do not need a surgical or N95 mask (leave those for the medical professionals) and a simple cloth will do. The face covering is not intended to provide the wearer with protection, but rather to protect others from the wearer should they be a carrier of the virus. BCPH created a video showing how to make a no-sew cloth mask out of a piece of fabric and some hair ties.

  • Am I protected from COVID-19 if I’ve had a flu shot?

    No, but the University strongly recommends that everyone obtain seasonal flu vaccination. While it will not prevent COVID-19, influenza is currently in widespread circulation and initial symptoms can be similar to novel coronavirus.

  • Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

    The Butte County Public Health Department currently oversees all COVID-19 testing for the county.

    The WellCat Health Center continues to screen all students who visit the facility and local health care providers are doing the same. If your health care provider identifies an individual experiencing systems such as difficulty breathing, coughing, and fever—and has traveled internationally recently—we will isolate them immediately and contact Butte County Public Health to conduct COVID-19 testing.

  • What can I do if I’m feeling anxious?

    If you or someone you know is feeling anxious about COVID-19, the WellCat Health Center and Counseling Center websites offer a comprehensive list of resources. 

    Staff and faculty may use the employee assistance program (EAP). LifeMatters by Empathia is a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year service. You can access this service by calling (800) 367-7474 or go to for assistance.  

  • Where can I get more information?

    Butte County COVID-19 Information Line—Butte County residents can dial 2-1-1 (24/7) or text their zip code to 898211 for real-time information and updates. The text line is available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Additional information can be found here: