In-person classes will resume for the fall semester. | COVID-19 News & Information

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 News & Information

Increasing In-Person Activities

With COVID-19 conditions improving locally and statewide, we are excited for the return of many in-person activities including:

To slow the spread and support our return to additional in-person activities, Chico State encourages all members of our campus community to get vaccinated.

Learn how we can Combat COVID-19 Together.

General Information

This page contains general information about Chico State’s spring 2021 semester, how Chico State continues to respond to COVID-19, and where to find other critical information to keep our campus community safe and healthy. If you have questions about a specific campus department or service, we recommend visiting their website directly for current information.

**Note: Specific information for studentsinstructional faculty, and all employees can be found on those resource pages.

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Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

To provide transparency to the campus community as Chico State continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will notify students, faculty, and staff when a public health agency confirms that a member of the Chico State community has tested positive for COVID-19 and if the individual was recently on campus or at another University-owned site. While news of positive COVID-19 cases may be concerning, we want our community to be informed when a case has been identified and know how the University is responding.

Total Cases

337—the total number of positive COVID-19 cases identified in the Chico State community since August 1, 2020. This total is updated on a weekly basis every Friday afternoon.

This number represents the total count of self-reported cases over time, but does not reflect the number of currently active cases or number of individuals who have recovered. The Butte County Public Health Department (BCPH) tracks general “active” and “recovered” information for the county, but is unable to provide details for University-specific cases.

What We Can & Can’t Report

Per guidance from local public health officials, the University can share only details about positive COVID-19 cases identified in the Chico State community and the locations of those cases if they occurred on campus. We are unable to provide details about the number of individuals involved in specific incidents or any identifying information to protect the privacy of those involved. Therefore, the number of incident announcements the University sends to campus will not correlate with the total number of positive cases in the Chico State community.

Fall 2021 Plans

The fall 2021 schedule allows approximately 65 percent of the University’s 4,100-plus course sections scheduled for the fall will be fully in-person or include in-person components. We’re pleased to note this is an increase of our earlier projection of 20–30 percent. The fall 2021 class schedule is now available to check class modalities for specific courses.

The remainder of classes will be held fully online. Many of our classrooms are too small or designed for a low faculty-to-student ratio, which means they cannot accommodate a full cohort of students with proper social distancing, as directed by public health guidelines.

We are also planning to offer as many in-person student activities and support for this fall as allowed by the county's COVID-19 conditions, with the goal of providing a full college experience regardless of in-person class options. We are hopeful that this can include student organization meetings, events, athletics, outdoor gatherings, study spaces, and more.

Residence halls will be open, with University Housing offering double-occupancy and single-occupancy rooms to more than 1,800 students.

Social distancing and masks will remain a requirement on campus throughout 2021. Based on conditions, these requirements will be re-evaluated for spring 2022 and beyond.

Everyone at Chico State is looking forward to being together in person again. The University remains, first and foremost, committed to the health and safety of all members of our campus community.

Tuition/Fee Information

While statewide CSU tuition remains the same, some mandatory campus-based fees have been reduced.

Tuition is determined by the CSU Board of Trustees and remains unchanged, with a commitment to no tuition increases for the 2021–22 academic year. All students in the CSU system, not just at Chico State, pay mandatory tuition regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, online, or study-aboard students—and even if they do not expect to ever use the programs or facilities they support.

Tuition and mandatory campus-based fees cover fixed and ongoing expenses the University continues to incur during the COVID-19 pandemic to finance, maintain, and operate student facilities and services, which remain available to students via remote access and/or limited in-person access. None of these fees are "usage-based fees," but cover the debt services and personnel on a 12-month budget basis.

Examples include ongoing administrative costs such as employee wages and benefits—including student worker salaries—overhead costs such as student-government programs, academic retention and support, progress toward degree completion, expenses for utilities, repair and maintenance, and payment of financing and long-term debt obligations for some facilities.

Even with instruction occurring virtually, Chico State continues to provide quality education and critical student services including academic advising and career services, tutoring and other learning-support services, medical care, mental health counseling, basic needs provisions, online research, and learning beyond the classroom, and technology assistance.

However, since instructionally related travel and in-person event services will not be provided, delivered, or used during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, the campus-based Instructionally Related Activities Fee has been reduced by $29 per semester. The University has reviewed the full fee schedule based on the CSU system's COVID-19 guidelines and has determined that all other scheduled fees remain warranted.

If students want the facilities and services to be available to them and others in the future, they must be supported and maintained during the pandemic.

Campus Operations

Chico State is open, but in-person University operations and services are limited in light of COVID-19. Essential services such as building operations, grounds, maintenance, security, and animal and lab maintenance will be ongoing—with a majority of faculty and staff working remotely. Business operations and student support services will be provided mainly through phone, video conference, or email.

Learn more about campus facilities and operations.

On-Campus Events

Any in-person gatherings are an exception to current policy mandating virtual services and will be allowed on a very limited basis. At this time, only small and medium on-campus gatherings of up to 50 people may be considered and must follow the exception approval process. For more details, please email

This includes Admissions visitor programs such as orientation and campus tours, and all performing-arts events hosted by Chico Performances, North State Symphony, and School of the Arts. 

Athletic competitions are suspended for the 2020–21 academic year. The vast majority of University athletics, recreational sports, intramural, and sport club programs will remain virtual.

At this time, in-person Commencement ceremonies are still planned for spring 2021—one for the class of 2020 and a separate one for the class of 2021—but a final decision will depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses and will be made in accordance with guidance from state and local health officials.


The campus community, including students, faculty, and staff, may access free testing at the OptumServe COVID-19 testing location on campus in Shurmer Gym (map), which is open 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays by appointment. Free parking is available in the Nettleton Stadium parking lot off of Warner Street (map).

The OptumServe testing site located at 900 Mangrove Avenue in Chico remains open to the public six days a week. Both OptumServe testing sites are by appointment only.

Schedule your appointment:

Visit the BCPH website for additional testing sites.

The WellCat Health Center also offers COVID-19 testing for students by appointment only, with priority given to those who are experiencing symptoms or have confirmed exposure. Center staff are collecting samples in the clinic and periodically at various off-campus locations where our students reside, offering multiple opportunities to access testing. Samples are processed at laboratories off site, and result turnaround times vary but average 48–72 hours. Students without symptoms or known exposure who cannot be accommodated in the clinic’s schedule are referred to OptumServe. WellCat Health Center is also conducting bi-weekly surveillance testing of the 100+ student residents and resident advisors currently in University Housing.

Chico State is contracting a vendor to increase on-campus testing after spring break. The vendor will take over testing of University Housing residents and begin testing nursing students and student-athletes in Intercollegiate Athletics to enable in-person skill instruction in accordance with CCAA/NCAA guidelines.

This pilot testing will guide increased testing in fall 2021 to include University Housing, athletics, nursing, and students attending in-person classes. The University is also developing a mobile app to alert those in the testing program of required testing, scheduling, and results.

If You Get Sick

Anyone experiencing any coronavirus symptoms(opens in new window), even mild symptoms, should self-isolate and contact Chico State’s COVID-19 Hotline at 530-898-2222 for guidance. Calls to the hotline are voluntary and all information will remain confidential. The hotline is staffed during University operating hours.

Outside of hotline hours, individuals should contact the Butte County Public Health Department at 530-552-4000 or their health care provider.

All positive COVID-19 tests staff should be immediately reported to the COVID-19 hotline to aid with contact tracing.

Mental Health Support

This time is troubling for all of us. The uncertainty of the situation, the changing home life for many, the concern for those in the community who are facing the risks of the virus every day all contribute to these feelings. Everyone should pay attention to how you are impacted and work to actively care for your mental health in addition to physical health.

The WellCat Counseling Center offers a comprehensive list of resources on its website, which includes a 24/7 phone number to speak to a counselor immediately (Call 530-898-6345 and press 2).

Faculty and staff have a number of resources available through the Employee Assistance Program, including emotional support and counseling. The MyLifeMatters service also has a special hub of COVID-19 resource topics including supporting at-home children, financial stress and stability, caring for older adults, working remotely, and more.

Staying Safe and Healthy

Chico State urges everyone to comply with the evolving statewide Stay At Home Order and follow best practices for reducing the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands, physical distancing, staying home when sick, and wearing a face covering in common and public indoor spaces, and outdoors when physical distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Employees who are asked to perform on-campus essential services must follow best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

To protect the health and safety of the campus community, the University will employ a broad, regimented campus-wide sanitization program. Sanitizing activities across campus in classrooms, offices, dining areas, student housing, and other facilities will include (but are not limited to):

  • Daily disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in common areas, including door handles, classroom desks, tables, computers/keyboards, lab spaces, and bathrooms
  • Deploying sanitizing stations throughout campus, especially in high-traffic locations for disinfecting hands

COVID-19 in Our Region

California continues to be under an evolving statewide Stay At Home Order intended to flatten the COVID-19 curve and keep our community safe. The statewide order is reinforced by similar guidance from Butte County Public Health (BCPH) and the City of Chico.

View the latest information from the county on the BCPH website, as well as regular updates to the public via the BCPH Facebook Page.

The University continues to work closely with city, county, and state partners—and will continue adapting its planning for fall to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, and continuity of Chico State's educational mission. 

COVID-19 Information

We recommend following the most up-to-date and accurate information about the virus, prevention, and its spread through official sources including: