Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Plans for 2021 Classes and Operations

The COVID-19 Emergency Operation Center provides detailed updates on plans for spring and fall 2021, as well as vaccination and testing.

Announced: February 9, 2021, 9:30 a.m.

To: Campus Community
From: President Gayle Hutchinson and EOC Director Mike Guzzi

As President Hutchinson shared on Monday, the COVID-19 Emergency Operation Center is working on plans for 2021 based on state and local public health guidelines and the capacities of our campus classrooms. To provide certainty in the short term, our fundamental plans for remote working and learning will remain the same through the spring semester regardless of any future changes in COVID-19 risk tiers.  

Our plans for summer and fall are based on current conditions and projections for how the situation could evolve over the next few months and are still fluid. But we wanted to give you a glimpse of our expectations as of now.

Please review the following for updates and clarification, but know that these plans may adjust.

Spring Campus Operations

  • Chico State will continue virtual classes for the entirety of the spring semester, regardless of the county's tier status.
  • Employees working remotely will continue to do so for the remainder of the semester. Those working on campus full time or part time will also continue to report to campus as determined by their supervisor. 
  • The campus is developing a color-coded guidance document (aligned with federal, state, and local guidelines) that outlines when a greater number of activities can resume, such as indoor study spaces, use of campus facilities, scheduling events, extracurricular activities, research, and travel. As our community moves through the state's COVID risk tiers, the guidance document will denote what activities and campus use will be allowed.

Plans for Fall Campus Operations

  • We are 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.
  • Guidelines currently indicate approximately 20–30% of fall 2021 course sections will be offered in-person or blended (partially in-person), with a priority given to classes with experiential learning. 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.
  • There is no easy explanation of what this means for individual students. Depending on their major and their current progress toward graduation, it could mean a fully online schedule or one that is both in-person and online. The fall 2021 schedule will be posted in March. 
  • Residence halls will be open in some capacity, with University Housing offering single-occupancy rooms to more than 1,000 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.


  • Butte County Public Health (BCPH) has allocated vaccines for all active Chico State faculty and staff, and sign-ups continue to be available through Enloe Medical Center. BCPH has also approved vaccines for several categories of frontline student workers, including University Housing, Associated Students, and University Police Department employees. 
  • The University has requested and is advocating for BCPH to allocate vaccines for all students.
  • The University is not able to monitor or track the number of employees or students who choose to be vaccinated, but we do encourage everyone who is able to take the vaccine. 


  • WellCat Health Center is conducting bi-weekly 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.
  • Chico State is also working with BCPH to set up a testing location on campus. The plan is for the county to offer about 100 testing appointments per day 2–3 times a week. This will be open to the entire community, but an on-campus location greatly enhances the ability to provide testing access for our students, faculty, and staff.

As always, the most current information is available on the University's COVID website and you can direct questions to the University’s COVID-19 hotline at 530-898-2222. We will continue to update you throughout the semester.