Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Welcome to the Fall Semester

Whether you will be on campus or learning remotely, Chico State has planned for an engaging fall semester and has extensive campus protocols in place to keep all Wildcats safe and healthy as we all endure the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Announced: August 14, 2020, 7 a.m. 

To: Students
From: President Hutchinson

Welcome, Wildcats! I hope you had a safe and rejuvenating summer and are ready for classes to start. I know attending college during a global pandemic—with the necessary virtual classes and services—is less than ideal. Many of you may be uncomfortable, even worried, to face so much online instruction or attend classes in person. We hope our planning and resulting protocols, explained in more detail below, will provide some structure and encourage confidence as you resume your studies.

I have a few key semester details to share, but also encourage you to check our COVID-19 News & Information website for more information and regular updates. We will email you regularly, including a weekly COVID-19 roundup as the semester gets underway.

Fall Classes

The fall semester starts August 24, with about 10 percent of our 4,200 classes taking place in person. These in-person sections are deemed essential for degree progress, such as clinical and field labs, performance and studio-arts classes, and capstone courses in engineering and agriculture. The fall 2020 class schedule is updated with course delivery information. The majority of virtual classes are time-specific, just as an in-person class would be. Reach out to your faculty if you have any questions. Any classes that start the semester in a virtual format will remain virtual for the entire fall and will not transition to an in-person format under any circumstances.

Virtual Services

We have been building an immersive student-focused experience that allows you to engage with the programs you love, access student services, and maintain your health and well-being. All campus departments are open to provide student support, whether virtually or through limited in-person access. Check department websites and our “Student Resources” page for the most up-to-date information. We want to ensure that you stay connected and can access everything you need for a successful fall semester.

Enhanced Online Learning

This summer, more than 350 faculty members participated in a comprehensive, five-day training on how to deliver enhanced online and blended courses to maximize your learning, engagement, and success. Additionally, partners across campus planned virtual and hybrid delivery for co-curricular campus programs to ensure that you have a well-rounded Chico Experience. If you’re a new student, I hope you’ll take part in Wildcat Welcome events so you can get to know our rich and vibrant campus community, and find the perfect place for you.

Safety Measures

The University has established a series of protocols to maintain cleanliness and safety across campus. It starts by having fewer people in both our indoor and outdoor spaces. We are asking that only essential personnel and students accessing classes, services, and housing spend time on campus. Custodians and facilities crews are doing daily disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in common areas, and every classroom and lab after use. In addition to classroom and office modifications to ensure social distancing, we’ve reduced course enrollment capacities to limit room occupancy and scheduled classes farther apart to reduce the chance of students crossing paths. We’ve also instituted one-way traffic in and out of buildings, posted directional markings, and installed hand sanitizer stations across campus. Campus will surely look a little different, with significant signage to remind all of us to practice responsible behavior and abide by new regulations.

Campus Response to COVID-19 Cases, Exposures

With support from Butte County Public Health (BCPH), we are ready to respond when a student, faculty, staff, or visitor suspects they are symptomatic, has close contact with someone who later tests positive, or tests positive for COVID-19 themselves. First, anyone experiencing symptoms or suspecting an exposure must contact Chico State’s COVID-19 Hotline at 530-898-2222 and self-isolate immediately. Chico State’s Pandemic Response Team will contact the individual to collect pertinent health and event information. University personnel will immediately close the areas any COVID-19-positive individual inhabited while infectious, and initiate an enhanced cleaning and sanitization process following all local and state guidelines. A BCPH investigation process will determine close contacts of COVID-19-positive cases and notify the appropriate individuals, while also respecting confidentiality.

We will notify the campus community when 1) a public health agency confirms that a member of the campus community has tested positive for COVID-19 and 2) the individual was recently on campus or at another University-owned site. Your well-being is our top priority, and we want you to be informed when a case has been identified on campus, and to know that the University is responding immediately.

Students in need of testing should check the Butte County Public Health website.

Housing and Dining

University Housing is providing single-room accommodations this fall for about 750 students—roughly one-third of our typical occupancy. Move-in begins Monday, August 17, with scheduled appointments to ensure physical distancing. Dining services will conform with physical-distancing protocols while continuing to provide limited services to the campus community. Online ordering and payment systems, to-go menus, and contactless pick-up and delivery systems will replace most face-to-face transactions. Check the Associated Students COVID FAQ page for details on what will be open and available.

COVID-19 Commitments

We’ve asked all Wildcats to help us Combat COVID-19 Together. In addition to the new norms of our society (checking daily for symptoms, staying home if sick, washing hands regularly), we expect all students, faculty, and staff to wear masks on campus and in buildings, especially in classrooms, labs, and studios, unless you can’t because of a medical reason (if so, please contact the Accessibility Resource Center). While we expect everyone to bring their own face coverings, emergency coverings will be available in classrooms on an as-needed basis. Additionally, all students, faculty, and staff must complete COVID-19 training (you can access it in your Student Center). Thank you, for setting an example and doing your part.

COVID-19 Resources

Remember, for all COVID-19-related questions and concerns—and to report a positive COVID-19 case or possible COVID-19 exposure—contact Chico State’s COVID-19 Hotline at 530-898-2222 or Calls to the hotline are voluntary and all information will remain confidential. The hotline is staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Remaining Flexible

In addition to being vigilant to slow the spread of COVID-19, we know we may need to adjust as the semester progresses. The campus has developed plans for a variety of COVID-19 scenarios and is ready to pivot as the situation improves or worsens. I thank you for your understanding and commend your resilience in adapting to these changes. Decisions regarding the 2021 winter and spring terms will be made and communicated at a later date.

Whether you will be on campus or learning remotely, all of us here at Chico State look forward to engaging with you this fall. I know it won’t be a traditional campus experience and COVID-19 will continue to challenge us. But I’m deeply grateful for your flexibility and perseverance as we navigate these unprecedented times together. Please know, the campus community is here for you. If you need help, reach out to your faculty, advisors, and University staff for resources and support. Wildcats are resilient and I’m confident you will have a successful semester.

Be engaged. Be safe. Be healthy.