Human Resources Service Center

Return to Campus Guidelines and Expectations

Updated 7/19/2021 - This plan will be revised as information evolves. See Revision Control.

Chico State will phase-in the return of employees (faculty, staff, and student employees) to campus in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing when appropriate, availability of PPE (personal protective equipment) and compliance with state and local restrictions. These guidelines and expectations align with recommendations from the federal government (Opening Guidelines), Center for Disease Control (CDC), California and Butte County Departments of Public Health, Cal/OSHA, and the CSU, Chancellor’s Office and will be updated as our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 evolves. The President has authority to approve in-person or other campus activities as long as health and safety measures are taken that comply with this policy or as other safety considerations evolve.

Prior to authorizing return to campus, Chico State will:

  • Identify potential workplace interactions which may expose employees to COVID-19 as required by Cal/OSHA.
  • Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them.
  • Implement individual control measures and screenings.
  • Provide face coverings, N95 respirators, or other personal protective equipment to employees as required by Cal/OSHA.
  • Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols in accordance with all current requirements.
  • Implement face covering and physical distancing guidelines in accordance with all current requirements.
  • Encourage all employees and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Chico State has designated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) with responsibility to implement these guidelines and evaluate all requests for employees to return to on-campus work, or otherwise exercise oversight of return to campus processes. The return to campus process is broken into four phases as follows:

  • Requests during phase 1 and 2 shall be submitted to
  • Departments returning employees to campus during phase 3 shall:
    • Complete and submit a Part 1 - Employee On-Site Staffing Form
    • Complete a Part 3 form and submit to for notification purposes only (EOC approval is not necessary).
  • Phase 4 will be phased in as follows:
    • Initially, the campus will move into Phase 4a. At this point, employee safety will be managed through a campus wide effort along with onsite guidance provided by individual managers. Department specific safety plans will sunset. Per current Cal/OSHA guidance, employees working on campus who have self-attested to being fully vaccinated(opens in new window) may work indoors and outdoors without face coverings or physical distancing. Employees who have not self-attested or have not been vaccinated shall continue to wear face coverings, and also physical distance while eating. NOTE: All employees, regardless of vaccination status are welcome to continue wearing their face covering and practice distancing where practical to do so.
    • Phase 4b is when emergency telecommuting ends and all employees are welcomed back to campus. Employees are required to return to their on-campus work location, and, in general, all campus operations and staffing will return to pre-pandemic levels. Campus will implement the vaccine requirement when the systemwide policy is approved.

Employees approved to return to campus will:

  • Conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus.
  • Maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings as required by Cal/OSHA, CDPH and campus, unless they have self-attested to being fully vaccinated.
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Provide verification of vaccine status as requested after the systemwide policy is approved.

Phased Return to Campus Plan

The return to campus process will be tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, as well as the communities we serve. Deans/Directors shall seek approval from their Vice President/Dean to begin the return to campus process. Once approved, departments will submit a Return to Campus Request on the standard templates, including site-specific prevention protocols, to the EOC for evaluation or oversight. During Phase 1 and 2, requests will be evaluated through a process of risk and resource assessment to establish approval, prioritization, and sequence. No unit or department will increase on-campus staffing levels without appropriate authorization. Returning employees to campus during Phase 3 does not require EOC approval.

All employees needed for effective on-campus operations will be included in the repopulation request. Managers are to provide at least 21 days’ notice before transitioning an employee back to campus to work. Employees who have medical concerns regarding their ability to return should contact the Benefits unit in the Human Resources Services Center to explore available options. Benefits team can be contacted at or (530) 898-4360.

Phased Staffing

Phase 1: Return Employees Currently Unable to Work Remotely

In Phase 1, employees that are able to effectively work remotely should be afforded the opportunity to continue. Employees who are not able to effectively work remotely will begin returning to campus. During this phase, the University will have the opportunity to refine safety measures and operational protocols before campus density is increased. Vice President/Dean approval and risk assessments are required.

Phase 2: Create opportunities for limited on-campus work to support instruction, student support, and research

Expand staffing to support the summer term and prepare for the fall term. Faculty may be permitted to utilize their office and/or classroom/lab space for preparation of activities. Limited in-person student support services may be allowed. Research activity that includes the use of University facilities on a limited basis may be permitted. Vice President approval and Departmental Risk Assessments are required. Employees requesting an "early" return to campus may work with their appropriate administrator to submit a Return to Campus Plan (Under Phase 2 of the Return to Campus Guidelines).

Phase 3: Create opportunities for additional on-campus work to support the institution’s mission

As of June 7 we are moving into Phase 3 - Continue to expand on-campus staffing to support the institution’s mission and prepare for a return to in-person campus operations. Strive for all departments to provide on-campus services during normal operating hours. Faculty are permitted to utilize their office and/or classroom/lab space subject to physical distancing and safety protocols. All departments must complete Return to Campus documentation.

Phase 4: Return to full in person operations

Beginning July 26, 2021, CSU Chico moves into Phase 4a: Employees working on campus will be offered the chance to voluntarily attest to the fact that they have been fully vaccinated. Employees providing such an attestation may work on campus without face coverings and distancing as permitted per Cal/OSHA guidelines. Face coverings or N-95 masks will be available (and guidance provided for use) for employees who have not attested to being fully vaccinated.

Beginning August 16, 2021, CSU Chico moves into Phase 4b – All departments will provide on-campus services during normal operating hours. Emergency telework will end and employees will be expected to report back to campus. Upon return, all employees will be required to adhere to all Cal/OSHA, CDPH, CSU and campus requirements.

COVID-19 Hotline

The WellCat Health Center has launched a COVID-19 hotline—530-898-2222—to answer faculty, staff, and student questions about a variety of COVID-19-related topics.

Hotline staff can assist with identifying symptoms, provide guidance about prevention and slowing the spread of COVID-19, and refer individuals to WellCat services, including basic medical care, mental health services, support groups, access to confidential Safe Place advocates, and more. Whether you’re looking for the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance on prevention, links to Butte County and other local resources, or help navigating Chico State’s online COVID-19 information, our hotline is here to help!

The hotline can be reached at 530-898-2222 during normal business hours. Calls received after hours will be returned on the next business day. Alternatively, you may email hotline staff at

Health and Safety (Workplace) Guidelines

Institutional Responsibilities

Identify workplace specific considerations for employees to be aware of while COVID-19 is present in the community

During Phases 1-3 detailed Return to Campus Request plan are required from each department or unit that initiates a return to campus request. This Plan will include a departmental risk assessment which includes site specific details and requirements. EH&S will provide an electronic template as an aid in completing this review and documentation. A detailed Return to Campus Request plan is not required during phase 4.

To help ensure all campus employees, students, and visitors are aware of COVID-19 safety measures, the University will continue to message the campus community of current COVID safety precautions via a variety of methods including email, web pages, and postings. Employees should work with their appropriate manager to review methods of communicating with the different groups of visitors to their areas. Additional health and safety measures are outlined in the campus Injury and Illness Prevention Program COVID-19 Addendum.

Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them, and other topics required by Cal/OSHA.

Implement individual control measures and screenings

  • Provide face coverings (or N-95 masks as appropriate) and guidance on appropriate use.
  • Provide and ensure employees use all required personal protective equipment.
  • WellCat Health Center in partnership with Risk Management will be responsible for COVID-19 case management which includes:
    • A COVID-19 Hotline for all employees ( 530-898-2222 or
    • Liaison with Butte County Public Health officials.
    • Support and/or implement the investigation of any COVID-19 illness and determine if work-related factors could have contributed to the exposure.
    • Support and/or implement contact tracing as required.
    • See Appendix B (PDF) for additional details.

Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols

  • Cleaning in high traffic areas. The University will clean or sanitize high traffic areas in accordance with current CDC guidelines.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrances and high-traffic areas.
  • Provide products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Ensure that sanitary facilities (e.g., restrooms) stay operational and stocked at all times.
  • Custodial teams will clean classrooms, offices, and workspaces following CDC guidelines.
  • All HVAC air filtration will be upgraded to a minimum MERV13 where possible.
  • Increase outside air intake to reduce recycled air in buildings.

Implement the CSU vaccine policy when approved

  • CSU, Chico will implement the Systemwide policy concerning COVID-19 vaccines, and require all employees to attest to their vaccine status or eligibility for an exemption.
  • CSU, Chico will conduct randomized verification to validate the vaccination status. Employees requested to verify their vaccine status are expected to comply.
  • Employees seeking a religious or medical exemption will follow standard campus practices to secure an accommodation.

CSU, Chico will implement other safety measures (e.g., testing, masking, etc.) as necessary in response to changing circumstances.

Employee Responsibilities

Every employee must contribute to a safe and healthy work environment. In consideration of fellow employees, and to be respectful of others’ needs to protect themselves and their families, employees are responsible for the following:

Conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus

Employees experiencing any of these symptoms, should contact their supervisor and the COVID-19 call center ( 530-898-2222) immediately and do not report to campus.

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • New loss of state or smell
  • Pink eye

Employees experiencing any of the warning signs below should contact a medical provider or report to the nearest emergency department immediately. Enloe’s phone number is (530)332-7330.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Follow all applicable CDC, CPDH, and Cal/OSHA safety guidelines

Attest to vaccine status and verify as requested when the Systemwide policy is approved

  • Once the policy is approved, employees will attest to their vaccine status using the system provided.
  • When requested, employees will provide verification of their vaccine status or documentation that supports an exemption.

Appendix A - Highlighted Guidance from CDC on Maintaining Healthy Institutions for Higher Education Environmental

Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)(opens in new window)

Appendix B - COVID-19 Case Management Procedure

CSU, Chico has established a COVID-19 Case Management Procedure to guide our communication and required actions related to suspected or confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on the campus. See Appendix B Case Management Procedure.