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

Human Resources Service Center

Return to Campus - Phase 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We recognize the guidance from the CDC and California Department of Public Health is still evolving. This list comprises our best recommendations as of April 2021, and will be updated as needed.

Return to Campus Expectations

  1. Will the building on campus be open beginning June 7?
    The majority of campus buildings will be open during operating hours beginning Monday, June 7. June 7 is the first day of summer hours and campus operating hours will be Monday – Thursday from 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  2. Can a department open up a minimum amount of hours on June 7?
    Beginning June 7, the campus will expand on-campus staffing and all departments should strive to provide on-campus services during operating hours. In some instances, there may be departments with limited staffing during the summers which cannot remain open during all operating hours. Academic departments with staffing concerns should contact the VP or Dean’s office for guidance.
  3. Are managers required to provide an employee with notice before asking them to return to campus for work?

    Managers are to provide at least 14 days’ notice before transitioning an employee back to on-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 leaves- or (530) 898-4360.

    Please provide your employee with a written notice of return. An email is sufficient. An example of an email is:

    Dear X,

    I am confirming our conversation concerning increased on-campus work. Beginning June 7, 2021, your schedule will be as follows:

    Monday 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. On Campus
    Tuesday 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. On Campus
    Wednesday 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. On Campus
    Thursday 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. telework from home

  4. Is 14 days notice required every time we change an employee's schedule?
    When there is a need to adjust the number of days an employee is scheduled to work on campus, 14 days' notice shall be provided. Please see response to question #3.
  5. May a student receptionist work alone in a department/unit in order to fulfill the requirement of being open during operating hours or must there be a professional staff working as well? 
    On-campus operations should not be dependent on student employees working in the office alone, and the practice is discouraged except for limited timeframes (e.g., covering breaks or lunches).
  6. What does it mean in the guidelines when you say "familial status (e.g., childcare obligations) should not be a reason to be treated differently"? 
    We understand that childcare over the summer continues to be a concern. To a large degree this problem pre-dates the pandemic, though we know we understand that your options may have changed. With vaccines now available to the entire 16+ population, the expectation is that options will continue to expand as we move into the summer. The reason we are rolling out the plan now is to provide as much time as possible for planning. Childcare, eldercare, or other personal obligations should be addressed with flexibility and pursuant to campus policies where relevant, and do not preclude on-campus work. The burden/benefit of on-campus work should not be dictated by an employee’s familial status or other personal obligations

Return to Campus - Forms Required

  1. What forms are required to be submitted before returning to campus? 

    All on-campus work must be supported by a Part 1 AND a Part 2 OR 3.

    You must submit a new electronic Part 1 even it there are not employee changes. changes to Part 2 or 3 and first time submission should be emailed to for record keeping purpose.

    CSU, Chico has established a process to assist departments with returning activities to campus, including a template for evaluating the physical workspace and proposed in-person activities in order to design site-specific prevention protocols. These forms can be downloaded to your device, and then filled out using Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader only or completed electronically when available. If you need to download Adobe Acrobat go to Knowledge Base Article " Help installing and configuring Software(opens in new window)", click Request Service for Adobe Creative Cloud which will allow you do download Adobe Acrobat DC. If you still have difficulties with the forms please contact the EOC at

    *Part 1 form is solely for returning employees to campus and should not be used for activity or event requests. Additional guidance related to activity/event request will be coming soon.

  2. What forms are required if I am interested in scheduling off-campus research or activities? 
    Requests for off-campus research or activities should be directed to department administrators (travel claim) or to Risk Management for student travel (field trips).
  3. When are these forms required to be submitted?
    when forms are submitted
    Employees Returning 4/1 - 5/1Employees working on-campus after 5/1 including those beginning on 6/7Employees returning after 6/7
    • Submit Part 1 and Part 2 or 3 to EOC for approval if not already on file. (Current practice)
    • If already on file, submit updated Part 1 if different.
    • Submit Part 1 electronically
    • Submit Part 2 or 3 to EHS for record keeping if not already on file with the EOC.
    • Update Part 1 periodically as staffing increases or changes.
    • For new requests Submit part 1 electronically & Submit Part 2 or 3 to EHS for record keeping
  4. Do you have sample forms I can review?

    The following sample forms are provided as view-only examples.

  5. Part 1 will be changed to an electronic form. If I submitted a Return to Campus Part 1 form already, will I be required to submit an updated Part 1?
    By May 1, an electronic Part 1 will be created. Once available, all departments/units will need to complete an electronic Part 1, even if previously submitted and approved. This will allow the campus to measure overall on-campus population and building specific populations. For that reason, we advise units to wait to submit their Return to Campus plans until the electronic Part 1 is available unless they must bring employees back before May 1.

Assisting Employees With Concerns

  1. How do I respond to staff when they are questioning the need to return to campus? 
    The Phased return not only allows us to start offering some in-person services, but helps the campus adapt to an increased population. Time to adapt and adjust to having more people on campus will make everyone safer than if we simply waited and all returned at once.
  2. Why did the campus select June 7th to transition to Phase 3 of the Return to Campus plan? 
    June 7th was chosen as it signals the start of summer hours, is after Chico Unified School District has ended their normal year, and it offers the campus the summer months to adjust to changing populations and learn more prior to students arriving.
  3. How do I address concerns raised about childcare over the summer? 
    We understand that childcare over the summer continues to be a concern. To a large degree this problem pre-dates the pandemic, though we understand that your options may have changed. With vaccines now available to the entire 16+ population, the expectation is that options will continue to expand as we move into the summer. The reason we are rolling out the plan now is to provide as much time as possible for planning. Childcare, eldercare, or other personal obligations should be addressed with flexibility and pursuant to campus policies where relevant, and do not preclude on-campus work. The burden/benefit of on-campus work should not be dictated by an employee’s familial status or other personal obligations.
  4. What about staff who say they do not feel safe/comfortable?
    All departments are expected to increase their on-campus work presence. Employee fears of returning should be understood, and regular reminders regarding safety protocols (PDF) should be used to address the concerns. However, many employees have some level of mixed feelings, but how to best serve the campus community should be the guiding principle when making return-to-campus decisions.

Health and Safety

Social Distancing

  1. Will staff offices need to maintain 6' or 3' distancing? And what about classrooms?
    Cal/OSHA requires 6’ social distancing. For now, there are no guidelines allowing for 3’ distancing at the University. The 3’ distancing is only being used for planning for the fall JUST IN CASE there is a change to the 3’ distance.
  2. If we are 6 feet apart in an office space, do we have to wear a mask?
    Yes. Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health both require masks indoors except for very specific instances. For more information, go to the EHS website.
  3. Can my department schedule in-person staff meetings?
    Departments should avoid unnecessary meetings: use videoconferencing, telephone calls, and email to communicate. In person meetings should not exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain separation for physical distancing requirements.
  4. Some offices only have one door in or out. If someone is sitting by the front door and another person is sitting 6 feet away, the person sitting 6 feet away can’t exit without coming closer than 6 feet to the person sitting by the door. Does that mean the person sitting by the door has to exit every time the farther person wants to exit?
    No, this is incidental contact similar to other areas like hallways and grocery aisles.
  5. How are people handling "cycling" people through the office in terms of technology (needing a home and work office). Are you all creating more shared work spaces?

    We imagine that shared workspaces will be much more common as we work to return to campus. The following guidance is included in Section IV of the Guiding Principles (PDF):

    1. The majority of employees work most effectively on their desktop computer. Many people have ergonomic keyboards and multiple monitors. However, it is not feasible for employees to transport their desktop computer to and from work if they are working a schedule that involves some days working on campus, and some days working from home. An employee’s desktop should be located where they spend the majority of their work time.
    2. Your department should conduct a technology inventory to determine what computer and technology resources are currently available in the office and what is located at employees’ homes. The University recognizes the challenges technology needs may present as part of our return to campus planning, and we are currently gathering information and working on scenario planning to address this issue. We intend to distribute further information/guidance soon.
    3. Shared desktop workstations may be needed on-campus to allow those that are alternating between being home and on-campus the ability to work efficiently in either location.
  6. Faculty who have a teaching appointment during the summer or fall semester, will their office hours, or at least some of their office hours be on campus? Suggestions for maintaining social distancing during office hours, if you are trying to review papers in person. Can that still be online?
    1. For summer, all faculty office hours may be virtual.
    2. As long as social distancing is possible, in person office hours are recommended for the fall semester. Departments are encouraged to consider using larger spaces, such as conference rooms as scheduled locations for in person office hours to be held when possible. The use of these spaces may be particularly helpful for advising and for instructors with face-to-face classes.
    3. We recognize that in some cases, it may be simpler and safer to review papers and do advising online. These decisions should be discussed with one’s chair.
  7. Is there a maximum number of staff we can bring back?
    No. The level of staffing will be based on the ability to social distance, not a percentage of employees. Some offices may be able to return to 100% staffing while others will only be able to safely house a much smaller percentage.
  8. If we have staff in cubicles closer than 6 ft can they all be in their cubes at the same time?

    It depends. Keep in mind that you need to measure from the employee. If employees are in individual cubicles, and the walls of the cubicle are tall enough and extend far enough to create a substantial barrier, then it is possible. The presence of standing work stations would increase the height of the cubical wall needed to create a substantial barrier. EHS is available to help evaluate these spaces.

    Plexiglass will not be able to be utilized to extended walls of cubicles horizontally and only in special circumstances vertically.

  9. Will there be a published COVID Cap for Conference Rooms and Department Offices?

    Not campus-wide. However, departments should establish COVID restricted occupancies depending on their needs and the ability to configure the conference room.

    Managers should evaluate common space and establish their own COVID cap based on social distancing requirements.

Mask Wearing Requirements

  1. When am I required to wear a mask?
    Wear face coverings in common and public indoor spaces, and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Refer to the current CDPH guidance(opens in new window) for additional information and limited exceptions. In the event that State or County requirements change, employees will be advised and will be expected to comply with updated requirements. (The University will provide face coverings for employees.)
  2. Will the University provide face coverings?
    Cloth masks are provided to employees by the University. The University will issue 3 masks to employees on request. Disposable masks are provided in limited quantities to departments who may have students or visitors show up without one. They are not intended to be issued to staff to wear on a daily basis. To order masks, please place a work order with FMS by using the iServiceDesk(opens in new window). Please coordinate orders by department/area to minimize requests.
  3. Wearing a mask while answering phones is going to be hard – will our customers hear us?
    One suggestion is to supply an earpiece with a microphone which can fit behind the mask, to each person who answers the phone. These types of devices are not allowed to be shared unless they are cleaned AND aged out (not used) for seven days.
  4. Are we still holding firm that masks are required when indoors (in the fall)?
    Yes. Cal/OSHA and the California Department of public Health both require mask indoors except for very specific instances. For more information, go to the EHS website. The COVID Commitments campaign will be in effect. This includes posters, A-frames, lawn signs, multi-media posts, and similar methods of reminding the campus community and visitors.


  1. How will office space be cleaned/sanitized?

    The custodians will sanitize high traffic areas (entrances/ hallways/elevators/lobbies) 2x per eight-hour shift, at a minimum. Other areas are the responsibility of the occupants. Departments should develop a cleaning protocol and/or schedule for their areas as appropriate.

    If you need cleaning/sanitizing supplies, please designate one person in your department/area who is coordinating requests for COVID related supplies. This person should consolidate requests for items as much as possible to minimize the number of individual orders placed with campus departments. For all requests for materials below please place a work order with FMS via the iServiceDesk(opens in new window).

Plexiglass Requests

  1. When should Plexiglass barriers be considered?
    For the most part, Plexiglass barriers are only for customer service type interactions. Plexiglass barriers are currently being constructed and/or supplied by FMS. The only costs associated with it would be if something has to be fabricated for a specific need.
  2. Will FMS be installing plexiglass barriers for front-facing offices or do we have to request that?
    Barriers will need to identified in the Return to Campus assessment and requested via work order. See below.

Kitchen/Breakroom Space

  1. May employees use kitchens/breakrooms?

    While the use of indoor common spaces should be minimized, when possible, the use of kitchenettes and breakrooms is allowed under the current emergency Cal/OSHA regulations. However, face covers must be worn at all times when moving around the breakroom/kitchen area. In addition, the following restrictions must be observed:

    • No shared utensils.
    • No shared dishes.
    • No shared foods.
    • Employees must remain 6 feet apart from each other, no sitting closer together while eating.
    • Immediately wipe down the area after eating is complete.
    • Disinfect handles and other commonly touched surfaces often (not a custodial responsibility).

General Safety

  1. If my department has a need for COVID related supplies, who do we contact?

    To order any of the below items, please place a work order with FMS by using the iServiceDesk(opens in new window).

    The University has the following COVID-related supplies ready for your return to campus:

    • Cloth masks – provided in bundles of 3 masks/employee.
    • Disposable masks – (50/box) – not intended for employees, but for students or visitors who forget their mask.
    • Hand sanitizer – (16 or 17oz) – please note that the University has installed sanitizing stations in every building across campus.
    • Surface sanitizing wipes.
    • Hand sanitizing wipes.
    • Standard Plexiglass dividers (27”x24”, 31”x36”, 31”x23”) – custom Plexiglass dividers may be requested, but may have a charge associated with the fabrication.
  2. Are gloves supplied?
    Gloves are not supplied at this time as they are not usually required and are still in short supply. If you feel you have a special need for gloves, please contact EHS.
  3. Will hand sanitizer be available for use throughout campus?
    Hand sanitizer stations have been installed in nearly every department on campus. Contact FMS for refills. Hand sanitizer containers for desks or other areas are available from FMS on a limited basis.
  4. Will training be provided to employees?
    All employees have been assigned COVID IIPP training. Managers are encouraged to check on their employee’s completion status of the training and follow-up on any outstanding assignments. In addition, managers should review all safety precautions identified in their return-to-campus assessment as well as general COVID safety practices with their employees when they return to the worksite.
  5. I would like to purchase a portable air filtering unit for my office or work area. Can I do that?
    We are not supporting the use of portable air purifying devices for campus offices for the following reasons:
    • Building HVAC filters are already at least MERV 13 rated.
    • The maximum amount of outside air is being introduced to the building.
    • Prior to the daily work schedule, the building is being flushed with outside air.
    • Introduction of air moving devices can defeat or disrupt the building designed air flow/mix pattern.

Technology Needs

  1. Does ITSS have more/excess loaner laptops available for distribution for those who are rotating days?
    The EOC is working closely with IRES to assist in the management of hardware needs. In the meantime, departments should take inventory of towers/laptops in their own department to see if they can be temporarily repurposed or shared. If employees have both a laptop and a tower, consider reassigning one of the devises to another member of your unit.

COVID-19 Exposure, Health & Wellness

COVID-19 Exposure Protocol

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 Monday–Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Calls received after hours will be returned on the next business day. Alternatively, you may email hotline staff at


  1. Can we ask employees anonymously if they've been vaccinated so we can pair up our office teams accordingly?
    Managers and employees should refrain from inquiring into an employee or student’s vaccination status. This information is considered private medical information. While in the course of an exposure investigation or surveillance testing, employees and students may be asked about their vaccination status. These inquiries will only be conducted by WellCat Health Center staff specifically trained in the handling of this confidential information.
  2. Do student workers have to be vaccinated?
    At this time, vaccinations are required for students living in housing and for those participating in athletics.


  1. Can employees continue to telework on a limited basis?
    Although the campus will begin the gradual return to campus on June 7, some staff/MPP may find the need to work a portion of the workweek at home and a portion on campus. In such cases, while working from home, employees are to continue to adhere to the provisions of the existing Temporary Telecommuting Program (PDF).
  2. Is the University considering a long-term telework program?
    The campus is in the process of drafting a long-term campus Telework Program for Staff/MPP. Once the program is finalized the campus will be required to meet and confer with the staff unions. We anticipate this process being concluded no later than the end of the current calendar year.


  1. Should we plan on offering tours with prospective students and families?
    Yes, this is authorized under the COVID safety guidelines. An assessment should be done to ensure that the COVID safety requirements are being met.
  2. Can a department schedule a class outside? Should they be entered in ASTRA?
    It is unlikely that a completely outdoor class would be feasible, due to weather among other concerns.
  3. Are we going to be able to attend basketball games in Acker this fall? GO WILDCATS!
    It is likely that some attendance of sporting events will be able to take place this fall.