Friday, August 21, 2020

One More HSU Student Tests Positive for COVID-19; School Nearly Done with Initial Testing for Campus Residents

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 5:34 PM

  • Humboldt State University - FILE
Humboldt State University confirmed one new COVID-19 case in a student who moved into on-campus housing, bringing the total to four cases.

Since beginning their move-in process last weekend the school has administered 600 COVID-19 tests with a 7-day positive rate of 0.67 percent, compared to a county rate of 2.2 percent and the state rate of 6.4 percent.

The school is still expecting "a small number of students" to arrive on campus within the next couple of days, each of who will also undergo a COVID-19 move-in test. All students are required to quarantine for 14 days after moving into on-campus housing.

According to the release, all students who tested positive were asymptomatic and are all in isolated rooms to prevent further spread.

“We are checking in often with the students who are in isolation, and they all seem to be doing well,” said Donyet King, Director of Residence Life. “I’m really proud of how our students in the residence halls have been doing as far as following health and safety guidelines, even before they moved to campus. We had very few cases, and none where the students had symptoms before moving in.”

The release also states that comprehensive testing will continue for all students living on campus this year to identify those who may be asymptomatic and isolate them quickly.

Fall virtual instruction begins on Aug. 24, while limited in-person instruction begins on Sept. 8.

The campus will remain closed to the public and all campus community members are expected to follow the HSU Social Responsibility Commitment.

Read more about campus safety guidelines and practices below as well as the university's COVID-19 cases update below.

What to Expect at Humboldt State for Fall 2020

The landscape of college life has changed dramatically this year. In order to adapt to this change, the fall semester has been re-imagined so we can have a safe return to campus and support the success of our students.

Here’s what you can expect for Fall 2020:

Important Dates

Monday, Aug. 24: Virtual instruction begins

Sept. 8 - Nov. 6: Limited face-to-face instruction

Monday, Nov. 9: All classes return to virtual instruction 

Nov. 23 - 27: Fall Break (on-campus residents who leave for break will not be allowed to return to the residence halls)

Dec. 14 - 18: Finals week

For an overview of the fall semester, see the Academic calendar, Activities & Deadlines calendar, and the Green & Gold calendar.

COVID-19 Cases

As you may have seen in earlier announcements, we have had members of the campus community test positive for COVID-19. For these and any future cases, the University and Humboldt County Public Health will work together to help isolate individuals and determine if contact tracing is necessary. The University will also provide information about any new cases by the end of each day and post the total number of cases on the Campus Ready website.

Health & Safety

The university has put in place health and safety measures based on health guidance from CDC as well as state and local health guidelines:  

HSU Social Responsibility Commitment: All members of the campus community are expected to follow the HSU Social Responsibility Commitment. It’s a promise to protect everyone on campus and in the North Coast community.

Physical Distancing & Face Coverings: The campus community is expected to stay 6 feet apart from each other whenever possible. Everyone must wear a face covering at all times indoors on campus, and outdoors anytime they cannot maintain a 6 foot distance from others. 

Quarantine: Anyone returning from travel outside of Humboldt County must quarantine for 14 days. For students living on campus, that means as soon as they move-in, they must stay in their room at all times, except to get food from the J or the College Creek Marketplace or go to the Bookstore.

Testing for COVID-19: On-campus residents will be tested as soon as they arrive on campus and will be tested at the Student Health Center (SHC) multiple times during their 14-day quarantine period. The SHC will continue offering optional testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic students, and will periodically test student-athletes based on recent guidance from the state.

Campus Repopulation: While some faculty, staff, and students will be on campus, it’s important to remember that campus remains closed to the public. The number of people allowed on campus is strictly limited to keep overall density low on campus so we can continue to offer the limited face-to-face instruction. Students living on campus will have their own rooms, as well.

Wellness Self-Check: Each day before coming to campus, everyone, including students, is required to do a wellness self-check, including taking their temperature. The CDC considers any temperature over 100.4 F to be indicative of illness. Thermometers were given to students living on campus and are also available for free from vending machines in College Creek and Jolly Giant Commons.

Daily Operations: High-touch surfaces and communal areas will be sanitized and disinfected frequently. Furniture has been spaced out to ensure physical distancing. Building signage will remind people of health and safety protocols, with green check mark stickers on desks, restroom stalls, and other places on campus to indicate areas that are available to use.

Building Access: In order to keep campus density low and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, access to buildings on campus is restricted to people on the Fall 2020 essential personnel list. Essential personnel must be approved through the HSU Environmental Health & Safety process during the pandemic. Learn more in the Return to Work guide.

Dining: The J and the College Creek Marketplace will be offering only grab-n-go and take out options in sanitized, reusable containers. 

Related Guides: Health & Safety | Residential Life & Housing | Dining Services

Academics and Student Resources

Course Instruction: Most courses will be offered virtually either synchronously (at set days and times) or asynchronously (coursework is completed during flexible time periods), and a limited number of courses will be offered with face-to-face instruction between Sept. 8 and Nov. 6.

Course materials/textbooks will be listed in your class schedule in Student Center by Saturday, Aug. 22, and the syllabus for each course will be accessible in Canvas before the first day of class. Contact your instructor for further information if needed.

Technology Needs: If students need a computer or WiFi access for coursework, let Information Technology Services know by completing this form.  

Resources: Students will have access to several academic, cultural, and health and wellbeing services and resources, including the Academic & Career Advising Center, the Learning Center, Centers for Academic Excellence, the Student Health Center and Counseling & Psychological Services. Most services and activities will be offered virtually, with a few exceptions.

Athletics, Events, and Activities

Athletics: Humboldt State University’s athletics conference—the California Collegiate Athletic Association—suspended Fall sports competition. A limited number of student-athletes will return to campus and be under strict supervision and limitations as they navigate through athletic facilities, receive proper medical treatment, and return to permissible practice/workout routines.

Events: To align with Humboldt County Public Health guidelines, HSU will not be hosting any face-to-face events by departments and organizations.

Activities: Because staying connected with the campus community will be especially important this semester, HSU is offering a variety of virtual programs and activities. Be sure to check HSU’s Virtual Quad for things to do.

Related Guides: Academic Support |  Athletics | Class Instruction & Technology | Events, Activities & Meetings |  Student Life & Support Services

Employee Information

Telecommuting: Most HSU employees will continue to telework, with the exception of personnel approved to teach in-person courses, engage in certain research and creative activities, and support essential business operations.

Training: All employees, including students, who work on campus are required to take HSU’s COVID-19 Social Distancing Guidelines training.

Paid Leave: Multiple related paid leave options are available to help employees who are affected by COVID-19. Review the chart of leave options and details on pandemic-related benefits and leave.

Related Guide: Working from Home & Campus

Please remember these guidelines, policies, and procedures are subject to change, so watch your Humboldt State email and check for updates.

This is a challenge. But we can do this if we work together. So thank you for taking personal responsibility so we can all keep learning, keep teaching, keep working, and keep safe.

HSU Nearly Done With Initial Testing for Campus Residents, One Additional Student Tests Positive August 21, 2020

One HSU student resident tested positive in the latest round of COVID-19 testing.

As of Friday, Humboldt State University had conducted COVID-19 tests for nearly all students moving into campus residence halls. A small number of students have not yet arrived and are expected to move in over the next two days.

Humboldt State has administered approximately 600 tests, and County Public Health officials have shared with HSU that approximately 600 test results have been completed. The 7-day positive rate of those results is approximately 0.67 percent, compared to a county rate of 2.2 percent and the state rate of 6.4 percent.

All four of the students with positive tests were asymptomatic. They had not shown symptoms or felt ill prior to traveling to this community.

The affected students have been moved to rooms on campus that are set aside for isolation. The University is providing ongoing support including health and wellness checks with the students, as well as delivery of meals and other necessities.

“We are checking in often with the students who are in isolation, and they all seem to be doing well,” said Donyet King, Director of Residence Life. “I’m really proud of how our students in the residence halls have been doing as far as following health and safety guidelines, even before they moved to campus. We had very few cases, and none where the students had symptoms before moving in.”

King says affected students have been compliant and cooperative, and Residence Life employees report students are understanding and appreciative of safety efforts.

Based on its policies and protocols, the University is protecting the privacy rights of the students while also working to share information necessary to protect the health of the campus and the broader community. HSU continues to work closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community who need to be advised of their risk of exposure to affected people.

Comprehensive testing is continuing for all students living on campus this year. Campus residents will be tested multiple times during the course of a 14-day quarantine period. This enhanced level of testing is intended to identify those who may be asymptomatic and isolate them quickly, and was implemented late last week with the help of additional resources that the state provided from the state and county.

In addition to the required testing for students living on campus, all other HSU students may opt to be tested at the Student Health Center and all students showing symptoms will be tested. Student-athletes are also being tested periodically per state requirements.

Residence Life and the University continue to provide a host of services to students preparing for the fall semester.Services include technological support, counseling and advising, mental and physical health services, basic needs support and, more.

This advisory provides all the information the University will share about the cases.
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Iridian Casarez

Iridian Casarez was a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2019-2023.

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