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Return to Campus Protocols for COVID-19

Cal Poly’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in the California’s Roadmap to Resilience and in maintaining the safety of our students, employees and community.

In collaboration with the CSU Chancellor’s Office, state and county health officials, and campus leadership, the following plan provides for a return of employees to campus to support campus operations, research and student success while prioritizing the health and safety of the Cal Poly community.

Employees will receive direction and notification from their managers if they are requested to come to the campus in order to work. Employees who are working from home should continue to do so unless they receive notification otherwise. Employees that wish to seek an ADA accommodation for underlying physical or mental conditions should contact Human Resources to discuss reasonable accommodations including but not limited to telework, use of leave credits or leave of absence.

Key Concepts

  • Public health guidance, scientific knowledge, and clinical best practices will change, so these guidelines may require updates.
  • Resumption of on campus activities is in progress based on local public health conditions as well as institutional capacity. We are prepared for the possibility of a local rebound of infections that may result in more restrictive mitigation measures and physical distancing for periods of time.
  • Meticulous adherence to public health practices is extremely important including not coming to work when ill, and practicing hand hygiene, physical distancing, proper cough/sneeze etiquette, frequent disinfection of common and high traffic areas, symptom assessment, and facial covering when required.

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Staffing Options

Telecommute/Remote Work

Those who can telecommute or work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may continue to do so if it is operationally feasible for the unit (as determined and approved by the appropriate administrator) and consistent with the campus and division or department's repopulation plan. All employees interested in telecommuting or working remotely under the new campus guidelines should review the telecommuting and remote work website for additional information.

Telecommuting and Remote Work Website

Disability Accommodation

We are committed to providing an inclusive learning and working environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. In alignment with these values, and in compliance with applicable laws and policies, qualified individuals with a disability shall be provided a reasonable accommodation in order to perform the essential functions of their job.

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Vaccination Information

CSU COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for Those Accessing Campus Beginning in Fall Quarter

Effective July 30, 2021, all Cal Poly employees and students accessing campus are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 20, 2021. Medical and religious exemptions to vaccination are available for qualified individuals. Please note that individuals who have been exempted will be required to adhere to additional safety protocols such as regular COVID testing. More details will be shared as they become available.

Campus Communication Cal Poly Vaccine Information CSU COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Policy

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Guidance for Specific Workplace Scenarios

  • Post and Promote Prevention Strategies
    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic:
      • Stay home when you are sick (or notify your supervisor and leave work immediately when you encounter COVID-19 symptons).
      • Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit.
      • Limit your movement on campus and wear a face covering in public.
      • Call your health care provider for instructions regarding return to work.
  • Public transportation

    If you must take public transportation, wear a mask before entering the bus and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

  • Working in office environments

    If you work in an open indoor environment, you should follow campus guidance and when required wear a face mask or face covering while in a shared work space/room.

  • One-way directional signage

    Department heads/ managers should consider placing one-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.

  • Stairways for up or down traffic

    Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows. If more than one person is in a room, follow campus guidance and wear masks/face coverings when required.

  • Masks/face coverings

    Masks/face coverings should be used when inside any Cal Poly facility where others are present, including walking in narrow hallways where others travel and in break rooms, conference rooms and other meeting locations.

  • Convening in groups

    Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, telephone, etc.). Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees. All attendees should wear a mask or face covering while sharing space in a common room. During your time on-site, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, etc.).

  • Meals

    Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. Staff are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if this is reasonable for their situation. If required to wear a face covering, only remove your mask or face covering in order to eat, then put it back on.

  • Using elevators

    Use of elevators should be limited where possible to avoid close proximity with others in a confined space. Those using elevators are required to wear a disposable face mask or face covering regardless of traveling alone or with others. You should also avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible.

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Trainings will be available to employees that address:

  • COVID-19 Symptoms
  • Self-Care:
  • Cleaning
  • Bias Awareness: COVID-Related
  • Ergonomics

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Isolation & Quarantine

Pursuant to Cal/OSHA effective Friday, January 14, 2022, Cal Poly will adhere to the following isolation and quarantine standards:

Employees who Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolation) — Regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms, employees who test positive for COVID-19:

  • Must be excluded from the workplace for at least five days from the date of the first positive test.
  • Must continue to isolate if they have a fever and may not return to work until the fever resolves.
  • May return to the workplace after Day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and a COVID-19 test* (preferably an antigen test) that is collected on Day 5 or later is negative.
  • Must wear face coverings around others for a total of 10 days after the positive test (and in accordance with campus protocols).
  • Must be excluded from the workplace for 10 days if they refuse to test or if symptoms are not resolving.

Employees who had a close contact** with a COVID-19 case (Quarantine) and are unvaccinated or are vaccinated and booster-eligible but have not yet received their booster dose:

  • Must be excluded from the workplace for at least five days after their last close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Must submit to a COVID-19 test* on Day 5.
  • May exit quarantine and return to the workplace after Day 5 if symptoms are not present and a verified COVID-19 test* taken on Day 5 or later is negative.
  • Must continue to quarantine and be excluded from the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms and awaiting test results.
  • Must wear face coverings around others for a total of 10 days after the close contact (and in accordance with campus protocols).
  • Must be excluded from the workplace for 10 days if they are unable to take a COVID-19 test or choose not to submit to a test for COVID-19.
  • Must follow the isolation requirements above if they test positive.

Employees who had a close contact** with a COVID-19 case are not required to quarantine if they are boosted or vaccinated but not yet booster-eligible. They must:

  • Must submit to a COVID-19 test* on Day 5.
  • Must wear a face covering around others for 10 days.
  • Must follow the isolation requirements above if they test positive.
  • Must stay home and submit to COVID-19 test if symptoms develop.

* COVID-19 test must be administered by diagnostic lab or at-home negative test that is verified by a qualified telehealth professional. Results must be submitted to HR at Cal Poly Corporation employees should contact for guidance on where to submit test results. ASI employees should contact for guidance on where to submit test results.

** Close contact is defined as spending 15 or more minutes within a 24-hour period and within a 6-foot distance to a COVID-19-positive person.

Reporting a COVID-19 Diagnosis

All employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are diagnosed with COVID-19 should submit the COVID-19 Reporting Form . Reporting positive cases is critical, as it enables Environmental Health and Safety to conduct exposure investigations and allows the campus to maintain an accurate count of COVID-19 cases. Additionally, the campus exempts unvaccinated employees who have reported a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from mandatory COVID-19 testing for 90 days following the diagnosis (a test within this window is likely to produce a false positive). Cal Poly Corporation employees who test positive should contact for further guidance. ASI employees who test positive should contact for further guidance.

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Keeping Each Other Safe

Taking these preventative steps will help protect the safety of our entire community.

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Wear a Face Covering

You are required to wear a mask or face coverings in most public settings.

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Wash Your Hands

Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds throughout the day.

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Keep Things Sanitary

Clean and disinfect the surfaces and items you frequently touch.

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Monitor Your Health

Run through a symptoms checklist daily and stay home if you don't feel well.

Follow these steps if an employee begins having suspected COVID-19 symptoms or feels ill during the workday

Immediately separate the employee who is ill from other workers, customers and visitors.

If safe to do so, send the employee home and instruct them to follow up with a healthcare provider; otherwise, call 911.

If possible, close off all areas that the ill employee was using

Refer to the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting the area when someone is ill.

  • What Symptoms Should I Be Watching For?

    Patients with confirmed infection with COVID-19 reported these symptoms (as of July 19, 2021). Symptoms can range in severity from very mild to severe.This list does not include all possible symptons.

    icons of symptoms
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever or chills
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. More information can be found on the CDC website.

    Employees whose ages or health conditions fall within one of the CDC High Risk Categories or are pregnant should continue to telework; if teleworking is unavailable, employees should speak with Human Resources to explore other reasonable accommodations including leave options.