Emergency Operations Center Activated at SJSU

Sent: March 5, 2020
From: Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs, Charlie Faas, VP for Administration and Finance and Patrick Day, VP for Student Affairs

Dear Campus Community,

At this time, there are no reported cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at San Jose State University. The campus remains open and classes continue as scheduled. 

Due to the rapidly evolving public health concern regarding COVID-19, SJSU has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), focused on coordinating the university’s response. The EOC, which includes campus leaders from the Academic Affairs, University Police Department, Student Affairs, Facilities Development and Operations, among other groups, consults regularly with President Papazian and her cabinet who will make large-scale policy decisions.

In the event of a campus closure, information will be shared through Alert SJSU, our primary means of communication in the event of an emergency. Information will also be distributed through email, TwitterFacebook, and the Health Advisories website.

Travel: Domestic University-Sponsored, International University-Sponsored, and Personal

Among the many concerns COVID-19 has produced is travel. For domestic university-sponsored business travel, we strongly recommend reducing all non-essential travel. Please note you can find recent places where COVID-19 has been identified online. Also, even though a trip may be for domestic business purposes, the event could attract large numbers of international travelers. Please be cautious, therefore, in making travel choices.

For international university-sponsored travel, whether it is for business or personal reasons, note that reducing all international travel is strongly recommended at this time because of COVID-19. There are already a number of countries that are banned from travel by the CSU system. We will ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date on those places. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also mandated that if you travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days. 

For domestic or international personal travel, it is imperative that you are thoughtful in deciding the mode of transportation and where you are going. With spring break on the horizon, consider where you may be planning to travel, whether it is in the U.S. or abroad. Not only is it important to keep yourself and your family safe, but as a member of the Spartan family, we have an inherent responsibility to engage in practices that ensure everyone has the opportunity to come to a secure campus.

Preventative Self-Care and Hygiene

To protect yourself, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are sick and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

Since it is still flu season, the CDC also recommends persons getting the flu shot to help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

There is an ongoing effort to sanitize as many public spaces as possible, including classrooms, keyboards, mouse, monitors, etc. to minimize spread of COVID-19 as well as other diseases, such as the flu. This is, of course, difficult to do given the size, breadth, and scope of this cleaning effort. To assist with sanitizing efforts, please consider regularly wiping down surfaces, telephones, smartphone devices, and computer keyboards in your work and study spaces with disinfectant.

To reiterate, we are all encouraged to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by handwashing, covering when sneezing or coughing, or, in worst case scenarios, the use of self-quarantine and testing should you suspect you have been exposed. 

Potential Exposure to COVID-19

If you believe you may have had exposure and thus will need to self-quarantine, please contact the following people immediately:

  • Students: contact the Student Health Center at 408-924-6122
  • Staff: contact your direct supervisor
  • Faculty: contact your dean and/or department chair. 

If you develop even mild symptoms related and/or similar to COVID-19, you should stay home and notify/consult with your health care provider and/or public health officials.

For those with autoimmune or other underlying conditions that might increase the risk to contract COVID-19, we encourage you to contact your health care providers for recommendations. 

Forthcoming Guidance

We understand there are still many questions from the campus community regarding attendance, coursework, travel, campus sponsored and affiliated events, as well as other areas, related to COVID-19. The university is currently discussing these issues and will provide updates in the coming days. 

SJSU Spring Events

The spring semester is often filled with large gatherings to celebrate the end of the academic year. While the university continues to have internal discussions on best practices for these upcoming events, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department recently released recommended guidelines for large gatherings.

  • For individuals who are considered to be at a higher risk of serious medical complications if they contract COVID-19, the County Public Health Department encourages them to avoid mass gatherings where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.
  • Office environments, grocery stores and shopping centers are not considered harmful venues because it is unusual for large numbers of people to be within arm’s length of one another.

Stigma Related to COVID-19

The university is in the process of creating a Health Advisories webpage that will become the main site for COVID-19 information. The site will house updates and advisories, FAQs, resources and other pertinent information regarding COVID-19. The campus community will be updated as soon as the Health Advisories site is launched.

Please continue to access the Updates and Advisories and FAQ pages on the SJSU Newsroom site for the time being. These pages will be moved to the Health Advisories webpage when it is complete.