SJSU Response to County Shelter in Place Order

Sent: March 16, 2020
From: President Mary A. Papazian

Dear campus community,

Today, six Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara County, announced a region-wide order to shelter-in-place, through April 7, 2020. The shelter in place mandate calls for county residents to stay inside their homes and away from others in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to only leave for essential reasons. By order of the county, educational institutions, like SJSU, are partially exempt from this order. Students are permitted to travel for purposes of distance learning. Faculty and staff are permitted to be on campus to deliver and/or support online and distance instruction provided that appropriate social distancing is maintained. There are other exceptions outlined in the official order.

As a result, SJSU remains open, even though the majority of students, staff, and faculty will not need to—and should not—come to campus. Students can continue their coursework online. Faculty and staff are asked to continue their professional work through telecommuting, if applicable. Some essential personnel will continue to provide critical services on campus. However, anyone 65 years of age or older and/or who suffers from chronic conditions should not come to campus or any of SJSU’s off-site locations (see yesterday’s message for more detail). University Personnel will contact all essential personnel shortly.

Extension of Online Instruction through end of Spring 2020 Semester

SJSU has moved all courses, including small labs, practicums and studio-based courses, to online instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester (ending May 22). Consult the “For Students” section of our Health Advisories FAQs for other questions.

Faculty are developing innovative ways to support student learning in this new environment. Students should reach out to their instructor, advisor, or program coordinator if they have questions or concerns about navigating online learning or are having difficulty balancing schoolwork with other responsibilities. Faculty and staff are prepared to make accommodations for students who might have a greater risk. Please be reminded, though, that students do not need to disclose any particular condition. Students are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center in support of any request for accommodation. 


Please note the updated status of the following facilities:

  • The residence halls for students, faculty, and staff remain open although all who are able to go home safely should do so. 
  • The Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center and Provident Credit Union Event Center will be closed until further notice. 
  • The Dining Commons and the Village Market remain open. 
  • The Student Health and Wellness Center remains open. 
  • Beginning tomorrow, March 17, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library will remain open only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for students and faculty who need access to computers for online education (floors 1 and 2 will be open). Other services will still be delivered, but virtually (e.g., accounts, references, e-access). Tower ID will be required for access to the MLK Library. 

Updates on library hours and Student Health and Wellness Center services for students, faculty, and staff are forthcoming.

To make sure that we maintain a secure campus, all SJSU buildings will be locked effective tonight at 6 p.m. Since Santa Clara County has issued a “shelter in place,” only essential personnel should be in campus buildings. Faculty who need to deliver distance learning from campus and/or monitor various labs are exceptions to this. Other exceptions must be granted by the appropriate Cabinet member. Beginning tomorrow morning, faculty and staff will need their Tower cards or key cards to gain access to buildings.

I know you have many other questions. Please consult the SJSU Health Advisories website for current information, advisories, FAQs, and resources, and check your email frequently. These are the two main communication channels that SJSU will use to keep you updated on how SJSU is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.