Important changes to delivery of classes

Published March 11, 2020

Dear Beach Community:

As we’ve communicated over the past few weeks, we’ve been engaged in ongoing planning since the emergence of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. While there are no cases of COVID-19 related to our campus, as a preventative measure and with trusted medical advice, we are temporarily suspending the in-person, on-campus convening of classes.

This action is a proactive step being taken because of our commitment to your health and safety and supports the concept of “social distancing.” Research shows that reducing the concentration of people in an area can lower the infection risk for everyone involved. As the number of cases grow in Los Angeles County, this step very well may save lives and it is on the advice of our medical professionals that we take this step.

To allow our faculty to make final preparations for alternative delivery of instruction, face-to-face classes are canceled from Thursday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 17, although the campus will remain open. Alternative instruction will begin on Wednesday, March 18. Online classes will continue as scheduled.

Some courses will continue to meet in person if alternative instruction is not appropriate, such as some laboratory, performing-arts, and physical-education courses. Accommodations associated with social distancing will be implemented in these courses.

Students: please look for communications from instructors about plans for individual courses. Reach out to your instructors if you have questions.

We are currently anticipating the conclusion of alternative delivery of instruction and resumption of regular operations on Monday, April 20 barring any change in our safety assessments.

The campus is not closing

Campus offices and buildings will remain open and many operations will continue normally, including student housing and related dining facilities. Our Beach Athletics teams will continue to compete. Students who need computers or WiFi will find appropriate resources on campus in the library and Horn Tech Center.

Staff should continue to report to work on site. However, as noted in a recent campus email, if you have an underlying health concern that you believe puts you in a high-risk group, you may investigate a temporary work modification.

The university has developed a framework for assessing what events may be booked, rescheduled, or canceled. No new third-party events will be scheduled for dates prior to May 1. The framework assesses whether or not the event experience can be offered in an alternative way; if participants will be traveling by air to attend; if participants are from populations that are high-risk for infection; if social-distancing and other preventative procedures can be successfully implemented; and what guidance is offered by public-health officials.

This action, I know, will cause great hardship. It is, however, the appropriate action for our community to take.

I know there are many questions and as the situation with COVID-19 evolves in our community we will continue to update you through email and our COVID-19 informational website. Currently on the website you can find up-to-date health information, along with additional information about “social distancing”.

Whether on campus or not, enhance your personal efforts to avoid infection. Washing hands and social distance are two vital strategies for health during this difficult time.

Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D.
California State University, Long Beach