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Health & Safety

Strategies will be implemented to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. These measures will be consistent with State, California State University system, and local public health guidelines.

January 14, 2022

Here’s what you need to know:

  • While social distancing has largely gone away, face coverings are mandatory for unvaccinated individuals and may be required for vaccinated individuals as conditions dictate. If an unvaccinated individual is not wearing a face covering, they must remain 6 feet from others. 

  • Anyone visiting campus is required to conduct a self wellness check regardless of vaccination status, and if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you must stay home.

  • Guidelines are available for face coverings, personal protective equipment, covid mitigation strategies including hand washing, disinfection, campus access hazard assessment, and how vaccination status impacts social distancing.

  • Guidelines are available for what to do if COVID-19 symptoms develop and how to best proceed with testing and self-quarantine if indicated. 

  • HSU has a plan in case of on-campus COVID-19 cases

Daily Wellness Self-Checks

Each day before coming to campus, everyone, including students, is required to do a wellness self-check. Taking your own temperature is not necessary unless required by your position or activity on campus- but if you feel feverish, verifying that is helpful as the CDC considers any temperature over 100.4 F to be indicative of illness. 

Those who have symptoms of COVID-19, even if vaccinated  should stay home and not come to campus. 

  • Employees need to notify their supervisor that they have not passed the wellness self-check, however they do not need to disclose any additional information.
  • Students who have face-to-face courses need to notify their instructors and Environmental Health & Safety immediately.

The CDC states that people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported—ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills (over 100.4 F)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue(unusual level of tiredness)
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Also look for other less obvious signs you may be getting sick: 

  • Unusual or excessive feeling of fatigue or tiredness, this is commonly the first indication  
  • Pain or irritation in your throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea 

All or some of the aforementioned symptoms have been reported to have occurred earlier in the illness and in some cases, before people became aware they had contracted COVID-19. 

If you have any of the above symptoms that are uncommon for you (for example, many people have allergies and may have some of those symptoms regularly), follow appropriate guidelines and refrain from coming to campus.  How to determine when it is safe to return to work will need to occur on a case-by-case basis and depends on various factors. Contact Environmental Health & Safety at EHS@humboldt.edu for guidance.

Failing the Wellness Self-Check

Employees who fail their wellness check: Employees who notice symptoms during their wellness check should notify their supervisor immediately. The supervisor should notify HR immediately. They do not need to disclose why they were not cleared, only that based on the wellness checklist that they are not cleared to come to work. Employees regardless of vaccination status must not come back to work until one of the following has occurred: provide a negative test result, OR provide a doctor's note releasing them to come back to work, OR stay home for ten days from the last day they were symptomatic. If either a vaccinated or unvaccinated employee tests positive, they will be out into isolation by Public Health for a period of time.

Students who fail the wellness check: Students that notice symptoms during their wellness check should not attend any face-to-face instruction, utilize any of the dining service facilities, or use any of the communal spaces on campus. They should immediately inform their instructors. Students do not need to disclose why they did not pass the wellness check only that they are not cleared to come to campus. Students should call to schedule an appointment with the Student Health Center at (707) 826-3146. 

Students will need to supply the campus COVID Coordinator with a doctor’s note (from either their primary care provider or Student Health Center) or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before returning to face-to-face instruction. Faculty should be flexible and make their best effort to ensure that the student is extended flexibility while waiting for an appointment or test results.

Wellness Checks Guidelines

Isolation & Quarantine Information

Definitions of Quarantine and Isolation are important:

Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their local public health department.

According to the CDC and CDPH, unvaccinated individuals must also still self-quarantine for a period determined by public health, but is usually 10 days. Testing out of quarantine may be an option to reduce the amount of time required to remain in quarantine, at the discretion of public health as the timing of specimen collection is a critical factor. Public health will also still perform contact tracing to determine who has been exposed to a known COVID case, however if you have not been contacted by public health and you know you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 you should contact public health, human resources or the campus covid coordinator to determine next steps.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it's safe for them to be around others.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 you will be placed in isolation, which may be at home or in a campus residence.

People will be asked not to come to campus under certain conditions and to quarantine or isolate themselves in their home or campus residence, including:

  • Having tested positive for COVID-19
  • Developed symptoms of a COVID-19 infection
  • Are awaiting COVID-19 test results
  • Have had close contact with someone known to be diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Have recently returned from travel anywhere outside of Humboldt County

The duration of your isolation will be communicated to you by public health.

Leave options may be available to employees, and students are encouraged to contact the Dean of students for information on how to proceed.

If symptoms develop

Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider, get tested at a testing location and contact their supervisor or, if needed, go to their local emergency room. It is important to call ahead before going to a health care provider.

Students can call the Student Health Center at 707-826-3146 and ask for the nurse triage line.

 When the Student Health Center is closed:

  • Call FONEMED, a free After-Hours Nursing Advice line, at (877) 256-3534
  • Mad River Community Hospital (707) 822-3621
  • St. Joseph Hospital (707) 445-8121

How to Isolate & Quarantine

Persons Who Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolation) Recommended Action
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection or lack of symptoms.
  • Stay home (PDF) for at least 5 days.
  • Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and a diagnostic specimen* collected on day 5 or later tests negative.
  • If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present or are resolving, isolation can end after day 10.
  • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until fever resolves.
  • If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings (see Section below on masking for additional information)

*Antigen test preferred.

Persons Who are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine) 
Recommended Action
  • Unvaccinated; OR 
  • Vaccinated and booster-eligible but have not yet received their booster dose.**

(Refer to CDC COVID-19 Booster Shots to determine who is booster eligible)


  • Stay home (PDF) for at least 5 days, after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Test on day 5.
  • Quarantine can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present and a diagnostic specimen collected on day 5 or later tests negative.
  • If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings (see Section below on masking for additional information).
  • Strongly encouraged to get vaccinated or boosted.
  • If testing positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home.

** Workplace Setting (not applicable to healthcare personnel):

In a workplace setting, asymptomatic employees in this category are not required to stay home from work if:

  • A negative diagnostic test is obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure to a case
  • Employee wears a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days
  • Employee continues to have no symptoms.

Persons Who are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (No Quarantine) Recommended Action
  • Boosted; OR
  • Vaccinated, but not yet booster-eligible.

(Refer to CDC COVID-19 Booster Shots to determine who is booster-eligible)

  • Test on day 5. 
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially in indoor settings (see Section below on masking for additional information)
  • If testing positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home. 

Face Masks

  • If you are required to use a face mask while on campus, use a face mask with at least two layers of cotton
  • Neck gaiters, which are often made of thin material, must have at least two layers.
  • Bandanas are not approved as face mask because they have been shown to be ineffective

N95 masks are required to be offered by request to unvaccinated employees from their supervisor for use on campus, but any employee who wishes to have the additional protection of an N95 may request one from their supervisor. 

COVID-19 Prevention Plan

The COVID-19 Prevention Plan (PDF) outlines the strategies and guidelines for the campus community to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 while employees are engaged in essential on campus activity. Most of the content is in the sections below, but the PDF provides further detail on health and safety protocols.

COVID-19 Course Safety Plan

Based on the CSU Chancellor’s vaccine mandate, all HSU students, staff, and faculty who access campus must be either fully vaccinated or qualify for a medical or religious exemption. Anyone who is approved for an exemption must be tested weekly.

As a result of the vaccination mandate all classes returning for Fall 2021 in a Face-to-Face format will follow all campus general policies related to COVID-19 mitigation. View the COVID-19 Course Safety Plan to see general COVID strategies that apply to all courses.

Social Distancing Restrictions Updated

Only unvaccinated individuals who are not wearing a face covering are required to be 6 feet from all others. Most locations have removed demaractions and signage that were once in place to provide a visual reminder to stay socially distant. For now, special attention will be paid to areas in which food will be available, so adhere to signage and occupancy restrictions around markets, restaurants, breakrooms and other eating areas.


Misuse of gloves can often lead to spread of contamination. Wearing gloves does not negate the requirement to wash hands. There are certain conditions in which wearing gloves is appropriate:

  • Close contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or individuals who may be infected with Covid-19.
  • Where chemical exposure is present (such as custodians involved in sanitation and disinfection). 
  • Employees who serve food.

EH&S Glove Guidelines

Campus Controls

All activities on campus must be assessed to determine COVID-19 hazards. As we have learned more about COVID-19 transmission and the appropriate risk mitigation strategies including how to best increase ventilation and filtration, the decreased likelihood for fomite transmission and with the inclusion of universal masking, HSU has moved to a campus wide hazard assessment strategy that will be effective as long as everyone follows all on campus policies and procedures.   

  • Engineering controls  include increased ventilation and filtration
  • Administrative controls include following mandates around masking, hand hygiene, taking the required training and the restrictions around campus events and meetings. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment includes wearing N95’s if you are unvaccinated. 

CDC guidelines on controls

COVID-19 Cases, Vaccinations, and Attestations on Campus

Campus Cases

Results are updated every Monday

Active Cases Total Cases
Students 12 248
Employees 3 24

Campus Vaccination & Attestation Rate

Results are updated every Monday

Total numberAttestationsFully Vaccinated
All Students6,4455,8475,550
Students in F2F classes3,6833,5483,396

*Student employees are counted in the student numbers. 

Attestation: These results are the percentages of all current enrolled students, both virtual and face-to-face, and employees working on campus and fully remote, who have either confirmed that they have been fully vaccinated or have qualified for an exemption.

Vaccination: Of those who have attested, these results show the number of students and employees who have been fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Walk-in testing is available in the Great Hall. See the Testing & Vaccinations guide for additional information about open hours and testing requirements. Symptomatics students may also schedule an appointment with the Student Health Center.

      COVID-19 cases

      HSU has designated a number of isolation and quarantine spaces for our housing residents in the event they test positive or need to be quarantined due to exposure, travel, or other reasons. Humboldt County Public Health has the jurisdiction over management of those cases and their contacts and, as such, HSU will defer to their guidance on case management.


      The University will provide information about any new cases by the end of each day. Based on its policies and protocols, the University is protecting the privacy rights of the students and employees, while also working to share information necessary to protect the health of the campus and the broader community. HSU is working closely with Humboldt County Public Health, which will determine whether there are members of the campus community that need to be advised of their contact with this individual.