With three weeks left in the fall semester, Fresno State announced its spring 2021 semester plan, giving information about the campus population, student housing, testing plans and in-person courses.
As COVID-19 case numbers continue to soar across the country, these plans are tentative for higher education institutions like Fresno State. As of Nov. 28, Fresno County remains in the purple tier with 37,994 total COVID-19 cases.
“If the pandemic worsens in December and January, it is possible that we will first begin these in-person courses virtually and then phase into the planned in-person courses later in the semester when it is safe to do so,” Castro said.
Fresno State anticipates having 2,860 students taking in-person classes during the spring 2021 semester, according to University President Dr. Joseph I. Castro per campus email. There will be 320 in-person courses offered with an estimated campus population of 2,595 students, faculty and staff — a 15% increase from the fall semester. The university has not announced a decision on whether commencement ceremonies will take place next semester, but it said a decision will be released by March.
Monthly testing will be required for students living on campus in the spring. According to the email, 250 students will live in Student Housing, and more details regarding their stay will be released through email.
Fresno State will now be offering voluntary weekly COVID-19 tests effective immediately through mid-January for students, faculty and staff approved to be on campus. More information on the new weekly testing will be announced later this week. For the rest of the spring semester, the university will continue to offer voluntary monthly COVID-19 testing on select dates.
The university will also continue to have students complete the daily health screening checklist and get their temperature checked at checkpoints on campus.
In accordance with state and local public-health guidelines, face masks will be required, and anyone attending campus is encouraged to practice social distancing and good hygiene.
Due to state and local public-health guidelines, events and on-campus meetings of more than 25 people will not be allowed during the spring semester, and Fresno State said this also applies to off-campus events sponsored by the university.
Plans for the next academic year will be announced by April 2021.
Correction: Dec. 11, 2020
An earlier version of this article stated that face masks will not be required. In actuality, face masks will be required on campus in accordance with state and local public-health guidelines.