Fresno Pacific University is extending its policy requiring students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors until the week of March 7, President Joseph Jones, Ph.D., announced today.
California Governor Gavin Newsom lifted his mandate and allowed individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to go without masks in many indoor areas. This announcement does not affect policies made by employers and local governments.
The decision to extend masking on FPU’s five campuses comes out of an abundance of caution, Jones said. “In this decision we join public K-12 schools, airports, public transportation, health care and childcare facilities and long-term care centers for adults and senior citizens. While we are happy the rate of infection continues to drop, we believe an added level of protection is still needed against COVID-19 at FPU given the potential for close-quarter interaction in classrooms, offices and other high-traffic areas. We also want to recognize the members of our community at special risk for the virus.”
There were other new pandemic-related announcements from FPU:
- Students, faculty and staff are invited to a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic February 25 from 12:40-4:00 p.m. on the main campus in Strasburg Quad. Initial vaccine shots, second doses, boosters will all be available in a variety of brands. Flu shots are also free. Appointments can be made at My Turn - California COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling & Notifications or by calling 1-833-422-4255. Walk-ins are also welcome.
- Shehadey Dining Hall and Charlotte’s Coffee Corner, also on the main campus, will return to full dine-in services for everyone February 22. Masks will need to be worn when people are not eating or drinking. Grab-and-go is still an open for those who prefer.
- Also starting February 22 resident students will be allowed to visit one another in different resident halls and houses.
- Masks are available for students, faculty and staff in the Information Center in McDonald Hall as well as the Campus Life, Human Resources and Campus Safety offices on the main campus, and the front desks at all regional campuses.
- Beginning March 1, the 100-person cap for all indoor events will be lifted.
Under current protocols, FPU will continue face-to-face instruction for all classes not previously scheduled to be online; to host events, including athletic contests, with less than 100 people present; and keep the Commuter House, Steinert Campus Center Lounge, Intercultural Learning Center (ILC), the Academic Support Center (ASC) and Hiebert Library open, but no food will be allowed.
The situation regarding COVID-19 is still serious, Jones said. “We remain vigilant about the pandemic and continue to apply the best information available from county, state and federal sources. Our top priority continues to be the health of all members of the FPU community. Everyone is encouraged to be fully vaccinated, including a booster, unless you have an excluding medical condition or religious objection. Please continue to prescreen for symptoms before coming to any of our campuses.”
For questions in any area, the FPU COVID-19 Prevention Plan is available here, or check fpu.edu/covid19 for all information on our pandemic response. Current statistics from the Fresno County Department of Public Health are at Fresno County COVID-19 HUB.
“We remain grateful for your dedication and flexibility, and we continue to pray for students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for COVID, that they may soon be returned to complete health,” Jones said.