Fresno Pacific University leaders are thankful trends around COVID-19 continue to go well for the Valley and beyond. Fresno, Madera, Merced and Kings counties are currently in the red tier of the Governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan. Tulare and Kern counties are currently in the orange tier. Administrators will remain hopeful, and watchful, incorporating the latest and best information into our planning to balance its mission of providing excellent Christian higher education in a manner that is effective with the health and safety of students, faculty, administrators, staff and others. Current plans are for FPU to begin face-to-face instruction at 50% capacity for fall 2021. This parameter is based on the current higher education guidelines for institutions in the orange and yellow tiers. In these tiers, universities and two- and four-year colleges may open face-to-face classrooms at 50% room capacity. Governor Newsom has set June 15 as the date to end the current colored tier system and provide updated higher education guidelines. There could be further steps to open the state.
The Blueprint for a Safer Economy website (covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/) states:
We have made significant progress against COVID-19. We’ve administered 20 million vaccines and case rates and hospitalizations have stabilized. As a result, California is preparing to move beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. On June 15, California will fully reopen its economy across the state if:
- There is enough vaccine supply for Californians 16 years and older to be vaccinated
- Hospitalizations rates remain stable and low, especially among fully vaccinated Californians
Common sense health measures, including wearing masks will continue. Testing and vaccination requirements will remain for some businesses and industries.
California is still tracking several metrics, including: the adjusted case rate/daily news cases per 100,000 people, the positivity rate, health equity and vaccine equity. After June 15, FPU will remain on its present track or amend plans as necessary, whether to open more or pull back if numbers of infections rise. Whatever the case, the university will provide an update as soon as possible after June 15.
Administrators understand the concerns of those with underlying health conditions or who are not comfortable returning to face-to-face instruction. In this area the university continues to follow CDC guidelines and encourage anyone with questions to contact the Human Resources Office. Hope, faith and watchfulness remain the strategy, as they have been since the pandemic began. Employees have all become used to expecting the unexpected and adept at creative improvisation.