Fresno Pacific details fall 2020 reopening plans amid ‘a new normal’


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Numerous changes will be in store at Fresno Pacific University in fall 2020 as it returns to mostly in-person classes with some exceptions.

The university will continue to be on alert to changing circumstances concerning the pandemic as it follows the advice of local, state and federal officials.

“We will add additional measures if that becomes necessary,” said Joseph Jones, President. “Likewise, we will also ease or relax some protocols over time if we feel we can do so safely. Student, faculty and staff safety continues to be our highest priority.”

In what Fresno Pacific calls “a new normal,” changes include the requirement of face coverings by students, faculty and staff, in class and at all public spaces on campus. Special face masks have been ordered for faculty who have students with hearing impairments.

“I call on each of us to make the sacrifices and adapt to the new conditions that will keep us all safe,” Jones said. “While we cannot guarantee a COVID-free environment, we can reduce the risk.”

Blended and online instruction will be available, and previously scheduled online courses will continue. Specialized courses such as labs and performance classes will be available only to students able to attend in-person for the fall semester.

Classrooms will be filled to 65% capacity for social distancing and will be cleaned between sessions. Fumigation/fogging devices will be used to sanitize a classroom within one to two minutes.

The university said classrooms will also be equipped for synchronous live streaming with cameras, microphones and recording capability.

Plexiglass shields will be installed in classrooms and service areas at all campuses, as well as at tables in the dining hall and restrooms, said spokesman Wayne Steffen. Furniture has been rearranged for social distancing, while signs and stickers will mark 6 foot distancing intervals where lines form.

Areas will be sanitized regularly while faculty and staff will be asked to santize their work stations. Hand sanitizers will be available. Cleaning materials will be provided by the university.

Fresno Pacific will require people entering its campuses to answer a short health survey, which students, faculty, and staff can fill on the My FPU app. Anyone feeling ill for any reason will be asked to stay home.

Protocols are being put into place to interview community members who disclose symptoms or test results.

The university said it plans to set aside bed spaces as quarantine areas for students who may need to isolate and cannot do so at home. Food will be delivered and students will be checked on a daily basis by health services.

Residence halls will be mainly single-occupancy housing, with first-year students given highest priority, the university said. Maximum occupancy will be 316 students.

Fresno Pacific plans to monitor the sizes of on-campus gatherings. Events will be postponed until they can happen safely.

The Pacific West Conference, which the Sunbirds play in, and the NCAA Division II will provide guidance for fall sports.

Main-campus dining will be open to students on meal plans with plexiglass shields and other protocols.

The Sunbird Pantry will also be open.

The university’s chapel will move online and plans to create in-person small groups are being explored.

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