Access the latest, most up-to-date COVID-19 resources, policies, and news for faculty, students, and staff of the GTU here>>

Coronavirus Resources at the GTU

The GTU is committed to helping ensure the safety and health of its students, faculty, staff, and extended community, while minimizing the disruption to the academic progress of our students. This page contains the latest resources and information regarding the GTU's prevention and response efforts related to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The page will be updated regularly as the situation evolves.

(Updated, May 19, 2020)

Updated News

June 30, 2020, 1 pm -- Due to the worsening rate of COVID-19 transmission in California and the United States more broadly, the GTU’s COVID-19 Task Force has unanimously determined that it is in the community’s best interests to postpone "Phase Two" of the campus reintegration plan. An announcement will be made once a new date has been set, along with applicable policy updates.

With everyone’s well-being in mind, Dr. Kim has called for a moratorium on work-related email, chat, or any other communications from Thursday, July 2nd at 6pm PST, through July 6th at 6am PST. Please read the letter to the faculty and staff at the bottom of this page.

May 19, 2020, 4 pm -- In anticipation of initiating “Phase One” of the GTU’s plans to incrementally re-open campus beginning June 1, 2020, guidelines, policies, and protocols have been published and are available in the relevant sections, below. As always, in this effort all policies and protocols are guided by the primary goal of protecting the health and safety of our staff, faculty, students, and larger public with whom our community interacts, and is responsive to guidance from local orders and ordinances of the City of Berkeley, Alameda County, and the State of California, as well as recommendations from the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

If you are displaying any COVID-like symptoms for any reason, you are prohibited from coming to campus. Symptoms include fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, headache, fatigue, sore throat, new GI or sinus symptoms or new loss of taste or smell. A complete list of symptoms and resources for seeking diagnosis and support are available on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. Further public health guidelines for Alameda County may be found at acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx.

A letter to staff from Dr. Uriah Kim, Interim President of the GTU, detailing guidelines and policies can be found at the bottom of this page.

April 27, 2020, 3 pm -- Per evolving public health guidelines mandating the extension of the “shelter in place” order in Alameda County through May 31st, the campus will now reopen on Monday, June 1, 2020. Read more about the extension here. Further updates regarding the Fall 2020 semester—including the GTU campus and consortium-wide reintegration plan—will be forthcoming, and decisions will be guided with the best interests of our community’s health and safety in mind.

March 30, 2020, 4 pm --  Following Federal Guidelines recommending the extension of social distancing measures through the end of April, as well as forthcoming orders from Alameda County extending “shelter in place” provisions until May 3, 2020, the GTU is also extending building closures and will continue to conduct most campus operations remotely through the same date. Students, faculty, and staff can find more details in the appropriate sections, below. For any additional questions not addressed, please be in touch with CovidResources@gtu.edu

March 25, 2020, 12pm -- The GTU has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Commencement Exercises, and will be crafting a celebratory experience that GTU graduates and their families and friends can enjoy remotely. In addition, 2020 graduates and their loved ones will be invited to attend and participate in next year’s Commencement Exercises. Read more about the cancelation here.

March 16, 2020, 3pm  -- Six Bay Area Counties, including Alameda County, have issued a “shelter in place” order for residents through April 7. Read more about the order here. All GTU buildings will be closed to the public, beginning on Tuesday, March 17, and all in-person classes have been shifted to remote learning modalities for the remainder of the semester, as announced on March 13. Remote library services will continue. Find out additional details below. Information regarding remote work arrangements for faculty and staff may be found under the “Staff Resources” section of this page. Any questions not addressed in that section may be sent to HR@gtu.edu.

March 14, 2020, 7:45pm –  According to a statement issued by UC Berkeley, a member of their community was confirmed as having contracted COVID-19. However, public health officials have determined that there are no high risk contacts from this case, meaning that no one is at significantly higher risk of contracting it from the infected individual than would be expected in the general population. Read the full statement here.

Below you will find some health and safety infomation about coronavirus. We trust the GTU community to respond to one another in a spirit of calm, empathy, and mutual support.

  • If you are displaying any COVID-like symptoms for any reason, you are prohibited from coming to campus. Symptoms include fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, headache, fatigue, sore throat, new GI or sinus symptoms or new loss of taste or smell. A complete list of symptoms and resources for seeking diagnosis and support are available on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. Further public health guidelines for Alameda County may be found at acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx.
  • If you are on campus or have been on campus recently and symptoms develop, notify your supervisor if you are staff or faculty, or the Associate Dean of Students (Wendy Arce, warce@gtu.edu) if you are a student, and the Director of Human Resources (Debi Walker, dwalker@gtu.edu) immediately. If you notice these symptoms while on campus, please return to your place of residence or seek medical attention as the severity of symptoms indicate. Please self-isolate and do not return to campus until cleared to do so by your physician.
  • Face coverings are required by the city of Berkeley as of Wednesday, April 22.  Please see the order for more details. 
    • Use and care of face coverings
      • Putting on the face covering/disposable mask:
        • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering/disposable mask.
        • Ensure the face-covering/disposable mask fits over the nose and under the chin.
        • Situate the face-covering/disposable mask properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
        • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
        • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering/disposable mask.
      • Taking off the face covering/disposable mask:
        • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/disposable mask.
        • When taking off the face covering/disposable mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
        • Wash hands immediately after removing.
      • Care, storage and laundering:
        • Keep face coverings/disposable mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
        • Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing  detergent before first use, and after each shift. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
        • Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after your shift or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.
  • For more on coronavirus and best practices for staying healthy, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • For information on COVID-19 from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH): https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
  • For the latest CDPH News and Updates: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/New-Release-2020.aspx 
  • For more on the Shelter in Place order from Alameda County Public Health Department (updated March 31, 2020): http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/shelter-in-place.aspx
  • COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP) updated June 30, 2020

What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a subfamily of viruses that normally cause mild respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. The novel coronavirus (often just referred to as “coronavirus”) is a specific viral strain which causes the disease formally labeled Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19. The virus appears to have begun with an animal-to-human transmission in Wuhan, China, sometime in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia. Less frequently, persons may experience other cold-like symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, or sore throat) or diarrhea. In rare cases, the virus can lead to organ failure and death.

How is the virus transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through close contact through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus has a typical incubation period of 2-14 days before symptoms develop and it is possible that it is transmitted when such symptoms are absent.

What health precautions should I take?

To avoid becoming infected or infecting others, please take the following steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay at home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze. Try to do so with your elbow or a tissue rather than your hands.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19, to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home). Wearing a face mask may reduce the chances of spreading a respiratory virus. If you choose to wear a face mask, obtain one with a rating of N95 or higher and make sure it is tightly fitted to your face.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, or if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Full travel guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control are available here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

What is the Shelter in Place Order?

As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Alameda County Public Health Department has issued a Shelter in Place Order that requires most people to stay home unless they are engaged in certain “Essential Activities” which are discussed in the order.  If you are sick, you should self-isolate, including, to the extent you can, from others you live with. The County has responded to many frequently asked questions about the Shelter in Place Order which can be found here. Read the latest on the Shelter in Place order here: http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/shelter-in-place.aspx

Updated July 7, 2020

  • Campus buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice.
  • While on campus, all relevant safety protocols must be followed, including:
    • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times, and be particularly aware when entering or exiting buildings and in common areas. 
    • Use sanitizer immediately upon entering any building.
    • Regular handwashing is strongly encouraged. Gloves are not necessary for general use and washing your hands often is considered best practice for common tasks.
    • Wearing of face masks that cover nose and mouth is required at all times while on campus, and prior to entering any GTU building. Masks will be made available at the entrances of all buildings, though we strongly encourage bringing your own to campus. (We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with best practices for care, washing and use of face masks, available at http://www.gtu.edu/covid-resources.)
    • Use staff mailboxes whenever possible, rather than entering office spaces.
    • When using common equipment such as copiers or coffee makers, use sanitizer before and after use and wipe down the keypad and other areas with supplied cleaner.
    • Only one person at a time should be in a staff lounge or equipment room (copier, etc.).
    • No more than one person may enter the elevator at a time.  Use sanitizer before entering and after exiting.
    • All utensils, beverages, etc., will be single use.   
    • Those taking meals on campus must do so in a self-contained space, and all employees will be accountable for sanitizing any common area of which you are making us   We suggest that you bring meals which can be safely stored in your work area, and that you supply your own utensils and cooling system, if needed.
    • Microwave ovens, toaster ovens, refrigerators, ovens, and coffee makers (other than single use) may not be used.
  • All face-to-face courses at the GTU are suspended through the end of the Spring 2020 semester, and will be conducted using remote modalities. This applies to all schools of the GTU Consortium. SFTS is adopting policies consistent with the wider University of Redlands, until further notice. Learn more here.
  • Student services will be by appointment only.
  • Due to reduced campus access, GTU will not be providing intercampus mail beginning Monday, March 16.  If you need to send something to another school, please prepare it for mailing as you would any other mailed item. If the Mailroom receives an item for another school which is not mailable, it will be returned to the sender. Mail within GTU will continue to be processed and delivered as usual.

  • All public events hosted by the GTU have been canceled until the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • The 2020 Commencement Exercises are canceled. Learn more here. The GTU is crafting a celebratory experience that GTU graduates and their families and friends can enjoy remotely. In addition, 2020 graduates and their loved ones will be invited to attend and participate in next year’s Commencement Exercises.
  • Please check the GTU’s event calendar for the most up-to-date information about GTU events; Check member school websites for current information about public events and activities on each campus.
  • Members of the GTU community are encouraged to sign up for updates via the GTU's emergency notification system. Visit https://gtu.omnilert.net/subscriber.php
  • The cancellation of events follows the Shelter in Place order from Alameda County Public Health Department. Find answers from the County to frequently asked questions about the order, here

Updated May 19, 2020

  • Until further notice, students should plan to continue to make use of remote modalities to attend to any GTU-related business, such as meeting or conversing with GTU faculty or staff.  You will be kept apprised of you when in-person meetings are permissible.
  • While discussions regarding course planning for the fall remain ongoing, we recommend that faculty make plans to offer at least the first four weeks of their fall courses using remote modalities, and ideally for the entire term. If conditions allow, we will transition to either an in-person format (if social distancing procedures can be adhered to), or hybrid model.
  • Students should anticipate that they will be able participate in their courses, and continue making satisfactory academic progress, using remote modalities for at least the first four weeks of the fall 2020 term. Further announcements regarding academic planning will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.
  • The GTU is committed to ensuring that all students are able to make sufficient academic progress.
  • The GTU's Director of Digital Learning, Diandra Erickson offers virtual office hours for students every Wednesday at 1pm for assistance on online learning.  Students can schedule a one-on-one meeting via Zoom with Diandra by emailing her at derickson@gtu.edu 
  • The LeConte building, the Annex, and the library will be closed to the public through May 31.
  • Student services will be by appointment only.
  • If you are an international student on F-1 visa, the shelter in place directive does not impact your visa status, provided you continue to participate in online learning procedures. Given the extraordinary nature of the COVID-19 emergency, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will allow F-1 students to temporarily count online classes towards a full course of study. This temporary provision is only in effect for the duration of the emergency. 
  • For questions or information regarding bill payment, contact accounting@gtu.edu. Students are encouraged to pay using Sonis or by mailing a check.
  • If you are a prospective or admitted student planning a visit, please get in touch with our admissions team to discuss your situation and how we can help you at admissions@gtu.edu.
  • For more infomation on GTU Library services, see the Library Services section of this page. 
  • The 2020 Commencement Exercises are cancelled. Learn more here. The GTU is crafting a celebratory experience that GTU graduates and their families and friends can enjoy remotely. In addition, 2020 graduates and their loved ones will be invited to attend and participate in next year’s Commencement Exercises.
  • Faculty are encouraged to consult the "Instructions for Moving In-Class Courses Online" (updated March 25, 2020) prepared by GTU's Director of Digital Learning, Diandra Erickson. The following are additional resources for this semester.
    • Weekly Virtual Office Hours: Faculty requiring additional assistance about online teaching methods/pedagogies or using Moodle/Zoom or other technologies for teaching are encouraged to meet Diandra at her weekly virtual office hours on Zoom which begin March 23. Office hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00am-12:00pm.  If you would like to attend any of these office hours, please contact the Director of Digital Learning for a link.  Additionally, you can schedule a one-on-one meeting via Zoom with Diandra by emailing her at derickson@gtu.edu 
    • Additional Course Design Workshops: ​The regularly scheduled course design workshops will continue to take place via Zoom for the remainder of the semester.  Along with the regularly scheduled workshops, Diandra will also provide a "Moodle overview" workshop every Wednesday at 2pm starting March 23.  In this workshop, she will provide a walkthrough of Moodle's most helpful features for developing good quality online courses.  If you would like to attend any of these Moodle Training Sessions, please contact the Director of Digital Learning for a link.

    • Moodle Tutorial Videos: Soon after Spring Break, Diandra will have short Moodle Tutorial Videos posted on the Moodle site home that will be available to faculty.  These videos will be based on FAQs received from faculty in the past weeks. Video topics will include: 

      • Posting video lectures and PowerPoint to Moodle 

      • Setting up assignments to be submitted through Moodle 

      • Setting up and using the Moodle Gradebook

      • Using VoiceThread for lectures and discussions

      • Using VoiceThread for student assignments

      • Creating groups for discussion forums 

      • Changing course formats on moodle

COVID-19 FAQ's for International Students

Immigration Status
1. How does switching to online instruction affect my immigration status?
U.S. universities received guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allows students to continue this semester’s courses online without jeopardizing their immigration status. The Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) has confirmed that “If a school closes temporarily but offers online instruction or another alternative learning procedure, nonimmigrant students should participate in online or other alternate learning procedures and remain in active status in SEVIS.” 

2. Can I complete the Spring Semester from my home country?
Yes, SEVP confirmed that international students may take full-time courses online either from within the US or from abroad. Regardless of where you are participating in online classes, your immigration status will remain active, if you participate in online learning, continue to be enrolled full-time, and make normal progress toward your degree. 

3. If I vacate my current residence and relocate to a new U.S. address, do I need to report it? 
Yes, you need to report any change of residential address in the U.S. to the federal government.  Please send your new address to Chaitanya “Chai” Motupalli, Director of Student Life, at cmotupalli@gtu.edu.

Travel and Visa
4. Will the five-month rule apply to my visa if I go back home and stay away from GTU until the Fall semester?
The five-month rule refers to the termination of a student’s record in SEVIS if a student is away from classes or out of the country or not in status for five months. If you have decided to go home during COVID-19 and are maintaining full-time status until the end of the Spring Semester, the five-month rule should not worry you. After you complete the Spring Semester, you are entitled to your annual summer vacation. According to the immigration regulations, an F-1 student is in status during the summer holidays if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term. You must return to GTU for the Fall to maintain your immigration status though. 

5. Will I be able to come back to the U.S.?
Since travel restrictions are constantly changing, we cannot predict the travel situation for the time that you are planning to be back in the U.S. You will need to continue to monitor travel updates by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and travel guidelines by the U.S. Department of State. We will be carefully monitoring updates from the CDC, SEVP, USCIS, and the US Department of State as well.

6. Is there a time frame for when I am expected to return to the U.S. once the COVID-19 emergency is over and schools have resumed normal operations?
According to DHS, “Dependent on their school’s return to normal operations and any continuing travel restrictions, students should seek to return to the United States within 30 days of the next available session start date.” 

7. My visa is expiring, and I am unable to travel to my home country currently. What should I do?
Your visa is meant to give you entry into the U.S. and it is not a problem if it expires while you are legally present in the U.S., i.e., by maintaining your immigration status by being in possession of a valid I-20 or DS-2019 and by meeting normal enrollment requirements. 

Employment
8. Many students’ on-campus employment opportunities are now being conducted remotely while campuses are closed or students are able to perform their work duties from home. Can I engage in remote work for on-campus employment?
DHS maintains, “If the current on-campus employment opportunity has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means, students may continue to engage in on-campus employment remotely.”

Some of you might qualify to apply for off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship caused by COVID-19. You may read more about that here. USCIS considers such applications on a case-by-case basis. If you intend to apply, please make a zoom appointment to discuss further by emailing Chai at cmotupalli@gtu.edu.  Also, for specific questions on CPT and OPT in the light of COVID-19, please contact Chai. 

Resources:
https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2020/COVID-19FAQ.pdf
https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2020/Coronavirus Guidance_3.13.20.pdf

Updated May 19, 2020

Updated July 14, 2020

COVID-19 Symptom Self-Screening Questions 
Updated July 7, 2020

Per the GTU’s COVID-19 Site Specific Protection Plan (SPP) personnel are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms any day they plan to work on campus.  Asking about symptoms and exposure to COVID-19 DOES NOT replace other measures such as frequent handwashing, wearing face coverings, and staying 6 feet apart.

Please ask yourself these COVID-19 symptom screening questions PRIOR TO COMING ON THE GTU CAMPUS TO WORK.  IF THE ANSWER TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS IS YES, YOU SHOULD NOT COME TO CAMPUS. 

Screening Questions:

  1. Within the last 10 days have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a test confirming you have the virus? 
  2. Do you live in the same household with, or have you had close contact with someone who in the past 14 days has been in isolation for COVID-19 or had a test confirming they have the virus? 
  3. Have you had any one or more of these symptoms today or within the past 24 hours, which is new or not explained by another reason?

•    Fever, chills, or repeated shaking/shivering
•    Cough
•    Sore throat
•    Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
•    Feeling unusually weak or fatigued
•    Loss of taste or smell
•    Muscle pain
•    Headache
•    Runny or congested nose

Prior to coming on campus to work you are required to EMAIL THE FLOOR MONITOR (listed below) for your GTU building/floor whether “I’m OK to come to work on campus today.” OR “I’m NOT OK to come to work on campus today and am staying home.”  Please do not list yes or no for the actual screening questions.  Just write one of the two sentences listed in red above.

GTU FLOOR MONITORS ARE:
North Building on Le Conte St./3rd Floor – John Seal jseal@gtu.edu
North Building on Le Conte St./ 1st and 2nd Floor – Chai Motupalli cmotupalli@gtu.edu
North Building on Le Conte St./Basement – Osborne cosborne@gtu.edu
Library/3rd Floor and Annex Building – Melissa Haddick mhaddick@gtu.edu
Library/Main – Clay-Edward Dixon cedixon@gtu.edu

  • Daily Exposure Assessment for On-Campus Workers
    While the GTU continues to strongly recommend that all employees work remotely, for those whose work requires that they come to campus, in accordance with CDC guidelines we recommend that daily each morning, employees should use the above simple self-screening process to determine if it safe to go to the GTU campus to work.  This critical step is essential to lessen the GTU community spread of COVID-19.

  • All staff who are over 65, or have medical conditions that could lead to COVID complications, are strongly discouraged from coming to campus except to fulfill essential business.
  • All staff who are able to work remotely should continue to do so, with once weekly visits to campus permissible for the handling of essential business. If you do come to campus, take care to stagger your timing with colleagues to ensure social distancing is practiced, and continue to hold meetings using remote modalities (Zoom, tele-conference, etc.) Any essential on-campus meetings should be limited to a maximum of 3 people, held in an area that is well ventilated and where social distancing is possible, and cannot exceed 15 minutes. Otherwise, all manner of congregating is prohibited.
  • All meetings will be conducted via telephone or Zoom. If you need to arrange for a Zoom account, please reach out to Diandra Erickson, Director of Digital Learning, at derickson@gtu.edu.
  • GTU employees working from home during this period should follow the revised guidelines for employees seeking to work remotely, approved in January 2020. 
  • Questions about work-from-home arrangments can be directed to hr@gtu.edu.
  • See the attached letter from GTU Director of Human Resources Debi Walker (March 31, 2020) for additional infomation about GTU work policies during the shelter in place.  
  • See the attached notice from the US Department of Labor on paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave based on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
  • Re: visitors (e.g. vendors) to the GTU campus. Every employee is responsible that anyone they are inviting to campus is emailed a copy of our Site Specific Protection Plan (SPP) and responds to them with an email confirming they have reviewed and understood it. Employees are responsible for keeping track of the acknowledgement from those they invite to campus. Any guests will also need to be given the self-scan checklist and should perform the self-scan prior to coming to campus.

Updated July 21, 2020

From June 1-December 31, 2020:

Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing.  Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling.

Alameda and the other 5 Bay Area counties still require residents to stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, and follow the precautions that have helped the region make progress to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Based on these continuing public health concerns:

  • The GTU strongly discourages all employees from participating in non-essential travel, domestically and internationally, for any reason.
  • No work-related travel of any kind will be permitted to areas deemed unsafe for any reason by the federal government, CDC, or state of California.
  • Essential work-related travel from June 1-December 31, 2020 must be pre-approved by your supervisor and the President (Interim).   Any work-related travel anticipated for January 2021 or later must be pre-approved by your supervisor and either a member of the executive leadership team or the President (Interim).  
  • All travel, for any reason, should be reported to the Director of Human Resources Debi Walker so that potential notification to the GTU community can be done should the travel area become a COVID-19 hotspot.  Any communication will maintain the anonymity of the person(s) who traveled.
  • Those who do travel, or receive guests who have recently traveled, are asked to remain especially attentive to the onset of any COVID-like symptoms
  • Additionally, anyone who travels or who has received guests who have recently traveled are strongly encouraged to consider practicing self-quarantine for 14 days following the travel period for self and/or guests, and to work from home in consultation with your supervisor. Those who are unable to work from home must use accrued vacation time.
  • If you are considering traveling outside your community, please visit the CDC travel page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html for additional information.

Updated May 27, 2020

  • All in-person events until the end of the Spring 2020 semester are canceled. 
  • No new events for this semester should be scheduled.
  • The 2020 Commencement Exercises are canceled. Learn more here. The GTU is crafting a celebratory experience that GTU graduates and their families and friends can enjoy remotely. In addition, 2020 graduates and their loved ones will be invited to attend and participate in next year’s Commencement Exercises.
  • For the most up to date infomation about events planned and/or hosted by GTU member schools, visit the website of the host school. 
  • If you are an event organizer please update the event on the GTU event page with “CANCELED” in the title so that attendees are aware. If you have questions about this or have trouble accessing, please reach out to communications@gtu.edu

Updated March 25, 2020

In these unprecedented times, we continue to live out the mission of the GTU by drawing from the wisdom in our world’s religious traditions and bringing those insights into conversation with our modern moment. We have compiled resources to help build spiritual community.  It is not an exhasutive list. We also invite you to our new initiative "Spiritual Care and Ethical Leadership for Our Times" where each Friday beginning March 23 on the GTU Voices blog we will hear from GTU scholars who offer inspiration and insight on the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 9, 2020

Members of the GTU Community:

The GTU administration considers it essential to keep the members of our campus community healthy and safe. As you are likely aware, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly changing, prompting neighboring campuses such as UC Berkeley and Stanford University to move most courses online.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of the GTU Consortium’s campuses, nor on UC Berkeley’s campus. However, as public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, many institutions of higher learning are proactively taking steps that will help to protect their communities. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, the GTU will shift all in-person courses to an online format beginning Tuesday, March 10th and continuing through Sunday, March 29th, at the conclusion of Spring Break. Additionally, full-time, part-time, and student staff are encouraged to work with their supervisor and in accordance with GTU’s policies to make suitable arrangements for remote work during the same period. All other campus services and the library will operate as usual. Currently, it is anticipated that regular classes and work arrangements will resume on Monday, March 30th.

Further updates and information regarding the GTU’s preparations for, and response to COVID-19 may be found below. This includes dedicated sections for Health & Safety, Campus Operations, Academic Resources (Faculty & Students), Staff Resources, Travel Guidelines, and Guidelines for Events and Activities. Additional questions or concerns not addressed by the resources on this webpage may be directed to CovidResources@gtu.edu.

Instructions for moving courses online have been shared with faculty and are accessible in the Academic Resources section below. If faculty require assistance in moving their course online, they may refer to guidelines provided by the Director of Digital Learning or email derickson@gtu.edu, or moodle@gtu.edu. Students with questions or concerns regarding course accessibility may address those questions to their instructor. The GTU remains committed to making sure that all students are equipped and empowered to make academic progress in their classes through this time, and will be making maximum use of alternative modalities for learning and instruction, such as Moodle and Zoom.

Please keep in mind that as we take steps to help ensure the health and safety of our community, we are also trusting our community to respond in a spirit of calm, decency, and mutual support and respect. We ask everyone to be mindful and steadfast in observance of these values, and to learn more about stigma and resilience with facts and information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Thank you for your partnership, cooperation, and flexibility as we work to keep our campus and our community healthy, vibrant, and safe.

Peace and blessings,
Uriah Kim
President (Interim)
Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 13, 2020

Members of the GTU Community:

Over the past week, the scope of COVID-19’s impact has continued to rapidly evolve locally, nationally and globally. As many individuals and organizations have taken measures to adjust, I would like to commend our students, faculty and staff in demonstrating incredible resilience, agility and professionalism as our campus joined other higher education institutions nationwide in shifting all in-person courses and many administrative functions to an online format, as well as taking steps to postpone or cancel gatherings and non-essential travel.

Many of you may already be aware that today the President of the United States declared a national emergency in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. To reiterate, at this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the GTU community, nor at neighboring UC Berkeley. That said, the fluid nature of events necessitates that we take even broader, decisive precautionary measures intended to support efforts to contain and mitigate transmission of COVID-19.

To that end, the GTU is taking the following immediate steps to ensure the safety and health of our community:

  • All face-to-face courses are suspended through the end of the Spring 2020 semester, and will be conducted using remote modalities. This applies to all schools of the GTU Consortium, with two exceptions:
    • JST face-to-face courses are currently planned to resume on April 13th, until further notice. Learn more here.
    • SFTS is adopting policies consistent with the wider University of Redlands, until further notice. Learn more here.
  • LeConte, Annex, and 3rd Floor Library buildings will close to the public. Student services, inclusive of Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Life, Registrar and Student Accounts, will all remain operational, but in-person services will be by appointment only.
  • The library will shift to limited hours, remaining open from 10am-5pm on weekdays, and closing on weekends. In-person services will be suspended, with the exception of book checkout. Remote services will continue.
  • Due to reduced campus access, the GTU will not be providing inter-campus mail beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, and continuing through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. If you need to send something to another school, please prepare it for mailing as you would any other mailed item. If the Mailroom receives an item for another school which is not mailable, it will be returned to the sender. Mail within GTU will continue to be processed and delivered as usual.

Further updates regarding remote work accommodations for full-time, part-time and student staff will be forthcoming, as will guidance on events (inclusive of Commencement). These and any other changes will be continually reflected on the GTU’s dedicated webpage, gtu.edu/covid-resources. Questions or concerns not addressed on the site may be directed to CovidResources@gtu.edu.

We appreciate your continued cooperation and flexibility as we navigate this situation together.

Peace and blessings,

Uriah Kim
President (Interim)
Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs

May 19, 2020

Dear GTU Staff:

This week marks the last in our 2020 spring term. Needless to say, it is likely to be one that many of us will consider unforgettable. Though our community has faced many challenges as the impacts of COVID-19 have continued to unfold, I hope that we can all take pride in the way that we have responded—exemplifying qualities of resilience, agility, collaboration, and generosity of spirit.

As announced at our Staff Meeting last week, on Monday, June 1, 2020, we anticipate initiating “Phase One” of plans to incrementally re-open the GTU’s campus. While we look forward to fully reinstating all GTU operations in time, this is a process that we must take step-by-step. As always, in this effort all policies and protocols are guided by the primary goal of protecting the health and safety of our staff, faculty, students, and larger public with whom our community interacts, and is responsive to guidance from local orders and ordinances of the City of Berkeley, Alameda County, and the State of California, as well as recommendations from the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

On June 1st, therefore, all staff will be required to adhere to the following provisions until  further notice:

  • If you are displaying any COVID-like symptoms for any reason, you are prohibited from coming to campus. Symptoms include fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, headache, fatigue, sore throat, new GI or sinus symptoms or new loss of taste or smell. A complete list of symptoms and resources for seeking diagnosis and support are available on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. Further public health guidelines for Alameda County may be found at acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx.
  • If you are on campus or have been on campus recently and symptoms develop, notify your supervisor and the Director of Human Resources (Debi Walker, dwalker@gtu.edu) immediately. If you notice these symptoms while on campus, please return to your place of residence or seek medical attention as the severity of symptoms indicate. Please self-isolate and do not return to campus until cleared to do so by your physician.
  • All staff who are over 65, or have medical conditions that could lead to COVID complications, are strongly discouraged from coming to campus except to fulfill essential business.
  • All staff who are able to work remotely should continue to do so, with once weekly visits to campus permissible for the handling of essential business. If you do come to campus, take care to stagger your timing with colleagues to ensure social distancing is practiced, and continue to hold meetings using remote modalities (Zoom, tele-conference, etc.) Any essential on-campus meetings should be limited to a maximum of 3 people, held in an area that is well ventilated and where social distancing is possible, and cannot exceed 15 minutes. Otherwise, all manner of congregating is prohibited.
  • Campus buildings will remain closed to the public.
  • Remote library services will continue, including curbside service. No patrons may enter the library.  Updates on the expansion of services may be found at gtu.edu/covid-resources, or by visiting the library’s website at gtu.edu/library, as they become available.
  • While on campus, all relevant safety protocols must be followed, including:
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times, and be particularly aware when entering or exiting buildings and in common areas. 
  • Use sanitizer immediately upon entering any building.
  • Regular handwashing is strongly encouraged. Gloves are not necessary for general use and washing your hands often is considered best practice for common tasks.
  • Wearing of face masks that cover nose and mouth is required at all times while on campus, and prior to entering any GTU building. Masks will be made available at the entrances of all buildings, though we strongly encourage bringing your own to campus. (We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with best practices for care, washing and use of face masks, available at http://www.gtu.edu/covid-resources.)
  • Use staff mailboxes whenever possible, rather than entering office spaces.
  • When using common equipment such as copiers or coffee makers, use sanitizer before and after use and wipe down the keypad and other areas with supplied cleaner.
  • Only one person at a time should be in a staff lounge or equipment room (copier, etc.).
  • No more than one person may enter the elevator at a time.  Use sanitizer before entering and after exiting.
  • All utensils, beverages, etc., will be single use.    
  • Those taking meals on campus must do so in a self-contained space, and all employees will be accountable for sanitizing any common area of which you are making us   We suggest that you bring meals which can be safely stored in your work area, and that you supply your own utensils and cooling system, if needed.
  • Microwave ovens, toaster ovens, refrigerators, ovens, and coffee makers (other than single use) may not be used.

As our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, our policies and plans will be updated accordingly.

On behalf of the Executive Leadership Team and the GTU’s COVID Task Force, I thank you for your adherence to these guidelines to ensure our community’s continued health and safety.

Peace and blessings,

Uriah Kim
President (Interim)
Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs

June 30, 2020

Dear GTU Faculty and Staff: 

This year the preoccupations of summer are looking very different for all of us, as we continue to navigate the shifts necessitated by COVID-19, as well as reflect upon our values and commitment to change in light of continued racially motivated violence across our nation. I greatly appreciate your work and dedication during such time of urgency and importance. At the GTU, we take pride in our community’s response and resilience as we press forward in a spirit of resolve to work towards the greater good — time, and time again. 

At an institutional level, this work continues as we begin preparations to enter “Phase Two” of our campus reintegration plan. While we had initially targeted Monday, July 6th, as the date when “Phase Two” would commence, due to the worsening rate of COVID-19 transmission in California and the United States more broadly, the GTU’s COVID-19 Task Force has unanimously determined that it is in the community’s best interests to postpone. An announcement will be made once a new date has been set, along with applicable policy updates. In the meantime, current guidelines regarding remote work policies, health and safety measures, etc., remain in effect and are detailed at gtu.edu/covid-resources

Additionally, in accordance with guidelines published by Alameda County and the City of Berkeley’s Public Health Departments, the GTU will be implementing its Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP). This effort will be led by Debi Walker, Director of Human Resources, and Osborne, Facilities Director, under the supervision of Ellen Peterson, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administration and Finance, working in collaboration with the GTU’s COVID-19 Task Force. As part of the SPP’s implementation, employees will be required to certify that they have read the SPP prior to returning to campus. Further details and instruction will be forthcoming from Human Resources, shortly. 

Of equal importance to everyone’s well-being is attention to moments of rest. For that reason, I am also calling for a moratorium on work-related email, chat, or any other communications from Thursday, July 2nd at 6pm PST, through July 6th at 6am PST. During this time, please consider your own wellness as your number one priority; all other GTU-relevant matters will wait until we collectively return from the holiday weekend.

Thank you for your continued dedication and admirable work on behalf of the GTU—this summer, and all year-round.

Peace and blessings,

Uriah Kim
President (Interim)
Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs