COVID-19 Campus Health and Safety

Dominican remains committed to providing the highest-quality education to our students and maintaining learning environments that are safe, supportive, and equitable. Based on the shifting conditions in our county and our state, we will continue to update our plans and policies.

guzman hall

Dominican has returned to in-person instruction and offers more than 600 courses as of Fall 2021. The majority of classes are offered in person with some added flexibility for upper-division and graduate courses to be offered using a hybrid format or online.

Our current plans have been designed using public health protocols and best practices. Since our return to full in-person instruction, we continue to leverage our small size to make decisions based on research, advice, and regulatory protocols from state and county health officials.

We have infused flexibility and creativity into all plans in order to follow public health guidelines while providing all students with a high-quality education, a structured network of personal and professional support, and opportunities to interact with each other and our community.

Revised Guidelines (Issued 01/07/22) for Spring 2022, Start of Term

Report COVID-19 exposure, symptoms or positive test with this link

COVID Test Results Upload Form

Additional Information

The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus has been integrated into all of our interactions and protocols. We have worked closely with Marin Health and Human Services and the Student Health Center to ensure that our planned operations are congruent with their guidance and suggested best practices, as follows:

  • Face coverings are required indoors for all individuals on campus.
  • The University has appointed a COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team and Lead who will manage our ongoing response and ensure alignment with evolving health protocols. The Lead can be reached via email at penguinprepared@dominican.edu.
  • The University has established protocols for testing, isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing. Marin County Public Health has recommended surveillance be implemented only for unvaccinated individuals. Those individuals will be required to test with a PCR test on a weekly basis at one of Marin County's free sites and report results to penguinprepared@dominican.edu. For a list of sites in Marin, go here

Vaccinations: Students

Dominican University of California has adopted the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College Health Association (ACHA) that all students enrolling in in-person classes for Spring 2022 provide:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including booster; or a request for an exemption based on medical or religious grounds. Please note these requests will be reviewed and might not be approved. 

Students who do not comply with this policy may be prohibited from the following: 

  • Attending classes;
  • Participating in extracurricular events, such as athletics; and/or
  • Participating in Dominican-related domestic or international programs or other Dominican-sponsored off-campus events.

Vaccinations: Faculty and Staff

All faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with an initial series, plus a booster.

Faculty and staff may request a medical or religious exemption; if that exemption is approved, please know that there will be restrictions, for your and others' safety.

Unvaccinated individuals must participate in weekly testing with a PCR test at one of Marin County's free testing sites. These individuals must report the results every week to penguinprepared@dominican.edu.

Vaccination Resources:

To help facilitate individuals receiving vaccinations as required, you can find vaccination opportunities at these links:

Marin County: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/vaccinefinder.

CA Dept. Public Health: https://myturn.ca.gov/

CDC: https://www.vaccines.gov/

Attestation

Non-vaccinated faculty, staff, and students will be asked to complete a daily online health attestation that will affirm that: they are not experiencing any of the symptoms identified by the CDC as potential COVID-19 symptoms; they have not been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case of Coronavirus/COVID-19; they have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus/COVID-19 and not yet cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities; and they are following all CDC/state/county recommended guidelines as much as possible and limiting their exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19, which includes wearing a mask when indoors with others.

Testing

Unvaccinated individuals must participate in weekly testing with a PCR test at one of Marin County's free testing sites, and they must report the results every week to penguinprepared@dominican.edu.

May I ask my students if they are vaccinated?

No. You cannot ask students to reveal personal medical information. The University is requiring all students to be vaccinated. Students must submit their vaccination records, or formally request a medical or religious exemption from vaccination.

May students ask other students if they are vaccinated?

We discourage this practice, though we understand that this may happen.

Do I need to be concerned about students with vaccination exemptions in my classroom?

No. Exempted students (as well as faculty and staff) will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing with a PCR test, and they will need to submit these results. They will be asked to wear masks at all times indoors. If you are vaccinated and wear a mask, your risk is extremely low. Find more information on case rates in Marin County here.

Does everyone need to wear a mask in the classroom?

Yes. No exceptions. The CDC does not recommend using face shields or goggles as a substitute for masks. Face shields do not fulfill the requirements of the masking order. Face shields may be worn in addition to a mask that fulfills the requirements of the order, but face shields may not be worn instead of a mask. A face shield is effective at protecting the person wearing it from splashes to the face, particularly the eyes, but face shields do not protect others from respiratory droplets exhaled by the wearer. A face shield worn without a mask also does not protect the person wearing it from inhaling respiratory droplets.

Face shields with drapes have very specific requirements to be effective - they must:

  • Extend down below the chin;
  • Extend around the ears;
  • No gap between the forehead and the visor (or cover the gap);
  • The cloth drape must extend from the bottom edge of the shield and be tucked into the shirt or collar.
  • Surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with a good fit are recommended. See these CDC guidelines to ensure a well-fitting mask. 

Do we need to physically distance ourselves in the classroom?

No. Recent evidence indicates that in-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking) are fully implemented. 

Are outdoor classrooms available? 

Yes, and they may be reserved through our usual reservation system. Based on feedback, we will be replacing some of the seating with durable outdoor chairs with backs.

I'm worried that my students will not be able to hear me through a mask.

Some microphones are available to borrow from the library; we will be purchasing additional microphones/small sound systems for use in the classroom. These sound systems will be available through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

What if someone tests positive for COVID-19 on campus?

That individual will isolate, and the University will immediately begin contact tracing on campus; Marin County Public Health will be notified and manage contact tracing off campus. If someone is determined to be a close contact of an infected individual, that person may be required to quarantine and test before returning to campus.

I would like to teach remotely this semester. Is that possible?

Requests to modify the teaching schedules must first be approved by the department chair and the dean. Requests to work remotely due to medical concerns for yourself or others in your household must be accompanied by a letter from your primary medical care provider outlining the conditions that necessitate this request. If requests are granted, hybrid or online schedules MAY be available to the extent permitted by the demands of the class. Requests will be granted for the fall semester ONLY and must be followed by a remote work agreement ultimately filed with HR.

I have a vaccination exemption on medical/religious grounds. What can I expect this semester?

You will need to be masked indoors at all times. You will need to complete PCR testing once a week (offered free at multiple county sites), with test results submitted by midnight on Thursday of each week. A failure to email test results to penguinprepared@dominican.edu by that time will result in a notification of the supervisor/department chair and dean/VP, with possible repercussions. (If we move to antigen testing, testing would be conducted twice a week).

Additionally access may be restricted on some campus activities - such as the use of the Conlan Recreation Center (which requires vaccination even from our neighborhood members).

How will my student hear me in the classroom? Can you provide microphones or voice amplifiers?

We have purchased voice amplifiers to be used by those teaching in-person sessions in Fall 2021. We have them available on campus in the Academic Affairs Office (Guzman 210) for distribution, most days 10 am-4 pm. The models are Winbridge and  Zoweetek and they are first-come, first-serve. Once picked up, you may keep the device.

Will the University provide hand sanitizer gel and wipes in the classrooms?

The CDC announced back in April 2021 that surface transmission is not the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) spreads. Instead, the highest risk of transmission is via exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the virus.

Cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce risk; and that will happen on a daily basis. (Disinfection is still recommended in indoor work environments where a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 was present within the past 24 hours, so in that circumstance the university will arrange for that higher grade of cleaning for affected spaces.)

I am concerned about the ventilation in my classroom.

If your classroom or lab space has windows, those should be opened to maximize ventilation. Fans are being provided for smaller classrooms. Air purifiers are not as effective as open windows, so are not recommended by public health guidance when windows are available. We are arranging for air purifiers to be set up in classroom spaces without windows.

I’m on a number of committees and working groups and concerned about attending meetings. Can these meetings be held on Zoom?

In order to reduce risk and uncertainty, a committee and working group meetings may be held virtually over zoom. 

I’m the chair of a committee and I’d like to meet in-person. The other members wish to meet over Zoom. Can I still schedule an in-person meeting?

We recommend holding in-person committee meetings only if all members have consensus and wish to meet in-person. 

I frequently work with students outside my class. Do I have the option to hold office hours and other student meetings virtually over zoom?

Yes, you do. Please share the appropriate information on your syllabus.

As part of my job, I also advise students. Do I have the option to hold advising appointments virtually over zoom? 

Yes, you do. If you are a faculty advisor, please share the requisite information with your  students and advisees via the syllabus or email. If you are a professional advisor, please discuss with your supervisor.

The Faculty Handbook specifies that full-time faculty need to be on campus a minimum of four days a week. Does that still hold for Fall 2021?

The expectations of the faculty regarding presence on campus have been modified for this Fall. Faculty have the option to work from home on non-teaching days.

For more information

CDC Guidelines for Institutions of Higher Education

CDC When You Have Been Fully Vaccinated

CDPH Beyond the Blueprint Framework

Marin County FAQs for School and Education.

Dominican returned to in-person instruction and offers more than 600 courses as of Fall 2021. The majority of classes are offered in person with some added flexibility for upper-division and graduate courses to be offered using a hybrid format or online. All campus spaces have been returned to their pre-pandemic capacity.

  • Custodial teams will clean common spaces daily and frequently touched surfaces based on CDC guidelines.
  • Ventilation systems have been assessed and are in compliance with current state guidelines, which includes updating HVAC filters and adding air filtration equipment to smaller spaces without windows. Additionally, when and wherever possible, windows and doors will be left open to reduce handling and increase air flow.
     

University housing (on-campus and townhomes) will operate at normal capacity for the 2021/2022 academic year.

  • Pennafort Hall will continue to house all new first-year students; all rooms are designated for triple-occupancy.
  • Fanjeaux Hall will house a mix of new and continuing students; rooms are mostly double occupancy.
  • Edgehill Village will house continuing students with some new students; all suites are 2 double rooms (4 students) per unit.
  • The Dominican Townhomes (off campus) will house continuing students; 2 double rooms and 1 single room per unit (5 students total).

Be advised: There are a limited number of single rooms available in on-campus housing (townhomes excluded), and these are reserved for students with an approved accommodation documented with the Office of Accessibility and Disability Services.

Campus will follow protocols developed with the County health inspector.

  • Caleruega dining hall will be fully operational and ready to serve the campus community at the start of the semester. Epicurean Group (EG) will continue to follow the most updated CDC and Marin County Environmental Health guidelines for food preparation and service.  

  • While there will not be social distancing measures in place for meal periods, students are encouraged to dine within their chosen social circles to the best extent possible. Additional outdoor seating has been added to provide options for those wishing to dine outside.

  • The grill station (implemented this past year) will continue to operate this coming year. During regular meal hours, the grill will serve predetermined options, and during off-times (outside normal meal times) there will be other customizable options available. Student meal plans will work during off-times at the grill station.
     

 

Dominican students using laptop

COVID-19 Information

Here you will find our current COVID-19 campus reporting dashboard.

COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard
campus beauty

Our Campus

Our beautiful, spacious campus grounds allow for community even as we employ best public health protocols.

Visit our Campus

The Campus Responds to COVID-19

Questions? Please contact us.