Coronavirus Updates




Simpson Rising

Simpson University COVID-19 Response and Updates

Simpson University welcomed students to campus in early September under a "heightened safety protocol" for a HyFlex model of learning and modified residential living. A presidentially appointed taskforce of administrators, faculty, staff, and a retired physician/board member developed a reopening plan and response protocol in collaboration with local health officials and Capsid Consulting and continues to work closely with both agencies. Simpson University is part of the Shasta County Roadmap to Recovery Star program, seeking to be a good community neighbor as we follow guidelines to protect students, faculty and staff.

Campus Updates

To view all campus updates since March 2020, please visit our Coronavirus Campus Updates page.

  • Oct. 14, 2020: COVID Update - Preparing for Purple Tier

    Dear Simpson University Community:

    TIER STATUS AND SIMPSON RESPONSE
    Simpson has been very fortunate to have avoided the most recent surge of cases from our local community. We ask that you pray for our city and those affected. We also ask that you are careful when out and about in our community.

    Late last week, Shasta County was moved to the state’s red tier as its number of COVID cases has increased substantially. If the trend continues, Shasta County Public Health anticipates that we may move to the purple tier, which indicates that COVID cases are widespread in our county, as soon as Oct. 20 (with restrictions in place Oct. 23). (See the overview of all tier restrictions)

    In order to stay ahead, we need to stay vigilant, and we must continue to remain flexible and adapt to the changing situation. As a learning community, we are making plans for the purple tier. If Shasta County moves to the purple tier, we expect to make the changes listed below. These changes will be required for two weeks, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 6. An update will be provided prior to Nov. 3 about the remainder of the semester.

    CLASSES: Classes will move to a fully remote format for lecture-based classes. Classes that are lab-based, clinical-based, or that are not possible to hold remotely will continue to meet in person on campus. Connect with your professor if you have questions about specific classes.

    STUDENT ACTIVITIES: Student activities will be held as virtual events only. Gatherings are not allowed. Outdoor activity is encouraged, and creative ways to stay active will be promoted.

    MEALS: The dining center will be open for take-out only. Outdoor and take-out service will be provided with adjustments.

    CHAPEL: Chapel will be limited to online small groups only. We will also be able to provide some outdoor worship and chapel opportunities.

    COVID PROTOCOLS
    It is important to remain home or in your room, if you do not feel well, as this has played an important part in keeping our community safe and healthy during these situations. In order to provide clarity to our COVID protocol, we are making a change to our assessment tool. If a worker or student has new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, such as a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, they must shelter in place (self-quarantine). If these symptoms are new or unexplained, then you should shelter in place, communicate to our COVID point person, and either wait 10 days or get tested for COVID, submitting results to wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

    This change in protocol will keep the community safer when a positive case does not show significant symptoms. By being extra careful when experiencing any new or unexplained COVID symptoms, we will be keeping each other safer and have a better chance to limit the spread of COVID.

    MONTHLY TESTING
    As a reminder, all students are required to submit negative test results to wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu on a monthly basis in order to retain access to campus. Another on-campus testing event will be held in Collord-Humphries this Saturday, Oct. 17, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., to help with October required testing. Please bring your insurance card (if you don’t have insurance, there will not be a cost to you). You can walk-in or schedule an appointment here. If you are not able to get tested Saturday, you will need to utilize a local testing option. The link to schedule testing at Shasta College is lhi.care/covidtesting.

    Those who have tested positive previously will be cleared by following the protocols of public health, not by submitting the results of an additional test. Online-only students do not need to submit rest results but will remain on the “no-access” list with Campus Safety.

    Thank you for doing your part to help keep our community as safe as possible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dara Fields, Interim Director of Wellness, our COVID primary point of contact, at dfields@simpsonu.edu, or Mark Endraske, Dean of Students, at mendraske@simpsonu.edu.

    Pursue Shalom,
    Dr. Norman Hall

  • Oct. 8, 2020: SU COVID Testing Update

    Dear Simpson University Community:

    Per our SU COVID-19 Response Protocol, periodic testing will be done based on a schedule (e.g. 50% of the population bi-weekly). We successfully completed our first round of COVID testing on campus in September, and we are making plans for the remainder of the semester.

    Moving forward we will have all students submit test results on a monthly basis. For October and November we will have two rounds of on-campus testing available for all students. Simpson University faculty and staff are welcome to utilize these testing options as well. The testing dates for this month are Saturday, October 10 and October 17.

    Testing will be held in Collord-Humphries between the hours of 8am and 4pm. Students will need to bring their insurance card with them. As a reminder, those without insurance can still get tested with no out-of-pocket cost. You may schedule your test time here: Click Here to Schedule COVID Testing. Walk-in appointments are also available.

    If you are unable to get tested during our on-campus testing days, you will need to utilize a local testing option. The link to schedule testing at Shasta College is lhi.care/covidtesting.

    Be sure to submit your COVID test results to the Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu. Access to campus will be based on submitting negative test results each month. Those who have tested positive previously will be cleared by following the protocols of public health, not by submitting the results of an additional test. Online students do not need to submit test results but will remain on the no-access list with Campus Safety.

    Contact Dara Fields if you have any questions.

    Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work to ensure our community remains safe and healthy.

    SU COVID Task Force

  • Sept. 30, 2020: Thanksgiving Break Update

    Dear SU community:

    Our local Shasta County community is experiencing a moderate increase in cases, so we must daily recommit to being vigilant when it comes to COVID prevention. In addition to wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, and staying home if you feel sick, please also note the following regarding travel and Thanksgiving break:

    • We ask that you limit as much as possible unnecessary travel both locally and beyond our county.
    • In order to limit, as much as possible, infections coming to our community from outside the area, the COVID Taskforce has recommended -- and President Hall has endorsed -- the following directive: If you go home for Thanksgiving, you will need to stay home and finish your fall semester coursework online.

    Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dara Fields, our COVID primary point of contact, at dfields@simpsonu.edu or wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

  • Oct. 5, 2020: "Red Tier" Restrictions

    Dear Simpson University community:

    RED TIER STATUS AND RESPONSE

    Shasta County is on the verge of moving from the state’s “orange tier” to the “red tier” as the number of COVID cases increases locally. Simpson’s COVID Task Force has been working to respond to this as well as our own increase in cases. Some of these changes include our travel policy and our enforcement protocols released last week.

    In addition to these, the task force has recommended additional adjustments that I have approved and will be asking our community to implement this week. First, our gatherings will be limited to less than 100. This will require all activities and events to limit capacity accordingly. Second, our classes and indoor spaces will limit in-person occupancy to 25% of the normal pre-pandemic room capacity. Faculty will receive further details from the office of the provost. Exceptions to the classroom limits will be made for labs and clinicals that have state-approved exceptions. This may require faculty and students to make further adjustments utilizing remote learning via the HyFlex model.

    Independent of the governor’s guidelines, like at many other schools, athletics has been asked to wear masks during all practices (and meetings) with increased routine health checks and hand-sanitizing breaks.

    COVID REMINDERS

    Please remember that adherence to our physical distancing and face-covering protocols is essential as we continue to move forward. It is also important to remain home if you do not feel well, as this has played an important part in keeping our community safe and healthy during these situations. Our vigilance in these efforts, as well as in sanitizing between classes, enables us to avoid larger numbers of quarantine. It is important that we keep each other safe by enforcing our COVID policies. Following the basics of distance, cleaning, and face coverings will go a long way to keeping us safe during this new normal.

    We want to make sure our community is informed while we maintain confidentiality for those impacted by COVID. We will keep the Simpson community notified of any positive cases on campus. We will also notify any close contacts within 48 hours. We would ask that you help us protect the privacy of individuals by keeping these kinds of updates within our Simpson University community. The COVID primary point of contact will communicate with public health, and our media relations specialist will handle any media inquiries that arise.

    Thank you for doing your part to help keep our community as safe as possible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dara Fields, our COVID primary point of contact, at dfields@simpsonu.edu or wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

  • Sept. 30, 2020: Thanksgiving Break Update

    Dear SU community:

    Our local Shasta County community is experiencing a moderate increase in cases, so we must daily recommit to being vigilant when it comes to COVID prevention. In addition to wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, and staying home if you feel sick, please also note the following regarding travel and Thanksgiving break:

    • We ask that you limit as much as possible unnecessary travel both locally and beyond our county.
    • In order to limit, as much as possible, infections coming to our community from outside the area, the COVID Taskforce has recommended -- and President Hall has endorsed -- the following directive: If you go home for Thanksgiving, you will need to stay home and finish your fall semester coursework online.

    Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dara Fields, our COVID primary point of contact, at dfields@simpsonu.edu or wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

  • Sept. 23, 2020: Safety Protocols Video & Case Notification

    Dear SU community:

    Please watch the video below as a reminder that adherence to our physical distancing and face-covering protocols is essential as we continue to move forward this semester. It is also important to remain home if you do not feel well. Following the basics of distance, cleaning, and face coverings, as well as sanitizing classrooms between use, will go a long way to keeping us safe during this new normal.

    COVID Protocols Reminder from Simpson University on Vimeo.

    We want to make sure our community is informed while we maintain confidentiality for anyone impacted by COVID. We will keep the Simpson community notified of any positive cases on campus and will notify any close contacts within 48 hours. We would ask that you help us protect the privacy of individuals by keeping these kinds of updates within our SU community. We will work closely with Shasta County Public Health and Capsid Consulting on any cases that develop.

    Thank you for doing your part to help keep our community as safe as possible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dara Fields, Interim Director of the Wellness Center, who is our COVID primary point of contact, at dfields@simpsonu.edu or wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

  • Sept. 8, 2020: Simpson University Reopens for In-Person Instruction

    REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University welcomed new and returning students to campus over Labor Day weekend, marking the start of an unprecedented school year inside and outside the classroom.

    “It’s a new normal,” President Norm Hall told news reporters who covered the university’s reopening. “Everyone has been very patient, and our students are saying they are thrilled to be here.”

    New Student Orientation on Sept. 4-6 included staggered arrival and move-in times for residential students, who were limited to two guests each, as well as outdoor dining and events to allow for physical distancing. Hand-sanitizing stations and plexiglass shields are found throughout campus. Red signs on lawns and walkways remind students to wear face coverings and maintain distance.

    Click link to continue reading

  • Sept. 3, 2020: Response Protocol

    Simpson University's Response Protocol was created to provide direction to our community as we respond to COVID-19 concerns and active cases.

    This document contains a Symptomatic Risk Assessment Tool (S-RAT) that all employees and students should use daily to help monitor and "score" any symptoms and determine how to proceed.

    A reminder that the university also has created a Reopening Plan with general guidelines for all sectors. Please note that both documents continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

    Questions can be directed to the university's COVID primary point of contact, Wellness Center Director Dara Fields (dfields@simpsonu.edu or wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu).

    For now, COVID-19 test results from faculty and staff can be sent to HR Director Melissa Turley (mturley@simpsonu.edu). Students are being asked to send their results to the Wellness Center.

    Thank you to everyone for your hard work in preparing the campus for the start of the school year!


FAQs (Spring 2020)

  • If Simpson is forced to return to full remote learning, will students receive a room and board refund?

    Simpson University’s existing refund policy is very generous. Room and board refunds will be made for up to 8 weeks into the semester. The refund amount is calculated based on how far the semester progressed before the campus transition was required [link to refund policy]. If a COVID-19 incident forces a transition to online-only education after 8 weeks into the semester, the university will endeavor to access state and federal funding sources that might be offered for additional student relief.

    In the event SU is transitioned to online education, tuition will not be refunded or discounted as the university will continue to provide education in a remote format, as per federal requirements.

  • Will students be expected to stay on campus during Thanksgiving break? If so, will the dining hall be open?

    Students were informed on Sept. 30 that if they choose to go home (out of county) for Thanksgiving break, they will need to stay home and finish the fall semester utilizing the remote options that are available. The residence halls and dining center will remain open during Thanksgiving break. Students who return home should understand that no refunds would be provided.

  • Where do I send COVID test results?

    All Simpson University students are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to the start of school. Results may be emailed to wellnesscenter@simpsonu.edu.

  • What is the Deacon's Fund?

    In addition to the emergency grants, we have established a "Deacon's Fund" for those who have experienced a severe financial hardship due to the coronavirus. Examples of hardship would include COVID-related purchase of health insurance, technology, child care, housing or food expenses. These grants are limited and will be reviewed by a stewardship committee. To apply for assistance from the Deacon's Fund, please email deaconsfund@simpsonu.edu with detailed information about your circumstances and specific need.

  • Will Simpson University give refunds for students who move home early, or will a pro-rated amount for housing be applied toward the fall semester?

    To a great degree, this is a question about service costs. So you are asked to consider some of the following:

    • To ensure safety and maintain academic continuity we have moved all courses online.
    • While we urge students to go home, we have many who cannot go home.
    • For the above reasons the whole university continues to operate with little or no savings as contracts with vendors such as food service and utilities require continued payment. To accommodate just this sort of instance, usually, in the category of “act of God” events, we have a policy that states “after Friday of the eighth week” we are unable to reimburse.
    • To review the student handbook policy please reference: Removal of Institutional Charges.
    • We understand that some universities are giving prorated rebates. If Simpson University were to ignore its posted policy as above, the scenario is actually more complex. The federal regulation governing financial aid cost of attendance requires universities (when refunding or rebating) to prorate both room and board coupled with institutional policies to also prorate scholarships (if ever we prorated room and board – like before the eighth week). In most cases, because our discount is very high, most students, after proration, would have an outstanding balance.

Resources

For Shasta County residents: Shasta County community partners and healthcare providers have been working together to actively respond to the virus and have created a public website, ShastaReady.org, designed to provide Shasta County residents a one-stop shop for local information.

For California residents: Here is the governor's website for information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California and a link to the state Department of Public Health's COVID-19 website.

For U.S. residents: Here is a link to the national Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.