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.

  • Jan. 6, 2021: Updated Spring Semester Return Information

    Dear SU Students:

    We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to returning to campus to finish out the 2020-21 school year! The really good news is that we will be open again this semester and we expect NAIA athletics to start in February. We are excited to welcome you back.

    As you prepare to return, please review the information below, some of which was provided in an update you received before Christmas. If you have any questions regarding COVID-related issues, please email covid@simpsonu.edu.

    Campus Remains Open
    Shasta County remains under the state’s purple tier restrictions. Our Northern California Region is not under a Stay-at-Home Order. While this means continued limitations on in-person classes, dining, and some gatherings at this time, we are so thankful we can still be fully open, offering student support services, residential life, as well as athletics as we head toward competition. We plan to expand as guidance allows and look forward to getting back to normal as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility -- we know many of you appreciate that you are able to be on campus during this extraordinary academic year, as so many other college campuses are closed. .

    Classes
    A reminder that all lecture-based classes are remote only in the purple tier. Classes that are lab-based, clinical-based, or that are not possible to hold remotely will continue to meet in person on campus, with COVID protocols in place. Connect with your professor if you have questions about specific classes.

    Time to Get Tested!
    All students (traditional undergraduate, adult degree-completion and all graduate students) must submit in advance or arrive with a negative COVID-19 test result. The test must be taken within 10 days prior to your arrival on campus. You can submit test results via email to covid@simpsonu.edu.

    Exceptions (for COVID Tests)

    • Online-only programs: If your courses or program are 100 percent online (e.g., some degree-completion and graduate programs), there is no need to get tested unless you are planning to be on campus for any reason.
    • Past positive: If you tested positive for COVID after Oct. 18, you don't need to get tested again. Please bring a copy of your past positive test result with you. This should include your name, date of birth, and the date you tested positive. Remember, you do not need to get tested again if you were already positive recently...
    • Students that remained on campus: If you remain on campus over the break, you do not need to get a test unless you leave Shasta County.

    Arrival Without a Test Result
    If a student arrives without a test result, they will need to find accommodations in a local hotel (at the student’s expense) until they can get tested and receive a negative result. Campus Safety will not allow students on the campus who have not provided a negative test result. This helps ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff and our continuity of operation. After the university has received a negative test result from the student, the student will be allowed to come on campus. It is better to stay home until your test results are available.

    Check-in Dates and Times
    In order to facilitate COVID check-ins, below are the scheduled times for traditional undergraduates to arrive and check in:

    • Some athletics teams: Jan. 13 (for those that have been cleared by Residence Life and the COVID Task Force in advance)
    • Returning students: Sat, Jan. 16, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in your residence hall & Sun, Jan. 17, 1 to 4 p.m. in your residence hall

    COVID Testing After Arrival
    In addition to providing a negative test prior to (or upon) your arrival on campus, all students will also be required to be tested again during the week of Jan. 18-22 (with the above-noted exceptions).

    Simpson University will host another testing day on campus Friday, January 22, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click Here to Schedule Testing **Please schedule early**

    As with prior tests, there is no cost to you, but you will need to provide insurance information or a copy of your driver’s license if you don’t have insurance.

    If you are not able to participate in the campus testing, here is a list of other places that provide testing in Shasta County: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/ready/covid-19/get-tested.

    Regular Testing
    As we did in the fall, students will be required to provide regular negative test results in order to retain access to campus. Please check your student email often for COVID updates and other important information.

    **NOTE: Students should always send their test results to covid@simpsonu.edu.

  • Jan. 4, 2021: Purple Tier Virtual Learning Reminder

    At this time, Simpson University remains under Shasta County's purple tier restrictions. This means we will continue to utilize our HyFlex virtual/remote option 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.

  • Dec. 22, 2020: Spring Semester Testing & Check-In Times

    Dear SU Students:

    What a blessing it has been to be open this past semester, one of the few universities on the West Coast to be able to do so! We thank you for your part in helping us stay open and applaud you for surviving a truly historic semester. The good news is we fully expect to continue to open up and plan to begin our competitive sporting events in January and February.

    Here are some reminders and things to know about returning to campus in January:

    Life on Campus
    We are planning to have active campus life next semester, virtually if necessary, but in-person as much as possible. Plans are being finalized to include an athletic schedule of competition, and we look forward to supporting our teams.

    Registration and Financial Aid
    If you have not yet registered for your spring classes, please do so as soon as possible -- classes are filling up! Please also make sure you have completed any financial aid requirements and talked with student accounts if needed.

    COVID Testing Prior to Arrival
    All students (traditional undergraduate, adult degree-completion and all graduate students) must arrive with a negative COVID test result. The test must be taken within 10 days prior to your arrival on campus. (Please note this is different from fall, when you had a 30-day test window.)

    Exceptions (for COVID testing):

    • Online-only programs: If your courses or program are 100 percent online (e.g., some degree-completion and graduate programs), there is no need to get tested unless you are planning to be on campus for any reason.
    • Past positive: If you tested positive for COVID after Oct. 18, please bring a copy of your positive test result with you. This should include your name, date of birth, and the date you tested positive. You do not need to get tested again.
    • Students remaining on campus: If you are remaining on campus over break, you do not need to get a test unless you leave Shasta County.

    Check-in Dates and Times:
    In order to facilitate COVID check-ins, below are the scheduled times for traditional undergraduates to arrive and check in:

    • Student-athletes: Jan. 13 (unless otherwise cleared by Residence Life and the COVID Task Force)
    • Other returning students: Sat, Jan. 16, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in your residence hall & Sun, Jan. 17, 1 to 4 p.m. in your residence hall

    Arrival Without a Test Result
    If a student arrives without a test result, they will need to find accommodations in a local hotel (at the student’s expense) until they can get tested and receive a negative result. Campus Safety will not allow students on the campus who have not provided a negative test result. This helps ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff and our continuity of operation. After the university has received a negative test result from the student, the student will be allowed to come on campus.

    Purple Tier: Campus Remains Open
    At this time, Shasta County remains in the state’s “purple tier.” While this puts some in-person restrictions on classes and dining, we are thankful we can still be fully open. The state’s regional stay-at-home order does not apply to our area at this time, and if it does begin for Northern California, it is good to know that Simpson will be able to continue to function at our current level.

  • Dec. 18, 2020: Video from Dr. Hall and Study Body Vice President
  • Dec. 9, 2020: Campus COVID Update & Reminders

    Dear Simpson University Community:

    As we head into the final stretch of this fall semester, we continue to be grateful for the opportunity to provide instruction and community to students living on campus, as well as to those who are participating in classes remotely. Thank you for continuing to help us stay as healthy as possible through your diligence in wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and staying home when you don’t feel well.

    SU Case Rate
    Our vigilance as a community is helping us keep our active cases low. As of Dec 9, we have only 2 active cases, less than 1 percent of our population.

    Shasta County Public Health has let us know that Simpson University will not face further restrictions even if the Northern California region drops below 15 percent ICU hospital capacity, which would trigger a “stay-at-home” order. This is encouraging news as we continue to navigate the limitations of the “purple tier” and do our part to mitigate transmission spread in Shasta County.

    Athletics
    The Athletics Department has worked hard to develop and follow guidelines and protocols that align with local, state and conference standards for safe practices and game play. One of those has been a requirement that athletes practice with masks on. Another is that all team members must be tested within 48 hours prior to a game. Several games have been cancelled due to delays in testing results, and the women’s basketball team announced Dec. 2 it will postpone competition for fall semester. We know this has been challenging for our teams and appreciate their attention to health and safety as we wait for competition to resume.

    Travel
    Students were notified prior to Thanksgiving that if they decided to return home (out of county) for the holiday, they would need to stay home for the remaining weeks of the semester and finish coursework remotely. Security staff at the front gate have an access list of those who signed up to remain on campus over the holiday and are working hard to ensure the safety of our community. Of our 302 residential students, approximately half remained on campus. A special thank-you to Residence Life staff for their work to ensure that our community remained safe during the break and for their help in enforcing the travel policy.

    A continued reminder that non-essential travel outside Shasta County is not advised at this time. Employees who travel out of the county should notify HR Director Melissa Turley (mturley@simpsonu.edu). You may be asked to quarantine for up to 14 days, per Public Health guidelines, and to get a COVID test if any symptoms develop.

    If you feel ill
    We believe a key reason for our low case numbers is your care in monitoring symptoms and staying home when you have new or unexplained symptoms, 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. Please refer to our guide, What to Do If You Have Symptoms, for additional information and guidance.

    Virtual commencement
    Our commencement committee is hard at work on preparing a special virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, complete with photos of graduates, to air “live” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. We hope this provides an opportunity for graduates to watch and celebrate at home with their families over Christmas break. We would like to invite and encourage our entire SU community to join and “cheer” for these women and men. Watch for more details.

    If you have COVID-related questions, please email covid@simpsonu.edu.

    Thank you all!

    Norman D. Hall, Ed.D.
    President

  • Nov. 11, 2020: What to Do If You Have Symptoms

    As we move further into the cold and flu season, it is very important that we all continue to monitor our symptoms each day and respond quickly when we have any. Staying away from others ("sheltering in place") when you have new or unexplained symptoms is key in helping slow the spread of COVID in our community. Click here for a document from the SU COVID Task Force titled "What to Do If You Have Symptoms" to help answer questions and give guidance. If you have additional questions, please email covid@simpsonu.edu.

  • Nov. 9, 2020: Next On-Campus Testing

    As we continue to require monthly COVID-19 testing of students, our next on-campus testing day will be this Friday, Nov. 13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Grant Center.

    Staff and faculty are also strongly encouraged to get regular testing as we seek to keep each other and our families and neighbors safe during this time of widespread transmission in Shasta County.

    You can schedule an appointment for Friday at this link. Walk-in appointments are also available. As a reminder, please bring your insurance card with you. Those without insurance can still get tested free of charge.

    Students must submit a negative COVID test result by Nov. 30 to covid@simpsonu.edu in order to retain access to campus.*

    *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.

    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.

    Thank you for your cooperation as we work to ensure our community remains safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please contact covid@simpsonu.edu.

  • Nov. 5, 2020: Move to Purple Tier & Thanksgiving Reminder

    Dear Simpson University Community:

    We are thankful to report zero active COVID positive cases in our Simpson community at this time! Your vigilance in wearing masks, maintaining distancing, washing your hands, and especially in staying home or away from others when you experience any new or unexplained symptom is making a difference in keeping each other safe. Thank you.

    PURPLE TIER STATUS & RESPONSE

    While our own case rate is very low, our broader community of Shasta County is experiencing widespread transmission that moved us into the state’s most restrictive purple tier on Wednesday. We are working with public health officials on how we might best finish the semester. As you may know, the city has already proven successful with appealing the purple tier in the past. Hence, based upon our demonstrated compliance and low incidents on campus, we will continue to make appeals for special exceptions to move back out of the purple tier as soon as possible. In the meantime, our best course for getting back out of the purple tier is for you to be super vigilant with mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing. At the end of the day we are still very blessed to be on campus and delivering courses in our hyflex model.

    While we are in the purple tier, Simpson University remains fully open and continues to function at the highest level possible. We are well set up to utilize the remote option of our HyFlex course delivery system to maintain strong academic continuity during these final weeks of fall semester.

    The following changes will be in effect by first thing Monday, Nov. 9:

    CHAPEL: Classes will utilize the HyFlex remote option 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: We have had some fun and creative student activities this fall and will encourage more of that innovation as we hold virtual events only. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we encourage outdoor activity and other ways to stay active that do not involve indoor gatherings.

    MEALS: We continue to offer, on a carry-out basis, the good food service you’ve come to expect, and we encourage you to take advantage of good weather days to dine outside.

    CHAPEL: We’ve had great success with our chapels this semester and will continue with our HyFlex remote-only option in small groups.

    THANKSGIVING BREAK TRAVEL

    Students: You will recall that on Sept. 30, you received initial email notification regarding our Thanksgiving break policy: If a student chooses to travel home for Thanksgiving (out of Shasta County), they will need to stay home and finish the remaining fall semester coursework remotely. For those who live on campus, be sure to communicate your plans with your RA if you have not already done so. We would encourage students to remain on campus through the holiday. The dining center and residence halls will remain open, and Student Development will be working to make the holiday as meaningful as possible for students on campus.

    We are pleased that we can still offer our HyFlex format, allowing you to take courses in real time and/or fully online in our convenient HyFlex spaces such as the library and new student union. There are exceptions related to courses that would not be able to be completed remotely. Those professors will notify their students in advance that they will need to be on campus for our standard face-to-face instruction.

    Employees: We continue to ask that faculty and staff limit as much as possible unnecessary travel both locally and beyond our county. Those who do travel out of Shasta County should let HR Director Melissa Turley know and she will provide the protocol to return to work safely.

    If you have questions, please write covid@simpsonu.edu.

  • Oct. 24, 2020: Red Tier Restored

    From a Shasta County Health and Human Services press release dated Oct. 24: “Shasta County health officials have convinced the state health department to keep the county in the red (“substantial”) tier of the state COVID-19 tier system, allowing restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, fitness centers and museums to remain open indoors with modifications.”

    Simpson University is now able to function as we were during the RED Tier. The changes communicated last week are no longer in effect, as of Saturday, Oct. 24.

    AS OF SATURDAY

    CLASSES: Classes return to face to face, with adjustments. Connect with your professor if you have questions about specific classes. Stay in touch with your professors and look for more communication since they may need time to switch back to Red if they had to make changes for Purple status.

    STUDENT ACTIVITIES: We will allow SU-approved gatherings that follow previously established guidelines. We do encourage outdoor activity and other ways to stay active that do not involve traditional indoor gatherings.

    MEALS: Dining Center meals will now be offered as take-out and dine-in (with previous adjustments). We will be able to return to indoor dining effective immediately. Chartwells was notified on Saturday.

    CHAPEL: Small groups will return to in-person on Wednesday, Oct. 28. We have enjoyed worshipping as a community on the lawn by the cross and outside the Science and Nursing Center and will continue to provide those opportunities.

    The State’s decision is a testament to the good work that all of you and the community of Shasta County are doing to stay healthy. Remember to wear your masks, maintain social distance and keep self monitoring for any signs of illness.

  • 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


FAQs

  • 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 who have classes on campus are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test monthly. Results should be emailed to covid@simpsonu.edu. 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 test results but will remain on the "no-access" list with Campus Safety.

  • 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.