Chico State adds more detail for Fall 2021 reopening


Kimberly Morales

Kendall Hall on Sept. 2, 2020. Chico State recently suspended all in-person instruction after receiving a spike in positive COVID-19 cases however the campus remains open

Chico State hosted a “State of the Campus” webinar on Thursday to address plans for Fall 2021.

News Items from the webinar included: 

  • Chico State students will know which Fall 2021 classes meet in-person or virtual on March 8. Registration for the Fall 2021 semester will begin on April 26.
  • Chico State is planning on having two lotteries for housing in the fall. The first one will be  limited to freshmen, and the second will be limited to sophomores and transfer students.
  • Chico State will enforce mask-wearing and  social distancing for in-person classes.
  • Chico State will start  COVID-19 surveillance testing on March 22. Athletes, nursing students and any other students participating on campus will be tested frequently.
  • Orientation for Fall 2021 will be held virtually and will be free for everyone. Chico State anticipates holding  an in-person orientation in August, but nothing is set in stone.
  • Chico State has ramped up  WiFi accessibility across campus.
  • Chico State anticipates club sports to return after Spring Break as long as Butte County remains in the red tier.
  • Chico State encourages students to move to Chico regardless if their classes are in-person or online. 
  • Vaccines will not be mandated for students or faculty.

“Next Fall is going to look very different from the spring,” said Kate McCarthy, a professor in the Comparative Religion and Humanities department. “We don’t know exactly which classes will be in person. It may be higher than initially thought. The scheduling is done at the academic level and they and they are doing everything they can to put as many in-person classes together.”

McCarthy said academic departments will determine which classes meet in-person or virtually.

“We are going through great lengths to update our schedules in such a way that you will know exactly what you are signing up for,” McCarthy said. “Whether that means fully online, fully in-person or some kind of blended model. The schedule of classes is going to be released on March 8.”

Chico State will enforce mask-wearing while on campus and inside academic buildings and classrooms. The university will also implement regular COVID-19 testing around campus.

“We are going to have a few options on campus for testing,” said Kimberly Chappell, lead physician at the WellCat Health Center. “The first thing we implemented was surveillance testing. Surveillance testing is testing a group of people on a set schedule, whether that be weekly or biweekly.”

Chappell explained that young people who get COVID tend to have few symptoms or none at all. Surveillance testing will allow the university to  identify infections before symptoms show and infections spread.

Surveillance testing will start on March 22, and Chico State will first test athletes, nursing students and residents currently in university housing.

Chico State encourages everyone to get the COVID vaccine but made clear that vaccines will not be required to enroll for Fall 2021. 

Matthew Wreden can be reached at [email protected] or @bymattwreden on Twitter.