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.

  • April 23, 2021: A Message from the President

    Dear SU Community,

    Warm sunshine and perfect weather are ushering in the close of our Spring Semester. Seniors are taking pictures in the Quad sporting their graduation robes and all the campus is looking forward to the summer. As the semester closes, please note the following Covid safety guidelines for Commencement and the Summer Session.

    Commencement and Baccalaureate are Coming

    Congratulations to the Class of 2021! We will celebrate our graduates at outdoor Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.

    Baccalaureate is on Friday, April 30 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. This is a time to bless our seniors as we send them on with our prayers and blessings. All students and especially seniors and their families are to be honored. A special message will be given by Dr. Blewett, Dean of Tozer Seminary. Masks and social distancing will be observed.

    Commencement is on Saturday, May 1 at 10 a.m. on the field behind the cross.

    • Masks are required for all participants and attendees.
    • Temperature screening will be required upon entry to the event.
    • Attendees will sit in groups with other members of their household, with appropriate social distancing between groups.
    • This event will observe a 1000-person limit.

    In case of inclement weather, we may relocate the ceremony to an indoor location. If this happens, we will send updated information to all students at least 48 hours in advance, including guidelines for maintaining Covid safety at an indoor event.

    For those who cannot attend Commencement, the event will be livestreamed. Check Simpson’s website for more details as Commencement day approaches.

    Athletics Now Open to Spectators

    Welcome back, Red Hawks fans!

    Effective April 15, Shasta County issued new guidelines for athletic events which allow us to bring spectators back with limited capacity.

    Temperature checks will be required upon entry to any athletic event. Face masks are required, and social distancing must be observed in the bleachers and on the sidelines. Seating capacity will be determined based on the county's live performance guidelines.

    Vaccinations for Faculty, Staff, and Students

    Vaccines for Covid-19 are now widely available to all California residents aged 16 and older. At present, vaccines are encouraged but not required for on-campus students, faculty, and staff.

    Covid Safety for Summer Classes

    If you’re enrolled in a summer class and plan to be on campus—even if it’s just a visit once or twice— you must provide either proof of vaccination against Covid-19, or a negative Covid-19 test taken within ten days of your arrival on campus. Students who reside on campus or visit frequently this summer will be required to undergo monthly Covid testing. Proof of vaccination and Covid test results are to be sent to covid@simpsonu.edu.

    If your summer class is remote and you will not visit campus, you do not need to submit proof of vaccination or test results.

    Faculty please note: your current classroom site protection plans and spacing guidelines will continue throughout the summer.

    Thank you to all students, faculty, staff, and guests of the University for helping us keep campus safe. We’re grateful for your cooperation this year and into the future as we navigate unfamiliar challenges and find solutions.

    Baseball Celebration/Party

    On Monday, May 3 students, faculty and staff are invited to a BBQ served at 12 noon from Odell’s BBQ hosted by Student Development and TRIO.

    This is our final game, and it is a double header at Tiger Field. Please wear masks and practice social distancing.

  • March 17, 2021: A Message from the Athletic Director

    All our athletic programs are back in full swing, and it’s been great to follow our athletes in competition. We encourage you to follow teams on social media and watch livestream coverage of home games at simpsonredhawks.com/live.

    We are privileged to be able to hold and host athletic competition while under state restrictions for pandemic safety. We have protocols in place to test athletes and coaches before each competitive event and continue to quarantine those with symptoms and isolate any positive cases.

    As a reminder, spectators are not allowed at games (indoors and outside) under current Shasta County Public Health restrictions. We appreciate that this is difficult, but we ask for your cooperation as we continue to do our part to keep the Simpson and Redding communities safe. The county’s numbers continue to improve -- we are encouraged by that trajectory and hope we will see fewer restrictions soon!

    Thank you to everyone for your continued patience and adaptability as we move through this semester. A reminder that on-campus testing is now available 10 a.m. to noon each Monday for students, staff and faculty using the self-administered Color testing system. Tests are given in the climbing wall area and require a one-time registration at the following link: https://home.color.com/covid/sign-up/start?partner=cdph710

  • March 12, 2021: Vaccine & Testing Information

    Vaccinations: Higher education staff members are now able to make vaccination appointments through Safeway. This link for the Safeway site will take you through the process of making an appointment for an upcoming first-dose clinic: Service Dashboard (mhealthcheckin.com). You can find more vaccine clinic information at shastaready.org (click on “Vaccinations”).

    On-Campus Testing: We are now offering weekly self-administered COVID testing for students, staff, and faculty using the Color testing system. You will need to register in advance, but only one time. (Those who participated in testing on Feb 26, will not need to register again but may get tested again if needed.) Testing will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays at the climbing wall area (weather permitting) or inside the Student Union if raining. If you have tested positive within the past 90 days, you should not get tested again.

    Please register in advance for testing at https://home.color.com/covid/sign-up/start?partner=cdph710.

    Some of you have been asking if you still need to get tested once you have received a COVID-19 vaccination. From Shasta County Public Health:

    Immunity begins about 2 weeks after the first dose, but maximum immunity may not be achieved for 2 to 4 weeks after the second dose. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to get the full benefits of the vaccine. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected by COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide full protection. This means even fully vaccinated people should continue to get tested if they experience COVID symptoms, wear a mask and social distance.

  • Feb. 23, 2021: Moving Back to Red Tier

    Dear Simpson University community:

    GREAT NEWS!! Shasta County has moved into the less-restrictive red tier as our weekly case rate and other metrics have continued to decline. This means the following changes can occur on campus:

    • Classes: In-person classroom instruction is permitted but must be limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, with modifications. We will begin limited in-person instruction on Monday, March 1. Students should watch for communication from their professors and instructors regarding individual class plans.
      • Exceptions to the classroom limits are made by the Office of the Provost for labs and clinicals that have state-approved exceptions.
      • PLEASE NOTE: All students were required to submit a negative test result to gain access to campus initially this semester. If you are an off-campus student who has not yet been on campus this year but will return to campus under the red tier, you will need to first provide a negative COVID test. (See info below about a testing day offered Friday on campus.) Test results should be emailed to covid@simpsonu.edu.
    • Dining: Indoor dining operations are permitted but must be limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, with modifications.
    • Activities: Gatherings are permitted but must be limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, with modifications. It is recommended that activities continue virtually when possible.
    • Athletics: No indoor spectators are allowed in the red tier, but outdoor spectators are permitted with physical distancing and masks.

    On-Campus Testing
    STUDENTS! Our next on-campus COVID-19 testing date will be this Friday, Feb. 26, 12-3 p.m., outside by the rock wall near the Grant Center. This will be a self-administered test, limited to the first 150 students. If you have tested positive within the past 90 days, you don’t need to get tested again.

    Students can register in advance for Friday's test at this link.

    Please stay vigilant!
    Even as we rejoice at this encouraging news, it remains as important as ever to continue to wear a mask, physically distance, wash your hands, stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms, and continue regular testing. (Click here for more information on “What to Do If You Have Symptoms”)

    Vaccinations
    Shasta County Public Health is working hard on its vaccination rollout and contacted Simpson University again this week about getting faculty and staff who are working directly with students signed up soon. We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more.

    We rejoice with our community at what this shift means to our local businesses. At the same time, we remain committed to following the guidelines that are helping keep our numbers down. Thank you for your flexibility and adaptability as we continue to navigate this year’s uncharted territory!

  • Feb. 4, 2021: Possible Tier Change Update

    Dear Simpson University community:

    We are encouraged to learn this week that there is a chance Shasta County could move back to red tier restrictions as soon as mid-February. While this has not happened yet, we want to inform you as soon as possible so that you can be preparing for what that would mean.

    From Shasta County Public Health: “If our positive rate and equity metric both remain in the orange tier for two more weeks and our case rate continues to decline, we could move into the red tier two weeks from now, even if the case rate is not yet down to the red tier.” (Click and scroll down to see Shasta County’s rates.)

    You will recall California has a four-tiered system for COVID-19 restrictions: yellow (minimal), orange (moderate), red (substantial), purple (widespread). Shasta County moved into the red tier last October and into purple in early November. We know this has been a difficult modification, and we appreciate everyone’s adjustments and flexibility.

    If there is a return to the red tier, the following changes would occur:

    • Classes and indoor spaces could return to in-person occupancy of 25%.
    • Exceptions to the classroom limits are made by the Office of the Provost for labs and clinicals that have state-approved exceptions.
    • Gatherings would be permitted up to 100 people.

    For now, we remain in the purple tier and continue to watch closely how Shasta County is doing. You can do your part by continuing to wear a mask, physically distance, wash your hands, and consider regular testing (even if asymptomatic) -- the more negative test results received, the more it helps the county’s overall rates. If you have any symptoms of illness, stay home. (Click here for more information on “What to Do If You Have Symptoms”)

    Vaccinations
    Shasta County Public Health continues working hard to vaccinate 14,000-plus healthcare workers and those over 75, as well as emergency workers. They are moving toward vaccinating those over 65, and have indicated they are in the planning stages for educational workers. (Click here for an overview of their plan) We will keep you updated if we learn of vaccination opportunities for SU employees and/or students. In the meantime, you can fill out this online form to register with Public Health, who will notify you when you are eligible for an appointment.

    Thank you for continuing to do your part to help keep our SU and Redding communities safe and healthy. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

  • Feb. 2, 2021: Results of Jan. 22 mass testing

    Dear Simpson University community:

    Welcome to spring semester! We have much to celebrate and look forward to in the coming months. Our athletic teams have begun competition; our county is reaching out to us about vaccinations; and our recent testing day on Jan. 22 resulted in zero positive cases (out of 142 students and employees)! We are in great shape with our COVID-19 case rate and remain one of the few California colleges that is fully open to students living on campus. Our best days lie ahead!

    As we walk with purpose and positivity, here are some reminders and updates:

    We will continue to hold regular testing days on campus. As you will recall, all students were required to submit a negative test result taken prior to their arrival in January. They were asked to test again the first week of classes to “bookend” their safe transition from home to campus. This worked well for fall semester, and we are pleased with the results thus far this spring.

    Thank you to all the staff and faculty who participated in last month’s testing. Getting tested regularly can help Shasta County’s case rate, one of the two measurements used to determine our “tier” status.

    You have heard it repeated often, but the most important things you can do right now are to stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness; wear a mask on campus; maintain physical distance from others whenever possible; and wash your hands frequently.

    What to Do If You Have Symptoms
    For more information on what to do if you have symptoms, test positive, or come into contact with someone who tests positive, click here for a document from the SU COVID Task Force titled “What to Do If You Have Symptoms.”

    Tier Status
    Shasta County has been in the purple tier -- along with most of California -- since early November. This is the most restrictive of the state’s four tiers; and for higher education, it means restrictions on in-person classes, dining and gatherings. In order to advance to the red tier, which allows for reduced-occupancy in-person instruction, dining and gatherings, the county must meet “red tier” criteria in both its case and test-positivity rates for two consecutive weeks. You can follow Shasta County’s statistics here. Though our test-positivity rate is currently in the red tier, our case rate is still in purple.

    Vaccination Rollout
    Shasta County Public Health continues its vaccination rollout, and we appreciate all their hard work. Click here for an overview of their plan. They have reached out to Simpson University as an educational institution to get an idea of how many of our “essential” employees would be interested in receiving the vaccine. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

    Thank you for all you are doing to help us stay safe and healthy as a community. We are excited for what this semester holds!

  • Jan. 22, 2021: Spring Reminders & Updated Symptoms Flier

    Dear SU community:

    As we start the semester, please review the attached guidelines for what to do if you start feeling ill (stay home and get tested!), and what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or come into close contact with someone who tests positive.

    There are updated quarantine guidelines for close contacts. The 14-day restriction has been lowered to 10 days, as long as the contact remains symptom-free. Contacts are advised to monitor themselves closely for the full 14 days and continue to wear masks and maintain physical distance.

    Thank you in advance for continuing to adhere to all our COVID protocols on campus, including staying home if you have any symptoms, wearing masks indoors and outside when needed, washing hands frequently, maintaining 6 feet of distance from others when possible, and avoiding unnecessary travel.

    Students who have COVID-related questions should email covid@simpsonu.edu. Employees should contact the Human Resources office.

  • 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.


FAQs

  • Do I still need to get tested once I've received a vaccine?

    Immunity begins about 2 weeks after the first dose, but maximum immunity may not be achieved for 2 to 4 weeks after the second dose. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to get the full benefits of the vaccine. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected by COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide full protection. This means even fully vaccinated people should continue to get tested if they experience COVID symptoms, wear a mask and social distance.

  • 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.