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Arizona State University to return to on-campus instruction for fall 2021 semester

We are excited that the fall 2021 semester is almost here, and we continue to be hard at work creating a safe and welcoming environment in which students can live and learn. As health conditions continue to change, we will need the ongoing cooperation of every member of the Sun Devil community.

Below, find the latest information about the return to full in-person classes for the fall semester. These plans reflect current public health guidance and are subject to change throughout the semester. ASU will continue to proactively communicate any changes that may affect campus life.

One thing is certain, we will be ready for whatever may come. It’s what Sun Devils do — we face challenges with creativity and grit, leaning on adaptability and innovation. Our commitment to building student success is what unites the ASU community.


Mayo Clinic and ASU COVID-19 Initiative

ASU and Mayo Clinic are working together on the Mayo Clinic and ASU COVID-19 Initiative to provide timely health care information to students and employees on demand through the Mayo Clinic Health Information Library — now available through the ASU mobile app — and to collaborate on COVID-19 research projects. Read more

 Questions? 

Read ASU’s updated Novel Coronavirus FAQ

For course, degree requirements or class schedule questions, contact provost@asu.edu.

For student services and campus life questions, contact deanofstudents@asu.edu or 480-965-6547.

For cleaning, facilities and operational questions, contact
bf-operations@asu.edu

Returning to full in-person instruction

ASU plans on returning this fall to instruction delivered by faculty in person, on campus. The first day of classes is Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021.

We will, of course, continue to closely monitor COVID-19 on and near our campuses, and we will remain ready to shift to remote learning using ASU Sync if health conditions or local, state or federal guidelines require it. ASU Sync is synchronous, technology-enhanced and fully interactive remote learning using live lectures via Zoom.

 Students enrolled in academic programs through ASU Online 

We recognize that our new and currently enrolled online students are also facing continued life and family challenges due to the pandemic. ASU Online success coaches are ready to assist students to resolve issues that arise. Online students have the opportunity to receive academic, service and personal support remotely.

ASU Online offers more than 250 degrees and certificates with classes taught by the same faculty that teach on-campus classes.

 Fall break, Thanksgiving holiday 

Fall break is planned for Oct. 9-12. Thanksgiving break is planned for Nov. 25 and 26.

 Fall 2021 commencement 

Fall commencement is planned for Dec. 13. We will monitor health circumstances to decide at a later date if the university can host in-person commencement ceremonies. More information will be available at graduation.asu.edu.

Related links: 
Academics and advising
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ

Mayo Clinic and ASU COVID-19 Initiative

ASU and Mayo Clinic are working together on the Mayo Clinic and ASU COVID-19 Initiative to provide timely health care information to students and employees on demand through the Mayo Clinic Health Information Library, now available through the ASU mobile app. The initiative will also provide additional COVID-19 testing services to students and employees, and increase collaboration on COVID-19 research projects.

This latest initiative is part of our longstanding relationship with Mayo Clinic. Although ASU and Mayo Clinic have been working jointly since 2002, the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University Alliance for Health Care was formally launched in 2016 and is developing comprehensive improvements in the science of health care delivery and practice, all toward one goal: continually advancing patient care. Together, the recognized world leader in patient care, education and research, and the nation’s No. 1-ranked university for innovation are combining expertise from every corner of health care — doctors to bioengineers to business experts — for an adaptive approach to preparing the next generation of health care pioneers and practitioners.

 Daily health check 

ASU has instituted a daily health check through Safe Health Systems, which is available for installation on student and employee smartphones. It is anticipated that submitting work and health information will continue to be a daily requirement for all ASU students and employees during the fall semester.

ASU’s mobile app (available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store) has integrated the Safe Health Systems technology supporting self-reporting, test reporting and integration with electronic medical records. The ASU mobile app also offers access to Mayo Clinic’s expanding guidance related to COVID-19

The health check platform was designed by Los Angeles-based Safe Health Systems, a startup that advanced as part of the Mayo Clinic and ASU MedTech Accelerator. It is thought to be one of the largest single efforts to use integrated testing, technology, contact tracing and communication to help manage the spread of COVID-19.

Related links:
Mayo Clinic and ASU
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ

 

Preventive measures

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

ASU will follow CDC guidance pertaining to traveling domestically or internationally.

 COVID-19 testing available for all students and employees 

ASU developed a saliva-based COVID-19 test, a fast, efficient and simple tool that is a critically important part of our virus management.

ASU continues to offer free tests to any student or employee. The university has now administered more than 750,000 tests within the ASU community and throughout Arizona.

Devils’ drop-off is an on-campus COVID-19 saliva testing option open to all students, faculty and staff. No appointments are required — just pick up a kit from an on-campus location, register it online and drop it off once you’ve collected your saliva sample. Pickup and drop-off locations are available on all four ASU campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once you register your kit online, you have 24 hours to collect and deposit your sample at one of the on-campus drop-off bins. Learn more at devilsdropoff.asu.edu

 Proactive health monitoring 

In an effort to keep our Sun Devil community healthy, it is anticipated that all students, faculty and staff will continue to be required to submit a daily health check.

Advancing the well-being of the ASU community is a full team effort. Our actions impact the lives and health of others, and being mindful of our health during this continued pandemic will help ensure the health of others.

Submitting the daily health check takes less than a minute and can be done via the ASU Mobile App, the healthcheck.asu.edu website or by calling 844-448-0031. (Students and employees are asked to utilize the app or website first and only use the phone number if they have no other option.)

Each morning, students and employees are prompted to submit their daily health check before starting their day. Sun Devils respond to a brief set of questions and get an immediate recommendation on whether to proceed with learning and working as usual.

Students and employees should monitor their temperature each day they will be on campus. If their temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, they should stay home and seek health advice.

 Protocol for individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or test positive 

ASU will follow Maricopa County Public Health Department protocols related to isolation and treatment of individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or test positive. These guidelines are subject to change; visit maricopa.gov for current protocols.

For students who live on campus, isolation space is available along with a complete suite of health care and food delivery services.  

When ASU becomes aware of a student who tests positive, the university will work directly with that student to communicate isolation requirements, offer medical advice, and ask for information on recent activities and contacts on campus so that the university can notify individuals at ASU that they may have been exposed and are required to self-isolate.

The university will work with the student to address any medical, housing, food or academic needs and concerns, and we assist in the isolation process. We check in with the students who test positive on a daily basis.

When ASU becomes aware of a student who tests positive, either because ASU Health Services tested the student or the student reports to us that they are positive, the following occurs:

  • ASU Health Services contacts the student and talks to them about their test results, asks about ongoing symptoms (if any), offers medical advice and tells them to self-isolate.
  • ASU Health Services also asks the student for any people at ASU they have been around for more than 15 minutes cumulative over a 24-hour period and closer than 6 feet. Everyone who meets that criteria is called a “high-risk exposure.”
  • ASU Health Services asks the student who tested positive for permission to give their name to the Dean of Students office so that the office can assign an “engager” to check in on the student while they are in isolation and problem-solve any issues such as housing, food or academic concerns. The Dean of Students office can help arrange for food delivery, arrange alternative housing if the person does not have a place to live by themselves, and help ensure they have what they need to be successful in their coursework.
  • ASU Health Services contacts all of the high-risk exposures at ASU and tells them they have been exposed and that they should quarantine for 14 days, and if they develop any symptoms to make a telehealth appointment with ASU Health Services.
  • Students, faculty and staff are released from isolation/quarantine consistent with CDC guidelines.
 ‘Community of Care’ training 

All on-campus ASU students and employees are required to participate in a “Community of Care” training program designed to inform, educate and encourage healthy living and learning on campus and as a member of the ASU community. ASU also has a community-wide communications campaign to remind students, employees and campus visitors of public health protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 Requiring face coverings at ASU locations 

Everyone is currently required to wear a face covering while in ASU buildings and in all ASU outdoor spaces (except when eating or drinking). Any changes related to face covering protocols for the fall 2021 will be communicated in advance.

 Optimizing environments for social distancing 

Sneeze guards and Plexiglas barrier installations are being used in high-frequency visitor areas, touchless technology will be used where possible, and physical distancing will be observed.

 Enhanced cleaning  

The university remains committed to thorough cleaning of campus environments and any recommended guidelines thereof.

 In-person health and telehealth services 

All on-campus students have access to ASU Health Services, a fully accredited health care provider operating in five locations across ASU campuses. Our more than 20 physicians and nurse practitioners are board-certified in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, orthopedics, rheumatology and sports medicine. In addition, ASU Counseling Services offers confidential, personal counseling and crisis services for students experiencing emotional concerns, problems in adjusting and other factors that affect their ability to achieve their academic and personal goals. 

Through ASU telehealth services, students can receive medical consultations via phone, from anywhere.

ASU Online students can connect with 360 Life Services, a comprehensive and confidential support program that offers free, 24/7 counseling and crisis intervention in person or by phone. You can also chat at your convenience with topic specialists in legal, personal finance, child care, education and more.

 Welcoming visitors to ASU locations 

Visitors to any ASU location are expected to adhere to established, posted guidelines. This currently includes observing physical distancing measures, wearing face coverings and answering health screening questions.

Related links:
ASU Health Services
ASU Counseling Services
360 Life Services (for ASU Online students)
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ

Campus life

ASU takes a holistic approach to the health and wellness of our students. We believe that student success involves much more than the grade earned in a class — it encompasses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of all of our students. ASU’s Live Well Community is dedicated to supporting students in their health and well-being during their university experience.

 Enabling a full housing experience 

ASU has consulted with public health officials and national associations — and will continue to do so — on recommended housing configurations and protocols. ASU is maintaining vacant rooms in residence halls for isolation spaces, if needed. Common areas and outdoor community spaces may be subject to restrictions depending upon current, local health conditions; face coverings are currently required; high-touch points are cleaned and disinfected frequently; and sanitation stations are available.

 Enhanced outdoor spaces 

Health experts say that being outside lowers the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and students are encouraged to take advantage of ASU’s outdoor spaces.

We understand the importance of connection as part of the college experience. Additional outdoor spaces have been designated for students to dine and socialize, while still adhering to physical distancing guidelines.

 Fitness programs are available 

Sun Devil Fitness facilities and wellness programs have reopened with enhanced protocols including capacity requirements, physical distancing protocols, face coverings and cleaning requirements. The university will continue to monitor and adjust with changing local health conditions. Reservations are required for using the fitness centers; learn more at fitness.asu.edu.

Start dates and availability of intramural sports and sports clubs for the fall will be determined on a case-by-case basis based on the current public health conditions.

 Robust student services offered 

A variety of student services remain available. Examples include:

 Campus shuttle services continue physical distancing 

Campus shuttle services are operating on a normal schedule with physical distancing guidelines and increased cleaning implemented.

For the well-being of fellow riders, passengers are asked not to board if they feel ill. All passengers are required to wear a face covering and should maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet, consistent with CDC guidelines. Visit cfo.asu.edu/shuttles and check out the ASU COVID-19 FAQ webpage for more information. Follow @asu2asuShuttles on Twitter for route updates.

Related links:
University Housing
Sun Devil Dining
Sun Devil Fitness and Live Well @ ASU
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ

Working at ASU

ASU has a large employee base that supports our core mission of teaching, learning and discovery. The university currently has protocols in place for employee areas, which often have student interaction. Check back for updates for fall 2021. Current protocols include:

  • Appropriate spacing in seating areas, including cubicles, and maximum occupancy rules for gathering spaces such as conference rooms.

  • Sneeze guards/Plexiglas barrier installations in high-frequency visitor areas.

  • Touchless technology where available.

  • Laboratory management plans that received a multi-step approval process.

  • Employees are required to wear a face cover while in ASU buildings. Face coverings are also required in all ASU outdoor spaces (except when eating or drinking).

  • Employees are asked to take their temperature on a daily basis and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

  • To learn more about eligibility for the on-campus vaccination site, please visit coronavirus.asu.edu/vaccine.

 Staffing plans to accommodate physical distancing measures 

Deans and vice presidents are responsible for developing and implementing on-site staffing plans that align with local health conditions.

University officials have explored reasonable accommodations for ASU employees who cannot return to work on campus due to special health or family circumstances related to COVID-19. All employees are required to participate in training regarding a healthy living, learning and working environment.

 COVID-19 testing for employees 

Testing is available on all campuses for any employee who needs or wants it.

The university houses a CLIA-certified* testing lab at the Biodesign Institute and has been implementing testing for frontline health care workers, first responders and critical infrastructure employees since April 2020. ASU offers a saliva-based COVID-19 test. Turnaround time for test results is 24-48 hours. ASU has staff available to support exposure management on campus as needed.

Devils’ drop-off is an on-campus COVID-19 saliva testing option open to all students, faculty and staff. No appointments are required — just pick up a kit from an on-campus location, register it online and drop it off once you’ve collected your saliva sample. Pick-up and drop-off locations are available on all four ASU campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once you register your kit online, you have 24 hours to collect and deposit your sample at one of the on-campus drop-off bins. Learn more at devilsdropoff.asu.edu

Employees who test positive will be expected to follow Maricopa County Public Health Department protocols related to isolation. These guidelines are subject to change, visit maricopa.gov for current protocols.

*The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulate all laboratory testing performed on humans in the U.S. through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). 

Related links:
Return to campus guide
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ

Athletics and events on campus

University groups are again hosting events on campus, subject to public health conditions, though many events remain virtual. Learn more about what’s happening at ASU Events.

Sun Devil Athletics’ outdoor spring sports are currently allowing fan attendance with limited capacity. In addition, Sun Devil Athletics is planning a busy fall schedule that will include in-person attendance with capacities to be determined.

Get the latest updates on all sports at thesundevils.com.

Related links:
Sun Devil Athletics
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ

Live well, be well

Arizona State University is committed to creating a culture of care that promotes the values of “Live well, be well.”

We are focused on students' success and advancing their educational journey, providing support and making needed resources available. Our goal is to empower students to continue to take the steps necessary to build their future.

ASU is a tight-knit community with a shared sense of purpose. As members of the ASU community, our success is tied to one another. Accordingly, our mindset is to take whatever precautions related to COVID-19 we must to help protect not only ourselves, but those around us.

Working together, our actions will help keep our community healthier and stronger. Whether Sun Devils are connecting from a continent away or from the residence hall next door, we are all in this together.

Related links:
ASU Experience Center (help desk)
Academics and advising
ASU Health Services
ASU Counseling Services
Mayo Clinic and ASU
University Housing
Sun Devil Dining
Sun Devil Fitness and Live Well @ ASU
Facilities guide
Return to campus guide
Sun Devil Athletics
Novel Coronavirus updates
Novel Coronavirus: FAQ