Provost Steve Perez says campus may strike physical distancing requirement in fall

University monitoring CDC guidelines


Eric Jaramishian

Steve Perez, Sacramento State Provost and vice president of academic affairs, discussed COVID-19 protocols for fall 2021 on Zoom on Friday, April 30, 2021. Perez said class modalities may change in mid-June and that Sacramento State may strike physical distancing requirements, all based on CDC guidelines. Photo taken via Zoom.

Eric Jaramishian

Steve Perez, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said it is likely that Sacramento State will have no physical distancing requirements for the fall 2021 semester. 

Current social distancing requirements are 3 feet apart but could change mid-June if the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations change, Perez said. 

“If we are able to fully transition to zero physical distancing, that will open up the ability to take some of our online classes and make them more face-to-face,” Perez said.

Perez also said class modalities may be changed from mid-June until the beginning of the semester. If classes’ modalities were to change, students will get the chance to change their class schedules at that point, Perez said. Class modalities will most likely not change after the semester has started, according to Perez. 

“There may be some special one-off considerations where we’ve had to change modalities of one course here or there based on whatever’s going on, but we don’t anticipate or intend to have any course modalities change once the semester has started,” Perez said. 

Ed Mills, vice president of student affairs at Sac State, previously told The State Hornet that students will be allowed to make changes to their schedule from June 1 through June 11, as well as three weeks in August before the fall semester begins.

Perez said he is unsure how the campus is going to enforce the use of masks during the fall or how students can report that they have a medical or religious reason for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and is waiting for CDC recommendations.  

The California State University announced it will require faculty, staff and students who will be accessing campus facilities in fall 2021 to receive the COVID-19 vaccination upon the Food and Drug Administration’s approval on April 22 and said students and employees will be allowed to seek an exemption to the vaccine requirement based on medical or religious grounds

“We have until fall to figure it all out,” Perez said. “We are pledged to and are going to [communicate] as clearly as we can communicate this to our students and our faculty and staff.”

Perez said he hopes that students understand that restrictions will have to be put in place on campus to keep people as healthy as possible and encourages the student body to get vaccinated.

“We’ve got shots to give to our students right now, and we’ve got to give [the vaccine] to them,” Perez said. “So the more shots [we get] in arms, the better off we’re going to be.”