All Employees FAQ

SSU COVID-19 Call Center

(707) 664-2880

If you have any questions or concerns that you don't find answers to on this page, please call our COVID-19 Call Center. You may speak to someone Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-2 pm., or leave a message after hours.

Sonoma County Office of Public Health

Please stay informed regarding the most up-to-date orders from the Sonoma County Office of Public Health.

Temporary Telecommuting Program

Are staff able to telecommute?

Sonoma State continues to adapt to the changing environment of COVID-19 and in an effort to keep university faculty, staff, and students as healthy as possible, employees are encouraged to telecommute. The university acknowledges that not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting. Our goal at this time is to reduce the number of people on campus to no more than 30% in order to protect public health. See procedures about the temporary telecommuting program. Detailed guidance for appropriate administrators regarding telecommuting is also available.

While I'm telecommuting, what should I say in my email and voicemail messages?

It is very important that everyone emailing us knows we are open and responsive, particularly at this time. Unless you are on leave (e.g., vacation, sick, etc.), do not use automatic reply messages regarding shelter in place and telecommuting.

Our expectation is that SSU employees will be responsive to email messages while telecommuting. The campus remains open remotely for business and we are committed to serving our students during this period of remote instruction.

Health & Wellness

What if I am over 65?

The Centers for Disease Control has revised its recommendation and has identified those 85 or over, or with certain underlying medical conditions, at greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Should you have medical concerns regarding returning to work, please contact Renee Senander directly to discuss any eligible leaves or ADA accommodations.

I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed. What should I do?

Sonoma State is committed to supporting our employees in navigating these challenges. We are deeply grateful to you for the work you are doing to help us continue to serve our students and maintain operations in a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Here are resources available to assist SSU employees.

  • SSU has an Employee Assistance Program that exists to serve you. Empathia (PDF)  provides employee assistance that may be useful as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a community and as a society. Employee well-being and counseling support is available 24/7 through Empathia at 1-800-367-7474. Additionally, you can access the program’s resources at (password: sonoma).
  • Faculty and staff who feel they need to take leave or seek an accommodation can contact the appropriate person: Renee Senander in Human Resources or Sally Russo in Faculty Affairs, as per SSU's usual procedures.
  • The state of California has published a series of guides to help manage stress that you might find helpful.
  • Sonoma County has established a warm line that is available to any county resident experiencing emotional side effects of the pandemic and/or the shelter in place order, or knows somebody who is. This free and private warm line is available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling 707-565-2652. Service in Spanish is also available as well as telephone interpretation for other languages.

How do I keep myself healthy?

Protect your health and take care of yourself: 

  • Abide by all public health orders regarding hygiene, maintain social distancing of at least six feet, shelter-in-place and follow CDC face covering guidelines. All of us have the responsibility to do our part to contain the pandemic. In this situation, compliance saves lives
  • Take a moment for self care to ensure you are able to maintain your own personal resilience during this emergency.
  • Find things to do that you find meaningful during this stressful time. Many people enjoy walking or running. Others practice mindfulness, connect with loved ones, or spend quiet time alone.

Should I wear a face mask?

The Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Public Health Officer and Director Sonia Y. Angell issued a public health order on June 18, 2020 which mandates that face coverings be worn statewide when people are in high-risk situations.

Please remember that non-medical grade face coverings are intended to protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets, and are meant to supplement — but not substitute for — measures such as physical distancing and frequent hand-washing, which continue to be the most effective methods for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials continue to ask that people not use N-95 or surgical masks for these purposes, since those are in short supply in the health care community.

There continue to be ongoing discussions among public health officials and other experts as to which are the most effective face mask materials; the university supports and encourages  the use of acceptable options, including bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves and homemade face coverings that have tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton T-shirts and tea towels. The CDC has published helpful instructions for making your own face covering (PDF).

Employees who are on campus and do not have a face covering and are in need, please contact

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Sonoma County has multiple testing sites throughout the county. For more information on the testing locations and procedures, please go to  COVID-19 testing in Sonoma County.

Campus Preparations

How is SSU responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

University officials are in regular communication with the state and local public health officials. We will continue to follow guidance, provide updates and adjust strategy when and if recommended. SSU has an Emergency Operations Center that meets regularly to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts SSU operations and determine appropriate response.

What is the university doing to keep its buildings clean?

Even though SSU has locked down most of its buildings. Facilities Management, in collaboration with Risk Management and Safety Services, continues to follow a campus-wide sanitation plan. If you have questions regarding the university's effort to keep all facilities clean, please contact

Campus Operations

Will SSU continue remote instruction for the Fall 2020 semester?

Chancellor Timothy P. White has announced CSU courses primarily will be delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term, with limited exceptions for in-person teaching, learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be conducted within rigorous standards of safety and welfare. There will be hybrid approaches and there will be variability across the 23 campuses due to specific context and circumstances.

President Judy K. Sakaki provided some insight into how SSU's fall semester will look in her June monthly update.

Will Commencement be held?

SSU postponed Spring 2020 Commencement and cultural celebrations. Please note that we are not canceling, just postponing graduation ceremonies until it is safe to celebrate our graduates. More details will be forthcoming.

I am a student employee, what should I do?

The Chancellor's Office has provided guidance for how we can support our student employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an academic student employee (TA, GA, ISA), please work directly with your faculty supervisor or chair. If you are a student assistant, please work with your supervisor to arrange telecommuting or, if that is not possible, to potentially pursue COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave. 

Are campus events canceled?

The shelter-in-place order for Sonoma County has prohibited any public and private gatherings for the duration of the order. As these orders may be lifted, Sonoma State University will continue to prohibit most public and private gatherings through at least December 31, 2020.  All events currently scheduled for the Summer and Fall terms of 2020 have been cancelled.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your understanding of the changing nature of the situation.

We are currently taking reservations for the spring 2021 semester. If you would like to request or reschedule your event/reservation, please submit a RUFAS.

If you have any questions regarding events, please feel free to reach out to your CES representative or email the CES office.

What is the university's policy on employee travel?

The CSU has extended the suspension of all international and non-essential domestic travel through July 31, 2020. The CSU has given campus presidents the authority to provide an exception to this suspension in extenuating and compelling circumstances. This restriction applies to all university sponsored travel, including student travel.

How do I make purchases on behalf of the university during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Given the dynamic situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the university needs to limit all purchases to only essential goods and services. Essential goods and services include those necessary to support remote learning; health and safety; and continuing core operations. 

Effective as of March 26, 2020 and updated May 18, 2020: 

  • Most ProCards will remain inactive. A small number of cards will remain active for ProCard holders making frequent essential purchases. 
    • EREQ procedures have been revised. Necessary purchases may still be requested through the EREQ process.
    • Purchases up to $2,500 require pre-approval by the Appropriate Administrator of the individual making the purchase.
    • Purchases above $2,500 and up to $25,000 require approval of the applicable AVP or Dean.
  • Purchases above $25,000 require approval of the applicable Vice President.
  • Employee Business Expense Reimbursement requests for purchases made after March 26, 2020 will not be reimbursed. Please do not make university purchases using personal funds and expect reimbursement.

What is SSU's social distancing policy?

To ensure the safety and health of employees on the Sonoma State University campus, a COVID-19 Social Distancing Protocol has been issued.


How will paychecks be distributed?

Employees do not have to pick up their pay warrant in person. Send an email to with your name and the address on file in MyHR.  Please make sure the mailing address in MyHR is correct. Payroll cannot send paychecks to any other address.

Live pay warrants will be available to pick up at the Green Music Center Box Office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on posted pay dates. This is only for employees who do not have direct deposit.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we strongly encourage employees to sign up for direct deposit. To sign up for direct deposit, please print out and complete the State Controller's Office direct deposit enrollment form. Submit to Payroll and Benefits by mail:

Payroll and Benefits
Sonoma State University
1801 E Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

The SCO has suspended the printing of direct deposit advice statements until further notice. Employees with direct deposit are encouraged to retrieve their earnings statements by registering with Cal Employee Connect.  
Questions should be directed to Payroll and Benefits.

How will we be notified if there is an issue that impacts campus?

The university will send a notice to campus through the campus email system. Communications also will be posted on the SSU website, including on a banner across the top of the SSU home page. In addition, these campus updates are posted on the SSU COVID-19 website.

I am not receiving any text messages about the situation from SSU? Why not?

SSU is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and has dedicated a team responsible for developing contingency plans. As of now, the university has not utilized the SSU Alert (the notification system capable of sending text alerts) for the COVID-19 situation.

Should there be text-message alerts in the future, please make sure you have signed up to receive them:

  • Students can register through the Online Services Portal.
  • Faculty, staff and members of the community can register online. See instructions on the Emergency Notification web page.

Additionally, the university is asking all students, faculty and staff to regularly check their university email accounts and the SSU COVID-19 website, as these are two of the primary modes of communication in use. The university may begin utilizing other channels, including text messages, in the future if needed.

    What do I do if I need to cancel contracts related to COVID-19?

    Reach out to Contracts and Procurement for guidance on canceling any contracts related to COVID-19.

    What information is available to support the SSU community?

    We have created other resources to help the SSU community be as resilient as possible in these difficult times:

    Can I turn in my parking permit for a refund?

    If an employee wants to cancel their payroll deduction parking permit, you can mail in the parking pass. Any permits received prior to the first of each month, deductions can be stopped for that pay period. If the permit is not received before the first of the month, the deductions will be stopped the following month. When campus becomes fully operational or if you are called onto campus in the meantime a parking permit would be required. You would need to purchase a daily parking permit or start the payroll deduction process again by making an appointment with the Seawolf Service Center.

    Mail your permit to:
    Sonoma State University 
    ATTN: Parking Services 
    1801 E. Cotati Ave 
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928

    Can I go on paid administrative leave during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    The California State University has increased the provision of the COVID-19 Temporary Paid Administrative Leave policy to 256 hours for eligible employees unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons. CPAL can be applied from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

    Additionally, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (PDF) provides paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

    For a full listing of current temporary paid leave programs available to eligible employees, please visit The Chancellor’s Office leave and salary continuation resources webpage

    As a reminder, all staff employees are eligible to telecommute and are encouraged to do so, even if only for a few hours per week.

    Please send any questions regarding leave programs to