Coronavirus Update and Precautions

Updated: Sept. 13, 2021

Soka Community Information

This page details actions Soka University of America is taking to prevent and/or limit the spread of the novel coronavirus on campus and within the campus community. Soka is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy campus while supporting our fundamental purpose of delivering a quality education.

The Orange County Health Care Agency holds regular phone conferences for college and university health care providers in the county. Soka takes part in these phone conferences. Among the Soka responses to the situation:

  • All students, faculty, staff and contracted workers are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption. As we are welcoming students back to campus those that are not yet fully vaccinated are required to get vaccinated upon arrival to campus. Currently 95% of SUA’s faculty and staff have submitted their vaccine verification and 99% of students are fully vaccinated or have received at least one dose. Weekly surveillance testing is required for those who are unable to get vaccinated.  
  • Until further notice face coverings are required in all buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • The campus is closed to the general public. Approved visitors must follow the face covering mandate.
  • Face coverings may be removed when a person is alone in a private office or when eating and/or drinking. Unvaccinated individuals may remove their face covering when eating or drinking while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from another individual.

Read Soka’s COVID-19 prevention plan

View Soka’s Face Covering Guidance

Report COVID-19 hazard

Covid-19 FAQS (vaccinated)

In general, people are consideredfully vaccinated (1) Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or (2) Two weeks after a single dose, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. This guidance can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization(e.g. AstraZeneca/Oxford, CoviShield (Oxford/AstraZeneca Formulation), Sinopharm, Sinovac).

No, you cannot come to work/class. Get tested and self-isolate at home. Follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.” You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Contact your physician as needed. Notify your supervisor/HR. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.” You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Contact your physician as needed. Notify your supervisor/HR. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.”

You must notify your supervisor and HR via phone call. Do not meet them in person. Expect a call from Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) who may provide further guidance. University’s contact tracer may also contact you for internal contact tracing purposes.

You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Contact your physician as needed. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.”

You must notify your supervisor and HR via phone call. Do not meet them in person. Expect a call from Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) who may provide further guidance. University’s contact tracer may also contact you for internal contact tracing purposes.

You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test.

Contact your physician as needed. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

As of July 27, 2021, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested three to five days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. Self-isolate if you test positive.

You can come to work/class as long as you (1) Are fully vaccinated, and (2) Have no COVID-19 symptoms, and (2) You followed above testing recommendation, and (3) Follow above masking recommendation, and (4) continue to monitor symptoms for 14 days following an exposure.

At any point, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, contact your physician — as needed; and you must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

COVID-19 FAQS (unvaccinated)

Note: All students, faculty, staff and contracted workers are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.” You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Contact your physician as needed. Notify your supervisor/HR. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.” You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Contact your physician as needed. Notify your supervisor/HR. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.”

You must notify your supervisor and HR via phone call. Do not meet them in person. Expect a call from Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) who may provide further guidance. University’s contact tracer may also contact you for internal contact tracing purposes.

You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Contact your physician as needed. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.”

You must notify your supervisor and HR via phone call. Do not meet them in person. Expect a call from Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) who may provide further guidance. University’s contact tracer may also contact you for internal contact tracing purposes.

You must self-isolate at home until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test.

Contact your physician as needed. A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

No, you cannot come to work/class. You must self-isolate at home, and follow “What to Do If You Are Sick.”

You must notify your supervisor and HR via phone call. Do not meet them in person.

You must self-quarantine at home for 10 days after your last contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Contact your physician as needed. You can only return to campus/class until the following three things* happen:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since there has been no fever (>100.4°F/38°C) without the use of fever reducing medication and
  2. Other symptoms have improved and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since your last contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.

A negative test result is not required to return to work/class.

*Please read CDC’s “When You Can Be Around Others” for current information on ending self-isolation.

Other Updates

  • The Soka bookstore is closed.
  • All individual and group campus tours are canceled until further notice.
  • Please continue to follow all the CDC recommended guidelines including frequent hand washing and social distancing.
  • University-sponsored travel is restricted to essential travel only, and everyone must monitor both State Department travel advisories and news about all affected areas before traveling. Faculty and staff must inform the academic deans or area head/supervisor, respectively, about their personal travel plans as well.
  • Faculty and staff who are not feeling well are to remain home and communicate directly with their supervisor.

Orange County Vaccination Information

Orange County has closed all Super Point-of-Dispensing (POD) COVID-19 vaccination locations, including the site at Soka University’s recreation center. The county health department has shifted its vaccination efforts to a network of mobile PODs. Individuals can schedule appointments via Orange County’s online system or by calling (714) 834-2000, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission

  • We understand that students and families have many pressing questions about their college search process, preparing for college, and paying for an education, especially during the coronavirus crisis. We hope to provide answers and information as new policies are implemented and respond to your questions and concerns as quickly as possible. Read more details on the Admission COVID-19 FAQ page or contact us at admission@soka.edu.

International Students

  • The Office of International Student Services is continuing to monitor information from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may impact our international students. To address the fluid and rapidly changing situation, we have created an FAQ page to provide answers for international students.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

  • To support students and institutions of higher education affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has authorized a series of relief funds for higher education. As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress allocated $14.25 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund I (HEERF I). Soka University of America received $500,000 of HEERF funding from which the university provided emergency financial aid for Title IV eligible students and defrayed operating losses due to the campus closure. In addition, the university provided funds from its own resources to support international and undocumented students.
  • As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), Congress allocated $22.7 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). Soka University of America received $511,076 of HEERF II funding from which the university provided emergency financial aid for Title IV eligible students and defrayed operating losses due to the campus closure. In addition, the university provided funds from its own resources to support international and undocumented students.
  • As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Congress allocated $39.6 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III). Soka University of America will receive $918,228 of HEERF III funding from which the university will provide emergency financial aid for full-time students and defray operating expenses associated with the campus closure and COVID prevention measures.

Emergency Grants Reporting

Financial Aid

  • The Office of Financial Aid, with guidance from the US Department of Education, is working to address questions and concerns of Soka students who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have created a COVID-19 FAQ page to provide answers. (Updated: April 1, 2021)

Soka Loan Forbearance

  • To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, SUA Soka Loan borrowers in regular standing are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Jan. 31, 2022, but you can still make payments if you choose. Please refer to the COVID-19 Loan Forbearance Information page for details.

2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Covered employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with more than 25 employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, immediately upon an oral or written request to their employer. If an employee took leave for the reasons below prior to March 29, 2021, the employee should make an oral or written request to the employer for payment.

More details are available at the state Department of Industrial Relations FAQ page.

Science Faculty Committee Fact Sheet

  • The SUA Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Committee committee has created a fact sheet of consensus scientific thinking and emerging perspectives that may be helpful in applying precautionary principles to protect student, staff, and faculty health.

    “The information we present is widely available as published by public health, medical, and scientific authorities,”  the committee reported. “Our role is to assist SUA policy makers in understanding how to apply it to our unique situation at SUA.” 

Read the fact sheet

Soka Performing Arts Center

  • Soka Performing Arts Center has postponed all live performances. Tickets for postponed shows will automatically be valid for the rescheduled date. No action is required. Tickets may also be refunded or returned for an account credit in the amount of the original purchase price. 
  • The Soka Performing Arts Center Box Office is closed to walk-up service. The preferred method of communication is through email at tickets@soka.edu. You may leave a message at the Box Office at 949-480-4ART (4278); however, please note that due to current circumstances, call volume and length of wait-time for a response has increased dramatically. Emails and phone call messages will be returned within 24-48 hours during our business hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

CDC Guidelines

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that normal hygiene practices are most effective for prevention of the spread of coronavirus:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Cover nose and mouth with elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing, or sharing cups or utensils, with sick people.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • How to select, clean, and wear a mask

We urge anyone on campus feeling ill (fever, cough, shortness of breath, other respiratory symptoms) to contact Student Health at (949) 480-4143.