Campus Air Quality Update

November 18, 2018

Campus Air Quality FAQ 

UPDATES

UPDATE: SUNDAY, NOV 18. 8:30 P.M.

Sonoma State University will be open for classes and business operations until further notice. Outdoor on-campus activities are canceled through Wednesday, Nov. 21. We will provide a campus update about outdoor activities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend no later than noon on Wednesday.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, NOV. 16 11:58 A.M.

Confirming: Sonoma State University is open for classes and business operations and will remain open until further notice. Outdoor on-campus activities are canceled through Sunday, Nov. 18. We continue to monitor air quality. If anything should change, we will provide updates to the campus community and on the website.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, NOV. 16 7:16 A.M.

Confirming: Sonoma State University is open for classes and business operations today and will remain open until further notice. Outdoor on-campus activities, however, are canceled through today. We will provide an update on the status of weekend sporting events and outdoor activities by this afternoon. Until then, we continue to monitor air quality, and if anything should change, we will provide updates.

UPDATE: THURSDAY NOV. 15 9:16 A.M.

Confirming: Sonoma State University is open for classes and business operations today and will remain open until further notice. Outdoor on-campus activities, however, are canceled through Friday out of an abundance of caution. We recognize that some institutions outside of Sonoma County have closed today due to very poor air quality in their local areas. We are fortunate that conditions in our county have continued to improve this week. According to Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Air Quality Index has been below 100 since 6 p.m. Wednesday. The most recent AQI for our region was 93 at 7 a.m. today. We will provide an update on the status of weekend sporting events and outdoor activities by noon on Friday. Until then, we continue to monitor air quality, and if anything should change, we will provide updates.

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14 4:50 P.M.

Sonoma State University will be open for classes and business operations until future notice. However, outdoor on-campus activities will be canceled through Friday due to air quality. We will provide an update on the status of weekend sporting events and outdoor activities by noon on Friday. We will continue to monitor air quality, and if anything should change, we will provide updates.

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14 6:35 A.M.

This is to confirm that air quality is continuing to improve and Sonoma State University is open for classes and business operations on Wednesday, Nov. 14. However, outdoor on-campus activities will be canceled throughout the day.

We will continue to monitor air quality, and if anything should change we will provide updates.

UPDATE: TUESDAY, NOV. 13 4:49 P.M

Given that air quality is continuing to improve, Sonoma State University will remain open for classes and business operations on Wednesday, Nov. 14. However, outdoor on-campus activities will be canceled throughout the day.

We will continue to monitor air quality, and if anything should change we will provide an update at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.

UPDATE: TUESDAY, NOV. 13 12:38 P.M

We are closely monitoring the air quality at Sonoma State and are encouraged that the Air Quality Index has continued to improve today. Our air quality also has improved since late last week when the conditions were much worse.

We encourage students, faculty and staff to continue to stay indoors as much as possible today and make sure all windows are closed. The air quality inside our buildings is far better than the quality of air on the outside. Our campus building HVAC air filtration systems are outfitted with high-efficiency filters. These filters are very effective at removing the smaller smoke particles of concern. Also, our building air systems have been set to minimize the intake of outside air. While 10 percent outside air is required by code to ensure carbon dioxide and other contaminants do not build up in the space, the air handling system constantly filters all air, whether recirculated or outside air. This creates a cleaner air environment than most residential homes, which are without filtering air systems.

Also, we encourage those who need to be outside to wear their N95 masks, which are available at the Student Center front desk and at the parking kiosks.

We also encourage students who feel they cannot attend class or otherwise need assistance to please contact NomaCares at 707-664-2730 or nomacares@sonoma.edu so we can assist you. If faculty and staff have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Human Resources hr@sonoma.edu, and they will connect you with the appropriate person to assist you. 

We will continue to monitor conditions, and we anticipate updating the campus again by 5 p.m.

UPDATE: TUESDAY, NOV. 13 9:55 A.M

For Students and Other SSU Community Members Directly Affected By Fires:

Sonoma State has activated NomaCares, our one-stop shop for students and other Sonoma State community members who have lost family homes or been evacuated from family homes as a result of the fires in Butte County or in the greater Los Angeles area. If you have been directly impacted and need assistance, please email at nomacares@sonoma.edu or call at 707-664-2730.

UPDATE: TUESDAY, NOV. 13 6:53 A.M

This is to confirm that Sonoma State University will be open for classes and business operations today, Tuesday, Nov. 13. Outdoor on-campus activities remain canceled through the day.

When you return to your offices and classrooms, please keep all windows closed. The air quality inside the buildings is better than the air outside. We continue to encourage everyone to wear N-95 masks when outside. Masks will be available today at the Student Center front desk as well as at all parking kiosks.

We will continue to monitor air quality and will be updating the campus community via the SSU website.

UPDATE: MONDAY, NOV. 12 9:30 P.M.

At this juncture, SSU is still planning to resume classes and business operations on Tuesday, Nov. 13. All outdoor activities remain canceled. We are aware that some area school districts are choosing to close out of an abundance of caution for the sensitive populations they serve. SSU will continue to monitor air quality closely overnight. We will provide another update to the campus community at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13. Please check the website for an update.

UPDATE: MONDAY, NOV. 12 10:32 A.M.

Due to improving air conditions, Sonoma State University will reopen for classes and normal business operations on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Outdoor on-campus activities will remain canceled through Tuesday. 

When you return to your offices and classrooms, please keep all windows closed. The air quality inside the buildings is better than the air outside. We continue to encourage everyone to wear N-95 masks when outside. While supplies last, masks will be available on Tuesday at the Student Center front desk as well as at all parking kiosks.

We will continue to monitor air quality and will be updating the campus community via the SSU website

UPDATE: SATURDAY, NOV. 10 11:58 A.M.

Due to ongoing poor air quality, the campus remains closed and all campus activities have been canceled through the Veterans Day holiday on Monday, Nov. 12. At this juncture, we expect to resume classes and normal business operations on Tuesday, Nov. 13. 

The Student Center will remain open until 9 p.m. tonight and will be open Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  We continue to encourage everyone to wear N-95 masks when outside. Masks are available at the Student Center front desk. We will continue to monitor air conditions and will be updating the campus community via the SSU website. Please check back for more updates.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, NOV. 9 12:31 P.M.

Via the Green Music Center

Tonight’s performance at the Green Music Center featuring Peter Serkin will proceed as planned despite the heavy presence of smoke in the air from fires in Butte County. We want to remind everyone that there is no immediate threat of fire to the Sonoma State University campus and that we are taking every precaution to ensure that our patrons are provided with a high-quality experience.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, NOV. 9 12:17 P.M.

The air quality at Sonoma State University has remained at an “unhealthy” level due to the fires in Butte County and is not expected to improve significantly tomorrow. As a result, the decision has been made to cancel classes and all campus activities on Saturday. This includes all sports contests and on-campus athletic activities.

The Recreation Center is closed, but the Student Center will remain open until 9 p.m. tonight and will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Student Health Center also will be open until 5 p.m. today and anticipates reopening on Tuesday, following the Monday holiday, for normal operations.

We encourage everyone to wear N-95 masks when outside. Masks are available at the Student Center front desk. 

We will continue to monitor air conditions and will be updating the campus community via the SSU website. Please check back for more updates.

UPDATE: FRIDAY, NOV. 9 12:03 P.M.

WEPT exam canceled tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 10:

The WEPT exam is canceled for tomorrow, Saturday, November 10 due to air quality on campus. Please watch for information on future test dates from the WEPT office wept@sonoma.edu

UPDATE: FRIDAY, NOV. 9 at 9:09 A.M.

Confirming: All classes and campus activities have been canceled for today due to poor air quality.

UPDATE: THURSDAY, NOV. 8 at 7:40 P.M.

Transfer Orientation canceled tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 9:

Transfer Orientation is canceled for tomorrow, Friday, November 9 due to air quality on campus. Further information will be sent by email from New Student Orientation and Family Programs (orientation@sonoma.edu). 

UPDATE: THURSDAY, NOV. 8 at 6:58 P.M.

Academic Deadlines—deadline for petitions to withdraw from an individual class extended:

The deadline for Petitions to Withdraw from an individual class with $20 administrative fee has been extended from November 10 to Wednesday, November 14. Please note that, as usual, dropping classes is permitted for serious or compelling reasons only - documentation must be attached. This change will not impact the standard prorated refund schedule. Please email Financial Aid at finaid@sonoma.edu if you have questions about the refund schedule. 

UPDATE: THURSDAY, NOV. 8 at 5:47 P.M.

The air quality at Sonoma State University remains poor due to the fires in Butte County and is projected to stay at unhealthy levels at least through Friday. As a result, the decision has been made to cancel Friday classes and suspend normal business operations for the day. Only critical University employees will be required to work.

Also, we want to inform you that the Library will close at 6 p.m. tonight and will re-open when the campus re-opens at a later date.

We want to remind everyone that there is no immediate threat of fire to the campus. The decision to cancel classes is being made out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Employees are reminded to close their windows and doors in their offices before departing for the day.

We will be updating the campus community on air conditions via the SSU website, and we will let everyone know about the status of campus operations through email and through this web page.

The Student Center will remain open this evening. Masks will be available at the Student Center front desk and in housing as inventory permits.

UPDATE: THURSDAY, NOV. 8 at 5:19 P.M.

The performance this evening at the Green Music Center featuring the Ukranian ensemble Kurbasy will proceed as planned despite the heavy presence of smoke in the air from fires in Butte County. We want to remind everyone that there is no immediate threat of fire to the Sonoma State University campus and that we are taking every precaution to ensure that our patrons are provided with a high-quality experience.

For additional information, ticket holders may contact the Green Music Center Box office at 1.866.955.6040 or email tickets@sonoma.edu with their order number.

UPDATE: THURSDAY, NOV. 8 at 3:58 P.M.

TO: All-Campus

FR: Strategic Communications

RE: Classes suspended for the rest of today effective at 4 p.m.

Dear Campus Community,

The air quality at Sonoma State University has continued to worsen due to the fires in Butte County and has now reached unhealthy levels (199 on the air quality index. This number was updated as of 4:10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8). As a result, the decision has been made to suspend classes for remainder of the day beginning at 4 p.m. Only critical University employees will be required to work beyond that time. We want to remind everyone that there is no immediate threat of fire to the campus. The decision to suspend classes is being made out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Employees are reminded to close their windows and doors in their offices before departing for the day.

We will be updating the campus community on air conditions via the SSU website, and we will let everyone know about the status of Friday classes by 6 a.m. tomorrow through email and through this web page. 

The Student Center will remain open this evening, and masks will continue to be available at the Student Center front desk as well as at the two parking kiosks, at the front desk of the library and at the housing service desks.

MORE INFORMATION

Current Air Quality Index

Sign up for Emergency Notification System (ENS) updates: 

The emergency notification system (ENS) is used to communicate critical campus information and updates to students, faculty and staff in real-time. All students, faculty and staff are opted-in to ENS updates. If you are not opted-in and would like to be, send an email request to emergency@sonoma.edu. You can learn more about the ENS system on the Risk Management & Safety Services website.

Guidelines from Sonoma County emergency services concerning poor air quality

SONOMA COUNTY SMOKE HEALTH ADVISORY (updated Friday, Nov. 9 at 11:43 a.m.)

Air quality conditions in Sonoma County have worsened. Although air quality varies across the county some areas are in the unhealthy or very unhealthy ranges. The National Weather Service predicts these conditions will remain for the next 24 hours. Everyone should limit their time outdoors and avoid outdoor exertion. Children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease are most at risk for harmful impacts.

To decrease your exposure to wildfire smoke and to limit harmful effects from smoke follow these healthy habits:

  • Limit your time outside and stay indoors as much as possible.
  • If possible, seek shelter in buildings with filtered air OR move to areas outside the region less impacted by wildfire smoke until smoke levels subside.
  • Keep your windows and doors closed unless it’s extremely hot outside.
  • Run your home or car air conditioner on recycle or recirculate. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
  • If you or your children have asthma or other lung disease, make sure you follow your doctor’s directions about taking your medicines and following your asthma management plan. Call your doctor for advice if symptoms worsen or consider leaving the area.

Follow the trend of air quality at this website: https://www.purpleair.com/map#7.79/38.272/-122.006

Other Resources:

NSCAPCD: http://aqnow.sonoma-county.org/AirVision/

BAAQMD: http://www.baaqmd.gov/

EPA: https://www.airnow.gov/

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html

 

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Paul Gullixson