Covid-19 Update: M@college reports positive case, 3 additional off-campus cases, SDSU beefs up enforcement of health guidelines

Seven new cases in seven days and continued reports of partying have the SDSU community on edge

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Alexa Oslowski

On Aug. 29, M@College Apartments notified residents of a positive COVID-19 case at the College Ave. apartment complex.

A resident living in M@college apartments has been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to an email sent to residents on Aug. 29. Additionally, three off-campus COVID-19 cases have been reported by San Diego State University.

“We share your concern and are working closely with the local health department authorities and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to address the matter,” the M@college email said. “We take this situation seriously, and we continue to recommend that you take all available precautions as recommended by our state and federal government.”

The email that went to residents living in M@college instructed students who may have been exposed to the virus to self-quarantine. 

“We will do our best to keep you informed of the situation as it progresses, and as new information becomes available,” the M@college email said. “If you or anyone you know is showing signs of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, please remain calm, limit your contact with others, contact your doctor as soon as possible to discuss the most appropriate next steps.  Please self-quarantine until you are advised you are no longer contagious.”

A day earlier on Aug. 28, SDSU confirmed three new COVID-19 cases among students who are residing off-campus, bringing the total number of cases reported at SDSU since March to 32 and the number of cases reported in the last seven days to seven. 

“Two of the students are connected to one of the student cases confirmed yesterday, Aug. 27,” the University email said. “The other case, the third case, is related to one of the cases confirmed on Aug. 26.”

Having come in contact with others that tested positive, the three individuals were already quarantined in accordance with public health guidelines, the email said. 

Since March, 17 students, 10 faculty/staff members and one contractor/vendor at SDSU’s College Area campus have tested positive for COVID-19. Two faculty/staff members and one vendor/contractor have tested positive at SDSU Imperial Valley, and one student at SDSU’s Republic of Georgia campus has contracted the virus, according to the university’s COVID-19 webpage.

Between Aug. 11 (when SDSU made COVID-19 testing available) and Aug. 27, the university administered 171 tests. Seven have come back positive, or 4%, according to Student Health Services data. 

Since the first day of classes, Aug. 24, SDSU has performed on average 36 tests a day.

This data does not include numbers from the San Diego County operated testing site at SDSU. 

In light of these recent cases and reports of continued partying, SDSU has taken more aggressive steps to curb the spread of the virus and ensure the university does not see spikes similar to those at the University of Alabama, Notre Dame or the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that SDSU has hired a private security company, Elite Security, to patrol campus and nearby neighborhoods, looking for students violating COVID-19 policies. 

In addition to these measures, SDSU’s Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity sent letters to several students living off-campus warning that continued violations of the SDSU Student Code of Conduct could result in disciplinary action and could be reported to the County of San Diego for alleged violations of public health orders. 

This letter, sent by SDSU’s Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, warns students living off-campus that disciplinary action could follow repeated violations of the Student Code of Conduct. (Address redacted for privacy reasons.)

“All students are required to abide by the SDSU Student Code of Conduct,” the letter, obtained by The Daily Aztec, reads. “This is particularly important at this time, as we are in the COVID-19 global pandemic. We advise all students to act in accordance with this guidance.”

COVID-19 Testing and Resources:

SDSU offers free COVID-19 testing to all currently enrolled students. Testing is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, students can call Student Health Services at 619-594-4325. Online appointments can also be scheduled through HealtheConnect, SDSU’s secure online health portal. 

San Diego County also operates a free, drive-through testing site at SDSU located at 6200 Alvarado Road in Parking Lot 17B. The county testing site is open to the public and appointments can be made through the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency testing website

Students visiting and living on campus are highly encouraged to practice social responsibility by wearing facial coverings, avoiding large gatherings and washing their hands frequently. 

More information regarding COVID-19 resources provided by SDSU can be found on the university’s coronavirus webpage.

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