SDSU nears 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases in first two weeks

by Patrick Doyle, Staff Writer

San Diego State has confirmed 396 positive cases of COVID-19 across the on- and off-campus student population since the start of the semester two weeks ago. On Tuesday alone, the number of confirmed cases increased by 110, and four new probable cases were identified, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable cases reported since Aug. 24 to 400.

In an email to SDSU students on Sept. 8, President Adela de la Torre confirmed the increasing number of cases, adding 75% of all positive cases are among students living off-campus in housing not managed by the university and that 73% of positive cases are among freshman and sophomore students.

This spike in cases comes after a Labor Day weekend in which SDSU issued a “Stay at Home” order ending Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. to all of its on-campus residents, and encouraged off-campus students to remain home as well.

Despite the increasing number of confirmed cases, the university is confident that SDSU will remain open.

“SDSU will not close based on a predetermined number of positive cases or positivity rate based on the number of COVID-19 cases within our community,” the email stated.

While residence halls and several on-campus facilities remain open, recreational facilities and outdoor spaces have been closed for general use.

In-person instruction is expected to resume on Oct. 5. The university is making an exception allowing a limited number of courses to resume in-person starting Sept. 10. These courses are mostly graduate-level courses that require in-person hours to complete. All in-person classes will continue to require masks and physical distancing.

“We are being very conservative in exceptions,” the email said. “Those courses that fall under the exception are very limited, many with enrollments of less than eight (8) students, and listed on the Registrar’s site.”

The increase in positive cases is only the beginning of a larger trend. The university predicts the number of COVID-19 cases will continue to rise over the next several days, despite aggressive measures and increased enforcement of university COVID-19 policies. 

This graph shows the number of confirmed/probable COVID-19 cases among SDSU students. (Brenden Tuccinardi)

“We are projecting that COVID-19 cases will continue to increase in the coming days as both HHSA and SDSU expand testing, and given the delay in the onset of symptoms resulting from exposures prior to this past week,” the email said.

For more information visit SDSU’s official coronavirus webpage

COVID-19 Testing and Resources:

SDSU offers free COVID-19 testing to all currently enrolled students, faculty and staff.  Testing on-campus 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 and walk-up testing site at SDSU located at 6200 Alvarado Road in Parking Lot 17B. The county testing site is open to the public and does not require an appointment, more information is available at 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.

Assistant News Editor Katelynn Robinson contributed reporting.

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