SDSU passes 1,000 cases, limited in-person instruction to resume Oct. 12

SDSU+passes+1%2C000+cases%2C+limited+in-person+instruction+to+resume+Oct.+12

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by Brenden Tuccinardi, Editor in Chief

Since Aug. 24, San Diego State has reported 1,080 cases of COVID-19 associated with the university, the vast majority among students, and more specifically students living off-campus. 

The spike in cases associated with the university drew stark criticism from College Area and San Diego County residents who blamed students for jeopardizing the county’s reopening plan. 

However, the number of new cases associated with SDSU seems to be trending downwards. Over the past three days, SDSU has reported daily case counts below 10. On Sept. 29 only three cases were reported. The day before only five.

According to the university, 11 students are currently in isolation housing and 119 are quarantined in their on-campus residences. 

To date, 389 on-campus residents have tested positive for the coronavirus compared to 669 off-campus students according to SDSU’s COVID-19 dashboard. 13 visitors, defined as someone who had exposure to an SDSU-affiliated individual, have tested positive along with eight faculty and staff members. None of the on-campus cases are connected to in-person instruction. 

Four weeks ago, SDSU halted in-person instruction for nearly 200 courses after reporting 64 new cases. 

On Sept. 29, President Adela de la Torre announced in a campus-wide email a limited number of in-person courses would resume on Oct. 12, extending the initial four-week pause by seven days. 

2,100 students will be enrolled in an in-person course, the email stated. Prior to the pause, 6,200 students had in-person classes. The full list of courses resuming in-person instruction is available on the registrar’s webpage.

The majority of these courses are upper-division or graduate-level deemed to be essential for student degree completion, de la Torre wrote in the email.

“Like colleges and universities across the nation, we face the challenge of maintaining our core mission while protecting public health during a pandemic,” de la Torre wrote. “To be clear: this mission is education, and it must continue.”

Accessible and quick COVID-19 testing is imperative for this mission to continue. SDSU’s mandatory testing protocol is still ongoing and expanding. 

SDSU received approval from the California State University system to enforce a mandatory testing requirement for all undergraduate and graduate students taking in-person courses. This is in addition to all students living on-campus who continue to be tested randomly. 

Students will be tested at least every 14 days, the email said. Additional information about this requirement will be shared with students through their SDSU email accounts. 

Beyond SDSU, San Diego County is reporting improving case counts as well. On Sept. 29 the county’s case rate fell to 6.7 cases per 100,000 residents, down from 6.9 a week earlier. This places the county more securely in the red tier of California’s color-coded reopening plan. In order to move to the less-restrictive orange tier, San Diego County must maintain a case rate of fewer than 3.9 cases per 100,000 residents for two weeks. That calculates to an average of 133 or fewer cases per day, according to county data. 

County health officials continue to implore residents to follow public health guidelines, wear facial coverings and maintain physical distance. President de la Torre echoed these sentiments. 

“Individual actions are foundational to any campus plan and public health overall,” de la Torre wrote.

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