Everything we currently know about the coronavirus at SDSU


Bella Ross

San Diego State will no longer host in-person courses due to coronavirus concerns, although online learning is set to continue for the remainder of the semester.

This story was initially featured in March 18 edition of The Daily Aztec newsletter, which is sent out every Wednesday morning. Subscribe.

In late February, The Daily Aztec began its coronavirus coverage with a series of stories about the disease’s impact on students abroad. Students were being sent back to the U.S., beginning on Jan. 29 with those studying abroad in China. About a month later on Feb. 27, a similar decision was handed down suspending programs in South Korea.

In the 20 days since, San Diego State has shifted all courses online, issued work-from-home orders for university employees and mandated the removal of 7,000 students from campus residence halls. 

With the minute-by-minute updates sending a shock through the campus community’s inboxes, relax in knowing our reporters have worked diligently to sort out what’s accurate and important. 

Here are the most significant things you need to know right now about the coronavirus at SDSU.

  1. Courses are not permitted to have any in-person components for the rest of the semester. The decision, issued last Thursday, was the first large-scale mandate handed down by the university in response to the increase in California cases of COVID-19. The decision came in multiple phases, and initially wasn’t supposed to go into place until after spring break. It was later expanded to include lab courses. Most classes and exams have been paused for this week.
  2. Campus residents were given one day to move out of SDSU housing, after it had previously only been a recommendation. When SDSU announced the transition to online courses on Thursday, the email also notified students in campus residence halls that they would be refunded housing and unspent meal plan costs if they choose to move out early. But that changed on Tuesday when campus residents were instead told they had to be out by Wednesday night at 7 p.m., with some exceptions. The decision followed a California State University systemwide order to thin out campus populations, including students and employees.
  3. All events until April 8 – and most events for the rest of the semester – have been canceled. The decision is in line with social distancing recommendations that now extend to groups of 10 people or more. Notable cancellations include Gradfest, Explore SDSU, any Student Success Fee-funded programs and last Friday’s Greenfest concert, which was set to be headlined by Young the Giant.
  4. The NCAA canceled March Madness and all spring sports operations were suspended. The news particularly stung for the Aztecs men’s basketball team, who had just wrapped up a historic 30-2 season. Luckily for some student-athletes, the NCAA decided to grant eligibility relief to those affected by the cancellation, including members of the SDSU baseball team.
  5. Commencement will be postponed, according to the CSU system. The graduation ceremonies will take place later this calendar year, although exact details are still unknown. SDSU is expected to issue a decision on this matter by Friday.
  6. Non-essential campus employees have been asked to stay home, effective Tuesday. Exceptions were made for essential personnel who are unable to make teleworking arrangements, as well as those engaged in critical research. Student employees will continue to be paid through April 6.
  7. Major campus facilities, including the ARC and the library, have closed. No reopening dates have been issued for either location. All campus buildings will be closed today, March 18, at 6 p.m., although card access will remain in place for faculty and staff.

The campus remains a low-risk environment for contracting the virus, although there has been one confirmed case of a student being infected. The student returned to the U.S. after being required to come home from a study abroad program in Italy, but is now being quarantined in a location outside San Diego County.

For community members who are struggling in light of the coronavirus mandates, the university is maintaining the Economic Crisis Response Team to provide financial, technological or housing needs. SDSU has also been updating its own COVID-19 webpage with information pertaining to the pandemic.

For continued coverage of the pandemic and its effects on campus, track the new coronavirus tab on our website.

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