Two weeks and 64 cases later, San Diego State pauses in-person instruction

Two weeks and 64 cases later, San Diego State pauses in-person instruction

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by Jadyn Brandt, News Editor

Two weeks and 64 confirmed and positive coronavirus cases into the semester, San Diego State has placed a four-week moratorium on in-person instruction, moving approximately 200 additional courses to a fully online format. 

“The university is aware of probable cases and while the majority of these cases are off-campus, we continue to be vigilant and focus on ensuring the best interest for our community,” Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity J. Luke Wood said. 

Although the change will not affect students living in on-campus residential halls, those students will be allowed to move out if they choose by submitting an application with SDSU housing. Students who move out and later return to campus will have to go through a 14-day quarantine. 

“We encourage that students currently living in residence halls remain in campus housing,” Wood said. “We do have more than 130 spaces available to house students in isolation for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.”

Wood said SDSU was prepared to handle the situation, as it was to be expected with the start of the semester. 

“This is to be expected when we have individuals of different backgrounds coming together,” Wood said. “SDSU has been proactively prepared since the spring.”

University protocol for a positive COVID-19 case includes an assessment and response team to ensure the student is isolated and close contacts are quarantined.

“What is promising is that we are seeing students who may have a roommate test positive for COVID-19 adhering to state and county recommendations even before we made contact with the student as part of our contact-tracing efforts,” Wood said.

Wood also said Thursday will be the start of a two-week pause on university sports.

The SDSU library will be closed but its services will be available online, and the 1,100 outdoor seating spaces will remain available along with access to the internet and ‘Domeside’ pickup service, a university-wide email said. 

Of the 64 student cases, only one is considered a community outbreak, the rest are unlinked individual cases, according to San Diego County Medical Director Dr. Eric McDonald.

“Although there have been no hospitalizations amongst the students with COVID, the great majority of the ones we have identified so far actually have had symptoms,” McDonald said.

McDonald said more coronavirus cases are to be expected, predicting the number of positive cases could soar into the triple digits,  but the university is in close contact with the county and has set up an appointment site in university parking lot 17B.

“Frankly, this is something that we expected,” McDonald said. “We do expect more cases, what’s important is how we respond.”

For more information on coronavirus in San Diego County visit www.coronavirus-sd.com or text COSD COVID19 to 468-311.

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.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated  Dr. J. Luke Wood’s position as the Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. He is the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity. The Daily Aztec regrets this error. 

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