Cal Poly releases winter quarter plan; weekly COVID-19 tests required for all students

Posted at 12:05 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 22:41:57-05

Cal Poly announced its winter operations plan Thursday, which includes increased COVID-19 testing for students and on-campus isolation capacity.

Winter quarter starts Jan. 4 with about 10 percent of classes to be held in-person.

“COVID-19 is spreading more widely in San Luis Obispo County than ever before and many community members might be uneasy about the decision to bring back college students at this time,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer. “With the university and students keeping the health and safety of our community top of mind and strictly following public health guidelines, I can support Cal Poly’s winter quarter plan.”

University housing is accepting about 4,500 students for single-occupancy rooms only.

Students with in-person obligations can move in on Jan. 3. Otherwise, students can move in on Jan. 8 or Jan. 9.

The university is requiring students living, studying or working on campus to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of arriving.

Throughout the quarter, all students living on and off-campus will be required to take a COVID-19 test at least twice a week, regardless of how many classes they are taking.

The university is working on a new saliva-based test program that will allow campus health officials to conduct up to 4,000 tests a day.

“Our required testing program for students on campus maximizes the chances of catching positive cases early and provides the opportunity to model appropriate prevention behaviors,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong.

Students that don't comply will receive a series of warnings and then will lose use of key university resources.

Cal Poly will conduct all of its final winter quarter exams virtually, allowing students to return home for spring break sooner.

The university will also add 50 beds to its on-campus isolation capacity, making 236 total beds available.

“As San Luis Obispo County grapples with the same increasing numbers of infections happening nationwide, it is crucial that our student residents — like all members of our community — do their part as we continue to combat the spread of this virus,” Borenstein said. “We can do it, but only together — only with everyone playing their part.”

For more information about Cal Poly's COVID-19 response, click here.