Cal Poly to lift COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated students, staff

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Posted at 7:07 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 00:47:58-04

The Fall quarter will look a bit different at Cal Poly as the university lifts more COVID-19 restrictions.

Cal Poly is dropping its testing requirement for unvaccinated students and staff.

Last year, there were between 1,000 and 1,200 people who received exemptions.

“The main reason we decided to lift our testing requirement is that COVID is becoming endemic,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong.

Cal Poly is lifting more COVID-19 restrictions as the university shifts to an endemic approach to fighting the virus.

“That’s really the whole point of these changes. COVID is with us, it’s here to stay. We’re not going to be able to see a situation where there’s zero COVID,” added Armstrong.

Starting in the Fall, the university will no longer require regular testing for unvaccinated or unboosted students and staff.

The university will also stop updating its online dashboard. Officials say it has become hard to ensure accurate information with many testing from home.

Another change is that the on-campus testing site will close after September 23, after the first week of class.

“There will still be information that’s collected, and we’ll still be reporting that to leadership and also to our SLO County Public Health officials,” said Tina Hadaway-Mellis, Assistant Vice President for Health and Well-Being at Cal Poly.

Symptomatic students can still get tested at the campus health center and positive results will continue to be reported to the county.

University health officials say that students have been flexible since the start of the pandemic as the university shifts back to normalcy.

“They’ve been flexible, adaptable. These are students who have had to pivot on a moment’s notice,” said Hadaway-Mellis.

“My entire college experience has been marked by COVID. I didn’t get to join any clubs or organizations until last year. It took a while to meet new people, to make new friends,” said Cal Poly student Collin Marfia.

Some students continue to urge caution as thousands of new and returning students set their sights on Cal Poly.

“I’m going to be an orientation leader in the fall, and interacting with a lot of people on that large of a scale all at once, it kind of makes me nervous,” added Marfia.

Ninety-eight percent of classes will be in person this Fall. That’s up from 85 percent a year ago.

Cal Poly leaders say they consulted with the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department before announcing the new policy.