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Some Cal Poly students considering going home early for winter break due to pandemic

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 23:36:42-05

Nearly 1,000 Cal Poly students are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 or are being told to stay in their on-campus housing due to possible exposure.

The number of students told to quarantine in-place is five times higher than what it was just one week ago.

Some students in isolation tell KSBY they are being housed in on-campus apartments for 14 days.

"Now that it's the 11th, I've been in quarantine for 8 days," said Stefan Saomua, Cal Poly student.

Confined to an on-campus apartment room for the next two weeks, the freshman student says his recent days consist of school work, eating, and sleeping.

"I'm asymptomatic so I don't have any symptoms," Saomua said. "I feel completely fine but my test came back positive so I'm quarantining."

The first-year student said one of his friends tested positive for COVID-19 so he got tested just in case.

He says he's been cautious about who he hangs out with and where he goes so it's a disappointment he caught the virus.

He adds that the university has done a good job handling the pandemic on campus.

"They'll come, they'll ring your doorbell. You have to wait for them to leave and then you can go out and pick up your food from a bag," Saomua said.

With just two weeks left until in-person learning for Fall quarter comes to a close, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey addressed Cal Poly students living on and off campus through a video posted on Facebook.

"Wear a mask everywhere you go, even inside," Humphrey said in the video. "Eliminate those gatherings with people you don't know. Make sure you're taking advantage of the testing that is going on at the Performing Arts Center so you know your status when you go home."

On Tuesday, President Jeffrey Armstrong announced that saliva samples will soon be used for COVID-19 testing on campus. This will allow for 4,000 tests per day by mid-January.

Cal Poly students must leave campus by November 21, a couple of weeks before the quarter ends, but some are opting to leave even sooner given the growing number of quarantined students and overall COVID-19 cases.

"Maybe I'll leave on the 18th or 17th," said Jaxson Davis, Cal Poly student. "It's still up for debate but I just want to go be with my family and hopefully be negative and hopefully not bring it back to them."

The university says during Winter quarter, it'll also do wastewater testing to identify positivity within a population on campus.

The university says since July, just under 22,000 students have been tested for COVID-19. So far, less than 500 have come back positive for students and staff combined.