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Cal Poly campus refills as students return for winter quarter

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Jan 03, 2022

Cal Poly campus, which was quiet through much of December, filled back up Monday as students returned for the beginning of winter quarter.

The Jan. 3 return to class comes amid the omicron variant's spread and a county-wide surge in coronavirus cases.

A long line stretched out from the University Union building on Monday afternoon as students waited to get tested for COVID.

Cal Poly freshman Quentin Francis told KSBY that he is continuing some pandemic precautions as the quarter begins.

"I'm just making sure to keep my mask on going in and out of dorms and stuff like that," Francis said, "but I think Cal Poly has done a good job of maintaining social distancing and doing as much as possible to stop the spread. But yeah, I'm pretty confident."

Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier told KSBY that as students return to campus, the university is keeping health a priority on campus and in the broader community.

"We are working closely with our local public health officials and our own on- and off-campus health consultants to keep a close eye on the Omicron variant and the continually evolving pandemic situation," Lazier said in a statement.

The university, a CSU school, required faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated for the Fall 2021 quarter, with medical and religious exemptions in place. In December, the university system announced that beginning in the spring term, a booster shot would be required to be considered fully vaccinated.

The vaccination rates are recorded on the school's coronavirus dashboard. On Monday, 94.3% of students were reported fully vaccinated. 90.5% of faculty and staff were reported fully vaccinated the same day.

In the past 7 days, 20 on-campus Cal Poly students and 32 off-campus Cal Poly students have tested positive for COVID. Seven students were in isolation on Monday.

Since Oct. 3, the university has administered a total of 25,095 COVID tests.

Lazier told KSBY that Cal Poly is requiring all students—vaccinated and unvaccinated—to test for COVID during the first week of the quarter.

Indoor mask requirements and daily health checks for students remain in place.

Also on Monday, UC Santa Barbara's winter quarter resumed remotely. University officials say the virtual learning will last for the first two weeks of the quarter. In-person classes are set to resume on Tuesday, Jan. 18.