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Cal Poly not planning on canceling classes amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 11:47 PM, Mar 10, 2020

Cal Poly sent out an email Tuesday strongly urging students, faculty and staff to not travel for personal reasons -- such as spring break -- and instead stay on campus.

"I'm from Seattle like I said, so I'm planning on going back to Seattle,” said Mark Jaffe, Cal Poly student.

The big fear on universities across the country is that students traveling for spring break could bring back the coronavirus with them.

Cal Poly has suspended all international and non-essential domestic travel for its staff.

For now, Cal Poly is taking a wait and see approach and isn't planning on making any immediate changes; not until there are active cases of the coronavirus in San Luis Obispo County.

"We're very pleased that we do not have cases and if that changes, once that changes -- and we don't know if it will -- then we'll make adjustments," said Jeffrey Armstrong, Cal Poly President. "But, otherwise, we're going to continue with business as usual.”

While there aren't any drastic plans on the horizon, Armstrong says there are several contingency plans in place if the coronavirus becomes more of a threat.

"It could be moving some classes to virtual which could be different for different instructors,” Armstrong said. “It could be limiting large events; it could be allowing certain small labs, but it depends.”

As students and faculty prepare for finals and spring break in the next two weeks, some think airing on the side of caution could be a good idea for Cal Poly.

"It might not be a terrible idea to have spring break extended for a couple weeks," said Jaffe. "I know other schools are doing five weeks until the end of April. I don't know if that’s necessary; however, it could be a good precaution if we're, like, legitimately worried about the issue,”

KSBY also heard from an unnamed university department chair that their March 20th advisory council meeting has now been cancelled, a move to keep off-site alumni from coming onto Cal Poly's campus.