SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly's winter quarter started today with several updated COVID-19 related measures in place.
"Our highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff and community," said Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong. "We arrived at a plan that arrived at maximum Learn By Doing, while prioritizing health and safety."
The university announced in December it would enact a number of changes and additions to safety protocols in light of the recent spike in cases throughout the county and state.
Most significantly, there will be an increase in testing requirements for students, as well as an increased capacity for isolating any infected student residents on campus.
There will also be a staggered return of on-campus students in the first week of the quarter and an all-virtual finals week.
Effective Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, ongoing testing is now required for students who meets any of the following criteria:
- Lives in university housing
- Is enrolled in face-to-face courses
- Works on campus
- Participates in research on campus
- Uses any on-campus service (except the Health Center)
- Lives in the same household or congregate living facility (meaning a house, apartment or housing facility with two or more students, such as a dormitory or fraternity/sorority house)
According to a Presidential Order released by the university, students will be required to be tested two times per week.
The university has also announced some students may be exempt from the updated testing requirement.
Exempted students must be enrolled in a completely virtual course schedule and meet a requirement listed below or receive approval by Campus Health and Wellbeing.
- Student has a documented condition that makes participating in testing not possible or contrary to medical recommendations. Documentation regarding the condition must be on file with the
Disability Resource Center.
- Student has tested positive for the Coronavirus within the last 90 days, as certified by Campus Health & Wellbeing.
The university warns students that failure to comply with testing requirements will result in a loss of access to inperson campus services, in-person classes, recreation center, library, campus dining, and all other student services.
The Order also states, students who live off-campus and not with other Cal Poly students at the same address are not required to comply with the testing requirement, but are strongly encouraged to do so, especially if they interact with other Cal Poly students.
Similar to the fall quarter, Cal Poly on-campus housing will host more than 4,000 students, who will reside in single-occupancy rooms only.
Masks will be required in public spaces and congregating will be strongly discouraged.
"I'm looking forward to a better 2021," said Armstrong. "We're a Learn By Doing campus. We're constantly getting better. I'm proud of what our faculty and staff accomplished last fall. I'm proud of the majority of our students and I know that we'll have a good 2021 and we're even in a better position."