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Cal Poly will resume some in-person classes this fall

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A letter has been sent out to students and staff announcing over 500 classes will resume in-person at Cal Poly for the fall quarter.

The fall quarter will begin September 14, with about 13-percent of approximately 4,300 classes will be in-person. The labs and activities are critical to allow students to complete their degrees.

This comes as California public health officials announced guidelines for higher education. The Cal State University Chancellor's Office has approved Cal Poly's fall quarter plans.

After a survey of Cal Poly students in early summer, a majority reported they intended to come back to San Luis Obispo, even if classes would be completely virtual. A limited number of students will be allowed to return to on-campus housing.

The quarter will end November 20, with all final exams will be held virtually. Any classes beginning the quarter in a virtual format, will remain virtual for the entire quarter.

Students will be directed to self-quarantine wile an appointment is scheduled for testing. Students who test positive will be moved to isolation rooms. Off-campus students will self-isolate. The locations will be kept confidential to keep the privacy of community members.

Employees and students must wear face masks or coverings in all public ares, shared work areas, and common areas including hallways, break rooms, and conference rooms. Even if both student and teacher are on campus, they are encouraged to hold their meetings virtually and conduct as much work through e-mail, telephone, instant message, or other technology rather than face-to-face.

Custodial services will increase sanitation in common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-touch surfaces. Similar cleaning is taking place in classroom buildings. Sanitizing sprays and wipes will be provided as well as more hand sanitizer dispensers in locations throughout campus.

Cal Poly will offer a virtual option for students who choose not to take in-person classes for any reason. First-year students, who may be having difficulty getting a seat in required courses and do not want to take in-person classes may reach out to the Mustang Success Center. Continuing students who would prefer virtual classes can contact the advising center for assistance.

A limited amount of classes, senior projects, undergraduate research, enterprise projects, and activities will be granted in-person status for the fall quarter, on a case-by-case basis.

In a normal academic year, Cal Poly houses close to 8,500 students on campus. This year, they will be housing no more than 5,980 students on campus, with priority given to first-year students. University Housing will contact first-year students and those who have finished the housing application.

The move-in period will extend to a 10-year period, to maintain a safe process. Move-in will start September 3 and end September 13. More information will be sent out to students on the process.

The fall quarter welcome week will be a hybrid format, with small-group in-person activities happening outside with physical distancing and large-group activities being offered virtually.

All faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely for the fall quarter. Some critical jobs will be assessed to control the work environment through physical distancing and personal safety equipment.

Departments with employees returning to campus will take precautions including: bringing staff back on alternating days, staggering starting and departure times, and creating physical distancing in offices and meeting rooms.

Managers of employees who identify as being vulnerable, should make arrangements for those individuals to continue working from home. If that is not possible, employees should reach out to Human Resources or Academic Personnel to explore accomodations.

Faculty and staff had been asked to take an online COVID-19 awareness training that includes important health, safety, and prevention information. It is not an indication or expectation to return to campus.

Campus Dining venues will be open with outdoor dining and take-out services only. All orders are to be placed through Grubhub to limit contact.

COVID-19 testing will be available for current and enrolled students free of charge. A comprehensive exposure investigation process will assist San Luis Obispo County Public Health's efforts to identify close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases in campus community members.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Katie Karl

Katie Karl is a producer for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Katie, click here.


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