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Coronavirus FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Summer 2023 - Vaccine Requirements

What is the requirement?

The California State University has revised its systemwide COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and no longer requires students and employees to be fully vaccinated, but it is still strongly recommended. 

Can I get a vaccine on campus?

Learn more about student vaccination options on Campus Health and Wellbeing's COVID-19 webpage. Employees can find vaccines and boosters in San Luis Obispo County or in other areas by searching on the state My Turn website.

Summer Quarter 2023 - Testing Requirements

Are there testing requirements in summer?

No. As of fall quarter 2022, Cal Poly no longer requires students and employees who are unvaccinated to participate in surveillance testing. Additional information on off-campus testing resources is available on Human Resources' Employee Health Information webpage.

Where can I find out more information about COVID-19 testing and what to do in the event of a COVID-19 exposure?

Students should visit Campus Health and Wellbeing's COVID-19 webpage. Employees should visit Human Resources' Employee Health Information webpage.

Summer 2023 - Daily Screenings/Campus Pass

Am I required to participate in daily self-screenings if I want to access campus facilities?

No. The daily self-screener will no longer be available as of June 23, 2023.

Campus Response

What is Cal Poly’s plan to ensure campus health and safety?

Cal Poly’s campus community has a high vaccination rate compared to surrounding communities. The university will continue to offer COVID-19 testing for students who are symptomatic at Campus Health and Wellbeing, and will also continue surveillance and exposure notifications for students and employees.

Wearing a mask indoors is strongly recommended, especially for vulnerable persons(though not required). For more information, visit the CDPH webpage regarding face coverings.

What sanitation and safety protocols are in place for classrooms and office spaces on campus?

Cal Poly’s Facilities Operations team provides pre-COVID-19 cleaning protocols. Cleaning frequencies for classrooms are daily spot cleaning, including disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and weekly thorough cleaning.

Lab spaces will have trash pick-up and touch point disinfection performed daily with a more thorough cleaning performed weekly. Some lab spaces may have different cleaning routines depending on the nature of the course (e.g., workstations that are exclusively used by one student throughout the quarter). Lab owners should reach out to Facilities to schedule a meeting to determine the need, frequency, and circumstances of the change in cleaning routine.

Personal-sized sanitizer is available at the Facilities’ Warehouse (No. 70A).

Daily Practice

Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

Cal Poly strongly recommends but does not require masks be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

In high-risk settings, including health care settings, wearing a mask is strongly recommended for all staff and patients, per the California Department of Public Health. Extra precautions should be considered for vulnerable persons. Those who are vulnerable include the unvaccinated, those who are immunocompromised, have certain disabilities, have underlying health conditions, and those at risk of severe illness or death if they are infected with COVID-19. For more information, visit the CDPH webpage regarding face coverings.

Learn more about face coverings and where to pick up a free face covering on campus, including surgical and N95 masks.

Isolation and Quarantine

What is the current isolation policy on campus for students who test positive for COVID-19?

The university updated its isolation guideline to instruct students who live on campus to isolate in place in their on-campus residence and remain masked when in common spaces with roommates. Students living off campus are also provided with the same instructions. Students also have the option to return to their permanent residence to isolate.

This updated isolation policy effective as of spring 2022 was made in consultation with the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

How does the process work? Are students' roommates informed?

Students who test positive will receive an email with instructions. Students who test positive are directed to always wear a mask and are strongly encouraged to share the news with their roommates so that everyone can take appropriate precautions. Roommates will also receive an exposure notification.

What should you do if you are exposed to COVID-19?

Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days and follow exposure guidelines from San Luis Obispo County Public Health.

If you develop symptoms: Test and stay home. If you use a home antigen test and the test is negative, test again in 48 hours. You also have the option to obtain testing at Campus Health and Wellbeing or call if you have any questions.

 If you do not have symptoms: You are not required to test or quarantine. You can access campus and attend class. It is recommended that you complete an at-home test on Days 1, 3 and 5 after last exposure. You also have the option to obtain testing at Campus Health and Wellbeing or call if you have any questions.

For additional guidance, see the Student Quarantine and Isolation Guide.

How long must a student isolate if they test positive?

Isolation can end after five days without a negative test if you meet the following criteria:

  • No fever for the last 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medicine (like Tylenol or Ibuprofen); AND
  • No symptoms are present or symptoms are improving.

Wear a well-fitting mask when around others for all 10 days. Refer to San Luis Obispo County's COVID-19 isolation guidelines for more information.

Where can students obtain home antigen tests?

Students can obtain at-home tests at the on-campus Cal Poly Pharmacy or other local pharmacies. For information on off-campus testing sites, visit San Luis Obispo County’s COVID-19 Testing webpage.

Does the university provide isolation services to students? If so, what services?

The Dean of Students office can assist students with instructor notifications if the student is unable to contact their instructors directly. In addition, students can reach out to the following supportive services for help during isolation: Campus Health and Wellbeing, Counseling Services and Crisis Services, the Disability Resource Center and Academic Advising. Scroll to the bottom of the Student Quarantine and Isolation Guide for contact information.

What can students do and not do in isolation?

Students are directed to remain in their room with the door closed as much as possible. Students are not permitted to: 

  • Leave the Cal Poly campus, except for an emergency or medical reason.
  • Be with others in groups.
  • Attend group events such as religious services, outdoor concerts, or other gatherings that bring people together.
  • Utilize the Recreation Center.
  • Enter other residential communities.
  • Go to in-person classes, labs, or workplaces.

The following exceptions are allowed for brief trips and then returning directly to their room. Students should wear a well-fitting mask while they:

  • Use the common bathroom. If possible, adjust restroom visits to times when restroom traffic is low. Always keep your mask on except when brushing your teeth/showering. Keep these unmasked activities brief.
  • Pick up food on-campus after ordering on GrubHub.
  • Pick up food outside their residence after being delivered by an off-campus restaurant or other delivery service.
  • Use the laundry facilities.
  • Sit outside away from others to get fresh air. Students can go for a walk by themselves, away from others.
  • For additional guidance, see the Student Quarantine and Isolation Guide.

Students who need an N95 mask can ask a friend to bring some. Learn more about face coverings, including where to get one on campus.

More FAQs Across Campus

Academic Affairs

Faculty and staff members can find answers to frequently asked questions about in-person courses, COVID-19 safety guidelines and procedures from Academic Affairs.

Campus Dining

Learn about Campus Dining's Health and Safety information.


Get updates and information for students living on campus.

Transportation and Parking

Parking permits are required on campus. Learn more about commuting to and parking on campus.

Travel and Study Abroad

Find information on study abroad programs, virtual internships and international students and scholars from the International Center.