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Coronavirus FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Spring 2023

Are there any changes to Cal Poly’s plans to hold in-person courses throughout the spring?

We plan to be in person, similar to fall and winter quarters. We are staying in close contact with our local public health officials and our own health experts and will continue to adjust to the evolving nature of the pandemic as appropriate.

Spring 2023 - Vaccine Requirements

What is the requirement?

The California State University has revised its systemwide COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and as of April 6, 2023, no longer requires students and employees to be fully vaccinated. The CSU strongly recommends all faculty, staff and students accessing campus facilities or programs at any university location be fully immunized against COVID-19. 

Can I get a vaccine on campus?

Students can obtain a COVID-19 vaccine and booster at Health Services. Visit Campus Health Wellbeing's website for more information.

Vaccines and boosters are also available in San Luis Obispo County.

I’m unvaccinated. Will I be required to test regularly?

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

Spring Quarter 2023 - Testing Requirements

Are there testing requirements in spring?

No. As of fall quarter 2022, Cal Poly no longer requires students and employees who are unvaccinated to participate in surveillance testing.

What happens if I test positive?

If you receive a positive test result and live in University Housing, you will be directed to isolate in place in your room until your infectious period has passed. Off-campus students with positive test results will be provided with similar instructions to isolate at home. Students may also return to their permanent residence to isolate.

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

Students seeking information on COVID-19 exposure and testing should visit Campus Health and Wellbeing's COVID-19 webpage. Employees should visit Human Resources' Employee Health Information webpage for information about off-campus testing resources, guidance for isolation and quarantine, and more.

Spring 2023 - Daily Screenings/Campus Pass

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

No. While the daily self-screener remains available to all students, it is not required in spring quarter. All students can participate to monitor their daily health and well-being. Students who test positive or experience symptoms after an exposure are strongly encouraged to report it in their daily screener.

Where can I learn more about daily self-screenings?

For more information on daily screenings and how to use the campus pass system, visit the Campus Health and Wellbeing COVID-19 webpage.

Campus Response

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

Cal Poly’s campus community has an extremely high vaccination rate — above that of the surrounding communities. The university will continue to offer COVID-19 testing for students who are symptomatic or exposed. In addition, masking indoors is strongly recommended (though not required at this time), and all campus community members are urged to practice appropriate hygiene.

What are Cal Poly’s plans for spring 2023 operation?

With mitigations in place to help ensure the health and safety of our students, employees and guests, Cal Poly anticipates near-normal operations over the spring quarter.

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

Cal Poly’s Facilities Operations team will provide 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).


Are any COVID-19-related signs available to download?

Yes. The following signs are available to download:

Vaccinations and Tests

Do I need to be vaccinated to access campus?

No. Per the revised CSU policy, students and employees are strongly recommended but not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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.

Do I need to get tested?

Testing is no longer required for students and employees. If you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, testing is recommended.

    How to complete testing

    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. Starting May 1 in health care settings on campus, masks will be strongly recommended but not required.

    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.

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

    What are the campus requirements around hygiene and physical distancing?

    Everyone will need to continue following good pandemic hygiene — regularly washing or sanitizing hands and wearing PPE as appropriate.

    Physical distancing is not required at this time; however, campus community members and visitors may continue to practice physical distancing if they wish.

    Is the daily screener/campus pass system operational, and how will it be enforced?

    The COVID-19 Daily Self-Screening Tool is active but not required for the entire spring quarter student body. It remains available as a tool for all students to monitor their daily health and well-being.

    Students who test positive or experience symptoms after an exposure are strongly encouraged to report it in their daily screener.

    Visit the Campus Health and Wellbeing COVID-19 webpage for more information and updates.

    Are there consequences for students who do not comply with COVID-19 protocols?

    All students are expected to comply with the protocols set forth by the university. To learn more, visit the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) webpage.

    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 direct students who live on campus to isolate in place in their on-campus residence. Students also have the option to return to their permanent residence to isolate. Students living off campus are also provided with the same instructions.

    This updated isolation policy was made in consultation with the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

    When did this practice begin?

    The university has used isolation in place in on-campus housing throughout the 2022 calendar year, with students living in University Housing apartments. In consultation with county Public Health, in spring 2022 the university also began allowing COVID-19-positive students in residence halls to isolate in place. 

    Our local Public Health officials and our health consultants agree that the science allows for safe isolation in place, if students who are positive for COVID-19 wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask any time they must access common areas. If isolating in place in a residence hall, the COVID-19-positive student must also remain masked when in the space with their roommate.

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

    Students who test positive will receive an email with instructions from COVID-19 Help. 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 precautions should exposed roommates take?

    Roommates are advised to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days and follow exposure guidelines from San Luis Obispo County's Public Health Department.

    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 quarantine and can access campus and classes. You can complete a home antigen 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.

    Students should contact the Disability Resource Center if they need medical accommodations. 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. In addition, students can order free at-home tests on, or obtain one through their insurance. 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. N95 masks are available for pick-up at the Recreation Center, University Union and Disability Resource Center (four per person per time).

    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.