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Cal Poly Goes Virtual in Response to COVID-19

Text that reads COVID-19 Updates and Information on a green background.
Written By Cal Poly News Staff

This story was last updated Friday, August 7.

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Cal Poly will hold a virtual summer quarter and officials have announced plans for the fall quarter.

The decision to move to virtual instruction came in March, and the spring quarter was held virtually. Cal Poly is currently waiting on final approval of plans for the fall quarter from the California State University Chancellor's Office, President Armstrong said in a message to campus on Friday. More information about plans for the fall quarter, including housing information, will be posted on the new Roadmap website. Final decisions about fall quarter instruction will depend on the latest information and public health conditions.

Details on the summer quarter can be found on the Summer 2020 website.

In early May, campus officials announced that Cal Poly had received funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and identified additional funding sources to provide emergency grants to any student who has incurred expenses, such as food, housing and transportation costs, due to the disruption of campus operations by COVID-19.

All currently enrolled students can apply for these funds through the Cal Poly Cares program.

Cal Poly also offers additional programs to support students in need, which can be found on the university's Basic Needs Initiative website.

The fall quarter will be divided into three categories: in-person, synchronous virtual and asynchronous virtual, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a message to the campus community on June 24. The majority of in-person activities on-campus are scheduled to conclude before the week of Thanksgiving, while a limited number of activities including in-person classes, undergraduate research, senior projects will be granted in-person status through the end of the year through an exception process.

"Until we have a vaccine or the viral load drops considerably, we have to be prepared for an unexpected resurgence of COVID-19 and move to 100% virtual learning should a stay-at-home order be put in place this fall," Armstrong said in the message.

As of Friday, there are 2,093 total confirmed cases in San Luis Obispo County, according to data provided by the county.

On July 5, the university's Emergency Operations Center announced in an email that an employee working on campus tested positive for the virus.

The county Public Health Department has begun contact tracing and will follow up with anyone who may have been exposed to the employee, the EOC said in the email. Additionally, the university is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting campus facilities and equipment, "including those which this employee might have used while infected," the email read.

For more information on the rapidly evolving campus response to the outbreak, please visit