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Coronavirus Campus Updates

To provide the campus with the most current information, this webpage will be updated regularly. Please check back to get accurate and up-to-date information. (Some links may have expired in older campus messages.)

Summer 2022 Updates

8/9/2022 - Update on Fall 2022 COVID-19 Plans

Dear Campus Community,

We hope you are all enjoying your summer. We’re writing to you today to share some important updates related to our campus COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming fall quarter.

As with past modifications to our protocols, these changes are being made in close consultation with our medical health experts and San Luis Obispo County public health officials. We took into consideration our campus community’s extremely high vaccination rate; the protection measures, such as masks and vaccination clinics, that we continue to offer on campus; and the wide availability of COVID-19 testing and treatments.

Older Cal Poly Coronavirus Updates

We have a full archive of all campus updates during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our plans for fall quarter include: 

  • We will no longer require regular surveillance testing of unvaccinated and/or unboosted students, faculty and staff through our on-campus saliva lab, nor will we require pre-arrival testing for unvaccinated and/or unboosted students for fall quarter.
  • The saliva testing site in University Union 221 will remain open through the first week of fall quarter — Sept. 18-23 — for all students, faculty and staff who wish to get tested. The testing site will close after Sept. 23. We also strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to get a test within 24 to 72 hours prior to returning to San Luis Obispo/campus.
  • The campus dashboard will continue to update through the summer term but will no longer be updated in fall quarter. 
  • Many options exist for a student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including obtaining an at-home test, scheduling a test in the community or seeking care at Campus Health and Wellbeing. Symptomatic students seeking medical care can contact CHW at 805-756-1211 or visit Building 27. 
  • Employees with symptoms have numerous ways to get tested off-campus, such as a free test at a local community testing site or requesting free at-home tests through covidtests.gov. Many urgent care providers offer testing, and at-home tests are also widely available for purchase at local pharmacies and the Cal Poly Pharmacy.
  • All new students and employees are required to upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster, or file an exemption in compliance with the CSU’s vaccination policy. More information and a link to upload records is available on the campus COVID-19 vaccine webpage. We will continue to closely monitor public health conditions and may require unvaccinated and unboosted individuals to resume regular testing if public health conditions change.
  • If you’re in need of a booster, Rite Aid will return to campus in September to offer free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in the Recreation Center.  
  • In close consultation with San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials, we have updated our isolation guidelines to direct students who live on campus and who test positive to isolate in place in their on-campus residence. Students may also return to their permanent residence to isolate, if possible.
  • Students who are immunocompromised may be accommodated based on their individual circumstances through the Disability Resource Center
  • Students living off campus will continue to be asked to isolate in their residences, per public health guidance for all county residents.
  • Students may still be able to qualify for an early release from isolation: A negative result from an at-home antigen test or local testing facility after Day 5 of isolation or later can release a student from their 10-day isolation as early as Day 6. For more information, visit the Student Quarantine and Isolation Guide
  • We will continue to require all students, regardless of vaccination status, to complete the daily self-screener and obtain a campus pass. Students should be prepared to show their pass upon entering a campus facility such as a classroom. Learn more
  • Masks will continue to be recommended but not required indoors, in line with San Luis Obispo County Public Health guidance. Any campus community member is welcome to wear a mask if they choose, and will we continue to make them available

As we noted above, these changes will not take effect until the start of fall quarter. We will continue to closely monitor public health conditions, and these updated protocols may be subject to change if conditions warrant.

Also please note, incoming students in the Quarter Plus program, who start classes Aug. 17, will be required to submit a pre-arrival test and participate in ongoing surveillance testing for the duration of the program if they are not vaccinated and boosted. Students participating in Quarter Plus have received a separate message with information about this and other campus requirements.

Our community has navigated many changes and challenges over the past two years. We are grateful for your patience and diligence. COVID-19 will continue to circulate, and we can continue to practice good public health behaviors that protect us and those most vulnerable. We hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer and wish you success as you start the new academic year! 

In community,

Anthony J. Knight, MEP
Executive Director, Public Safety

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Campus Health and Wellbeing

Spring 2022 Updates

6/9/2022 - COVID-19 Update: Planning for Summer and Fall

Dear Campus Community,

As spring quarter draws to a close, we're writing to share our plans for our ongoing response to the pandemic over the summer and into fall quarter.

First, we want to thank you for all the steps you’ve taken over the past year — including vaccinating, masking and testing — to protect our community. We’ve navigated many twists and turns together, and by continuing these precautions in the coming months, we believe we will continue to slow the spread of the virus within our campus community.

Our protocols for summer classes and programs will look very similar to those currently in use and will apply to all summer sessions, Summer Institute and Quarter Plus:

  • We will require all students who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters to upload a negative test taken within 72 hours of arriving to campus. Students to whom this requirement applies will receive an email with further instructions next week.
  • If you test positive, follow state guidance and do not return until 10 days has passed or you test negative on Day 5. If you are experiencing symptoms, get tested right away.  Students should report their positive test on the daily symptom screener and upload their result to the COVID-19 Info tab.
  • We will require weekly testing for students and employees who are not up to date on their vaccinations and boosters. The testing site in University Union 221 will remain open over the summer, and updated hours will be posted on the Student Testing and Employee Testing webpages in the coming days. Note the testing site is for asymptomatic individuals (those without symptoms). Students with symptoms should contact Campus Health and Wellbeing at 805-756-1211, and employees should contact their health care provider.
  • Students who test positive will be required to isolate from others for 10 days (with an opportunity to qualify for early release). Students on campus will isolate in place in their apartment. More information and resources are available in the Student Quarantine and Isolation guide. Employees who test positive and are working on campus should submit the COVID-19 Reporting Form.
  • We will lift our indoor mask mandate beginning June 13 and again align with San Luis Obispo County guidance to strongly recommend, but not require, masks be worn indoors. All campus community members are welcome to wear a mask if they choose, and will we continue to make them available.
  • Students will be required to continue to complete the daily self-screener/Campus Pass and to show a green pass to access campus facilities.

For those needing a COVID-19 vaccination or booster, Rite Aid will return to campus over the summer and into fall to offer vaccines in the Cal Poly Recreation Center on the following Fridays: July 15, Aug. 5, Sept. 16 and Sept. 23. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine webpage for details.

At this time, our plans for fall quarter will also include pre-arrival testing for those students who are not up to date on vaccinations and boosters. We will also continue to require regular testing for those students and employees who are not fully immunized against COVID-19, including a booster shot for those eligible.

As we have throughout the pandemic, we continue to consult regularly with our campus medical experts, campus stakeholders and our county and state public health partners. Please continue to check your email for any updates and changes to our plans.

Thank you for continuing to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we wish you all a healthy and productive summer.

Take care,

Anthony J. Knight, MEP
Executive Director, Public Safety 

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Campus Health and Wellbeing 

5/30/2022 - Important Campus Update — Mask Mandate Returns Effective 5/31/22

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing to you today to inform you that, after consulting with our on- and off-campus health and safety experts and San Luis Obispo County Public Health, Cal Poly will reinstate its indoor mask mandate for all campus facilities, effective tomorrow — Tuesday, May 31.

As you may be aware, our university — like our local community and many places across the state and nation — is continuing to see a slow but steady increase in numbers of COVID-19 cases.

 

While the latest numbers are not on the order of what we saw during the worst of the winter Omicron surge, they are still concerning from a health and safety standpoint. When we informed the campus community in February that we were lifting the campus’s indoor mask mandate, we indicated that we would monitor health and safety conditions and would reinstate the mandate should those conditions require it. Unfortunately, that time has come.

This change applies to all students, employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, and will be effective beginning tomorrow through Sunday, June 12, at a minimum. (More information on masking and other campus operations relating to summer quarter will be shared with you all in the coming days in a subsequent email message. Please watch your inbox for those additional details.)

Our experts continue to recommend surgical masks, KN95s, and N95s as the standard for our community. Cal Poly continues to make N95s and surgical masks available to all students and employees at the University Union, Kennedy Library, and Recreation Center. In addition, surgical masks will be available to students and employees at the entrances to large campus facilities.

In addition to our extremely high vaccination and booster rates among students and employees, and our continued regular testing of those campus community members who are not vaccinated, we hope that requiring masks indoors will help us decrease the number of cases within our campus community, especially during finals and commencement.

In addition to masking indoors, we will continue to require that all students fill out their daily symptom screener to obtain a pass to access campus, and we strongly encourage all faculty and staff to ask students to present these passes in university facilities.  

Thank you all for your flexibility and continued vigilance as we respond to the ever-evolving circumstances of this pandemic. Stay well, and good luck to everyone as we approach the end of the quarter.

Thanks,

Anthony J. Knight, MEP
Executive Director, Public Safety

5/26/2022 - COVID-19 Update from SLO County, Continued Precautions Urged

Dear Campus Community,

As you have probably seen, there has been an increase of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County, including on campus. We want to share some information from San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein, and we recommend you follow the precautions she outlines.

We also want to recognize all of the good work and efforts you have made to keep our campus community healthy. This includes our high vaccination and boosted rates, regular testing by those who are not vaccinated, and continued consideration of other health and safety guidelines.

Dr. Borenstein’s recommendations are included in this news release distributed by the county on Wednesday, included below.

Thank you for reading, and be well.

Anthony J. Knight, MEP
Executive Director, Public Safety

Tina Hadaway-Mellis, RN, MBA
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing
Campus Health and Wellbeing 

Health Officials Urge Precautions as COVID-19 Increase Accelerates in SLO County

San Luis Obispo, CA — Health officials say now is the time for San Luis Obispo County residents to consider increased precautions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase at a faster pace.

The more highly-contagious BA.2.12.1 variant is likely driving this increase, which includes some re-infections of people who had an earlier strain of Omicron during the recent winter surge. 

“While we don’t need to panic, we are now in a situation where it is wise to take precautions,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “These case rates tell us it is time to use the tools we have for reducing risk: be careful about gatherings, wear your mask in crowded spaces, stay home and get tested if you are sick. For those 50 and older who have been wondering when to get a second booster, I’d suggest now is the time.” 

Recommendations include: 

  • Keep gatherings safer: Small, brief, outdoor gatherings continue to be the safest option for social get-togethers. Consider remote or virtual meetings when practical. 
  • Know before you go or gather: Get tested prior to and again 3-5 days after travel or gatherings. At-home rapid tests provide the option to test right before gathering, an especially valuable approach if visiting someone who is at higher risk. 
  • If you’re sick, stay home: Anyone feeling sick, even mildly, should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. While it’s allergy season, there is also a lot of COVID-19 circulating. 
  • Use your mask: It’s a good idea to wear your mask in busy indoor places, including stores. N95/KN95s provide the strongest protection. 
  • Boost your immunity: Now is a key time to get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t yet. 
  • Remember the basics: Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. 

Since last week’s report, 586 new cases have been reported, bringing the 14-day daily average to 67, up from nine one month ago. This does not include rapid or at-home tests. Thirteen SLO County residents are hospitalized for COVID-19, including two in the ICU. This is up from two hospitalizations two weeks ago. Public Health teams are actively responding to 24 outbreaks in congregate settings. 

Vaccines, including boosters, are available at no charge for everyone age 5 and older. COVID-19 treatment is widely available for people at higher risk. For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit slopublichealth.org/COVID19 or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. Phone assistance is available at 805-781-5500 Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4/14/2022 - Booster Requirements and Vaccine Certification Update

Dear Colleagues,

This is a reminder to upload proof of your COVID-19 vaccination and booster, in compliance with the updated CSU COVID-19 Vaccine Policy. I’m also writing to share updated deadlines for some employees to upload their booster information. In addition, the testing frequency for employees who are not vaccinated or not in compliance with the vaccination requirement will change on Monday, April 18, to a minimum of once every seven days.

You are eligible for a booster five months after completing the Pfizer or Moderna primary vaccination series, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccination. The CSU COVID-19 Vaccine Policy requires boosters are received six months after the final dose of the original vaccination. Additionally, Cal Poly requires proof of vaccination (including boosters), in compliance with this policy and the respective bargaining unit MOUs. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes: a COVID-19 vaccination card, Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record (California vaccination database QR code accessible via myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov), or documentation from your medical provider.

Employees will self-certify their vaccination status. You are encouraged to complete self-certification of your vaccination status as soon as possible. To upload your proof of vaccination and booster, access your Cal Poly Portal and go to the “COVID-19 Info” tab. The deadline for employees to update their booster information varies by bargaining unit. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine webpage for the latest information. All managers, non-represented employees, UAPD (Unit 1), faculty members (Unit 3), and SUPA (Unit 8) who are not eligible for and documented an exemption to being vaccinated were required to upload their booster information by April 4. CSUEU employees (Units 2, 5, 7 & 9) who are not otherwise eligible for an exemption are required to upload their booster information by April 29, 2022.

Cal Poly employees who are not in compliance with the vaccination and booster mandate by the dates indicated will be required to submit to COVID-19 surveillance testing. Non-compliance with this policy without a medical or religious exemption may be cause for discipline. Cal Poly employees with a medical or religious exemption to the vaccine mandate must continue to comply with COVID-19 surveillance testing, which will change April 18 to a minimum of once every seven days from twice weekly. Visit the Employee Testing webpage for testing information and hours.

Cal Poly has also implemented this change for students who are required to participate in ongoing testing, decreasing the testing requirement to a minimum of once every seven days from every three days. In addition, the campus pass remains in effect throughout spring quarter for all students accessing campus, and faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to check for green campus passes.

Cal Poly continues to host on-campus, walk-in vaccination clinics for employees who would like to obtain their vaccination series or boosters. The clinics are administered by Rite Aid and located in the Cal Poly Recreation Center (No. 43, Room 109). The next clinic is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 29.

Thank you for your commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of our campus community.  

Sincerely,

Albert A. Liddicoat
Vice President for University Personnel and Chief Human Resources Officer

Previous Cal Poly Updates

To view older campus updates during the coronavirus pandemic, please see Archive of Older Campus Updates.

CSU Updates

For the latest COVID-19 information and updates from the California State University (CSU), visit the CSU Coronavirus Updates page.

Public Health Updates

Please visit the following websites for the most recent public health updates and advisories: