SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego State University reported another 120 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases among its student population Friday, raising the university’s total caseload to 184 since fall semester began Aug. 24.
Additionally, San Diego County public health officials confirmed multiple clusters of COVID-19 cases within the university community among students. This includes the previously announced off-campus outbreak on Wednesday. SDSU officials say none of the cases under investigation are related to on-campus educational activities, including classes or labs.
Luke Wood, SDSU’s vice president for student affairs and campus diversity, said the university was working with a security company to enforce public health code violations and had issued a total of 457 student violations through Friday afternoon. Wood said the most serious of these violations could result in suspension or expulsion from the university. Some organizations have been cited as well. Wood said the majority of these were fraternities or sororities, but followed up that not all were, and outbreaks impact the community at large regardless of the type of group they occurred in.
All of the university’s in-person classes — which SDSU President Adela de la Torre said comprised just 7% of all courses — were moved online Wednesday. SDSU also paused all on-campus athletics training and workouts for two weeks starting Thursday due to COVID-19.
“Only a small fraction of students have met in person,” de la Torre said. SDSU has a student body of more than 35,000. Nearly 8,000 students live on campus.
She cautioned that “testing alone and testing once” would not be enough, and a robust system to enforce health orders would continue to be needed to avoid the “plague of parties” already present near campus.
SDSU has more than 130 spaces for students to safely quarantine, according to the university, and all students who have moved into campus housing would be able to move out if they so choose.
The university said other public health practices students should follow include:
- Wearing face coverings
- Maintaining social distancing
- Avoid all gatherings outside the household
- Practice good hygiene
Testing Available, Options Expanding
Those who have been in close contact with anyone who is ill or is known have COVID-19 should contact their health care provider to arrange getting tested as soon as possible, the university said.
Earlier this week, the county added 100 test appointments to its drive-up SDSU coronavirus testing site, located in parking lot 17B at 6200 Alvarado Road. HHSA is offering 400 tests per day through Saturday as part of its increased testing efforts. The location will close and reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8, as a no-appointment, walk-up site offering 500 tests a day, Monday through Friday.
The San Diego Tubman-Chavez Community Center, located at 415 Euclid Ave., the next nearest testing location to campus, offers no-appointment testing seven days a week.
Information about other county testing sites is available at 211sandiego.org or by calling 2-1-1.
Students continue to seek testing at the university’s Student Health Services Testing Booth as well as various testing sites across San Diego County, the university said. SHS and HHSA continue to work together to cross reference positive test results of those who have reported an SDSU-affiliation. The SHS Case Assessment Team, upon receiving confirmation of a positive test, immediately contact the individual and any direct contacts.
To date, confirmed SDSU-related cases are reporting an average 4.5 contacts each, about double the typical number reported.
“We really applaud the cooperation our investigators are receiving from the majority of students who have tested positive,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, the County’s medical director of epidemiology.
In addition to dialing 2-1-1, students who become ill are asked to contact their medical providers and stay home.
Students may also contact Student Health Services by calling 619-594-4325 (Monday through Friday) or the Nurse Call Line by calling 858-225-3105 (after hours and during weekends and holidays). Testing is available by appointment only. Online scheduling is available through HealtheConnect, our secure online health portal.