SDSU will start spring semester online as school readies for in-person classes

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SAN DIEGO – San Diego State University students will start the first two weeks of the spring semester virtually while the university conducts COVID-19 testing for those planning to attend in-person sessions, officials said Tuesday.

Beginning Jan. 20, classes will be held entirely online as the university implements its student re-entry plan. SDSU only is offering a limited number of full or partial in-person courses for the spring, largely in subject areas such as science, engineering and fine arts requiring some degree of face-to-face instruction, according to the university registrar’s site.

In-person instruction is scheduled to begin for students Feb. 3, university officials said in a letter to the SDSU community.

“We know that how we gather and how we socialize will not be so restricted forever,” the letter reads. “As with every crisis, we must continue to take good care of ourselves and of our colleagues, peers, family members and neighbors. It is through our careful planning and personal daily actions that we can bring this pandemic under control.”

Last week, SDSU’s University Senate voted to replace the school’s nine-day spring break with multiple “rest and recovery” days that will be scattered throughout the semester. Student leaders and San Diego County Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten argue the decision protects students by helping the university avoid an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Additionally, officials — including SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa — have urged its community to “take great care” to drive down tests connected to the university.

Since the start of the fall semester, SDSU has reported a total of 1,779 positive COVID-19 cases among all of its affiliates, including about 500 cases among students living in on-campus housing. Seventeen residential students currently are quarantining on campus and seven others are in isolation, a university dashboard shows.

“The decisions detailed above were made with holistic health in mind,” the letter reads. “We care deeply about our community, and we know that so many of our community members are experiencing a level of exhaustion and frustration given this extraordinarily difficult year.”

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