Coronavirus cases rising at Cal Poly ahead of students’ return to campus

Days prior to the scheduled return of students to the Cal Poly campus, the number of university community members with coronavirus cases is on the rise.

As of Monday, Cal Poly has a total of 58 cases among students, faculty and staff members, according to the university’s new coronavirus information website. Of the 58 cases, 52 are individuals currently in San Luis Obispo County. 

The Tribune reports 52 students and six Cal Poly employees have tested positive for the coronavirus since March. A total of 40 of the cases have been detected in August, including 13 since Friday.

Students are scheduled to begin moving into campus residence halls on Thursday, with the move-in process lasting until Sept. 13. Classes are scheduled to begin on Sept. 14.

Cal Poly recently modified its housing policy to prevent students from sharing on-campus rooms this year in dormitories and apartments. The change reduced the maximum number of students in campus housing to 5,150, or about 60 percent capacity.

However, Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey is now saying no more than 4,253 students are allowed to move into campus residence halls. Humphrey said 4,606 students applied for housing contracts, as of last Wednesday, though the number of students seeking on-campus housing is expected to decrease as student schedules are issued, and the housing deferral deadline passed.

The university had previously planned to open campus housing to approximately 6,000 students, or at about 70 percent capacity, but Cal Poly officials were met with public outcry. 

In order to prevent the spread of the virus at Cal Poly, students are now required to have a coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arriving on campus. University health officials have the capacity to conduct 600 tests per day.