Cal Poly aims for close to ‘normal’ operations in the fall


Administrators at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo aim to have most students return to campus and on-campus housing at nearly pre-pandemic capacity for the fall quarter of 2021. 

In a letter to the campus community, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said administrators expect the situation at the university in the fall to be “as close to ‘normal’ as is safe.” Plans call for the vast majority of classes to be held in-person with slight adjustments for physical distancing, Armstrong wrote. 

The plan is predicated on COVID-19 vaccines being available for anyone who chooses to get vaccinated. Cal Poly expects vaccines will be available to everyone in the campus community prior to the start of fall quarter, and the vast majority of community members, including students, will get vaccinated. 

Masks and other personal protective measures may still be necessary, Armstrong stated.

Any student who has not taken the vaccine for whatever reason will be required to get tested regularly, similar to current requirements. Additionally, health conditions and the prevalence of the virus in the fall could warrant testing of all students, regardless of their vaccination status.

Cal Poly will use a badge access approach developed by Qualtrics in which students will be required to present proof of vaccination or negative tests twice a week in order to be on campus. 

The university is planning for staff to return to campus for work once vaccines are available for them and it is deemed safe to do so.

Presently, the university will not require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to keep their jobs. But, the university is encouraging all employees and students to receive a vaccine as soon as they are deemed eligible, and the shot is available in their local area.