San Diego State University reports 120 more COVID-19 cases since fall start

Posted at 2:27 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 20:25:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego State says 120 more confirmed and probably coronavirus cases have been reported in the school's off- and on-campus student population.

The new cases bring SDSU's total student COVID-19 count to 184 cases since the fall semester began last week.

The school says county health officials it investigating "multiple clusters" of coronavirus cases among students in the university community, including a previously announced outbreak on Wednesday.

RELATED: San Diego State moves all classes online for 4 weeks as student cases rise

Officials say among the cases, 14 groups have been identified within different locations. Some of these groups may eventually be linked to outbreaks.

SDSU says none of the cases under investigation are related to on-campus educational activities, including classes or labs. No known cases have been reported in school faculty, staff, visitors, or vendors.

The school advised that all undergraduates students who have attended gatherings or think they may have been exposed should get tested and isolate themselves. The county estimated that each SDSU student case averages 4.5 contacts each.

“SDSU undergrads need to stay home within their living units this weekend and help us stop the spread within your campus community,” said Wilma Wooten, County public health officer. “If you have been to parties and social events, you need to get tested, now. And isolate until you get results.”

Students can call 2-1-1 or their medical providers and stay home if they become ill. They may also contact Student Health Services at 619-594-4325 (Monday through Friday) or the Nurse Call Line at 858-225-3105 (after hours and during weekends and holidays). Testing is available by appointment only and can be scheduled online here.

This week, SDSU moved all courses online for at least 4 weeks in response to the growing number of students testing positive. The campus had been hosting about 200 classes in-person, many of which were lab classes that were determined to only be possible in person.

RELATED: SDSU instituting strict policies to avoid COVID-19 outbreak

Thursday, SDSU also paused all athletic events for two weeks.

When the school becomes aware that a student resident has tested positive or is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, an Assessment and Response Team is used to isolate the sick student and, if needed, close contacts are notified, according to Luke Wood, Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity.

Several campus apartments have been designated for isolating students when needed. For those isolated, a hygiene kit and food and meal delivery are provided by SDSU to those isolated students, Wood added.

RELATED: San Diego State fraternities ban social events this fall due to COVID-19

To address the spread of the virus among students, the school banned fraternity events and instituted several policies, which include hiring security to patrol the campus after hours, document violations, and report to staff who handle disciplinary action. Greeters, or wellness ambassadors, are also on campus to remind students of COVID-19 policies.

Violation of the policies can result in suspension or in extreme cases, expulsion.

As of Friday, SDSU has issued 457 COVID-19 policy violations. Of those, 285 have already been settled and eight organizations have been issued notices of investigation. Two notices to organizations are also in progress, Wood said.

The university is encouraging students to avoid gatherings over the Labor Day weekend and says more patrols have been established in the campus area ahead of the weekend.