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San Diego State University Reports 120 More Students With COVID-19

A sign leading onto San Diego State University campus on Aug. 25, 2020, warni...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: A sign leading onto San Diego State University campus on Aug. 25, 2020, warning of restricted access because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

San Diego County public health officials reported 325 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths from the illness Thursday, raising the county's cumulative totals to 39,446 cases and 700 fatalities.

Five men died between Aug. 1 and 31, and their ages ranged from mid- 40s to early 90s. All had underlying medical conditions.

Of 9,031 tests reported Thursday, 4% returned positive, maintaining the county's 14-day rolling positive testing rate at 3.8%, well below the state's 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,190.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,169 — or 8% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 767 — or 1.9% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

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