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San Diego State Announces Plans To Return To In-Person Learning This Fall

A sign indicating face coverings are required at all times to prevent the spr...

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: A sign indicating face coverings are required at all times to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at San Diego State University. Jan. 15, 2021.

San Diego State University will return primarily to in-person education and reopen on-campus housing for students in the fall term, it was announced Wednesday.

In a joint letter sent to all SDSU students, staff and faculty this afternoon, President Adela de la Torre, Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa, Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity J. Luke Wood and Associated Students President Christian J. Holt said more details will be shared next week, but students will be able to return to class on the Mesa.

"The health and well-being of our students, staff and faculty continue to be paramount, and to that end we are exploring a number of additional public-health protections and support mechanisms, which will make this possible," the letter reads. "These include requiring either proof of vaccination or regular COVID-19 testing for our students returning in-person, testing on-arrival, continued contact tracing and isolation/quarantine housing, new waste water testing and enhanced cleaning services."

As an initial step, SDSU plans to share updated guidance next week for faculty members and researchers intended to allow them to gain increased access to their on-campus research and academic spaces this spring, subject to custodial and staff support capacity limitations. A more comprehensive return to academic spaces is expected in late summer, according to SDSU officials.

As a result of the state's plan to lift all COVID-19 restrictions — aside from masks and general social distancing guidelines — on June 15 if metrics hold, SDSU is planning to ramp up spaces for students, as well.

"I want kids back in school safely for in-person instruction," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. "On June 15, we anticipate there will be no barrier to getting all of our kids safely back, not just K-12, community colleges, including institutions of higher learning."

Over the next few weeks, deans and associate deans will be working with department chairs, school directors and instructional faculty to explore options and update the course schedule as appropriate.

The SDSU fall schedule release has been pushed back to May 10 from April 12, and fall registration has been shifted from April 19 to May 25 to allow for more time formulating schedules.

Additionally, SDSU is planning to expand in-person access to the University Library in a phased manner, beginning with a partial reopening of the library addition on May 24.

"Thank you, again, for your patience and understanding during this time of continued change — albeit, hopeful change," the letter concludes. "We each look forward to renewed energy on and around campus this fall, and to reconnecting with you in person on our campus in only a few months from now."

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