Since Fall Semester Began, COVID-19 Cases Rising At San Diego State
There have been at least 41 cases of coronavirus among staff and students at San Diego State’s main campus since the pandemic began. Nearly half of those cases have been reported since school began last week.
"We all kind of saw it coming," Sam Barnett said. Barnett is a junior at SDSU. "It’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when it was going to happen and we already see it starting to happen and it’s only going to get worse."
San Diego State has seen 20 new cases of COVID-19 among students since the beginning of the semester. Add to that ten additional students, infected during the pandemic, plus 10 faculty and staff members and one university contractor.
"I feel like it’s expected because obviously we’re in college and a lot of people aren’t going to follow the rules," Andrea Meza, a freshman at SDSU said. Others echoed her sentiment.
"I can tell that people are definitely not taking it seriously," said sophomore Joe Martinson.
Across campus there are signs promoting face coverings and social distancing, but students say the school's party reputation is carrying through the pandemic.
"It’s like that every year — there’s going to be parties and not much you can do to stop them," Barnett said.
SDSU officials said over three days they issued around 40 notices of coronavirus violations to students and campus organizations. Officials tell KPBS full investigations are underway and disciplinary action could range from a warning to expulsion.
The school is also hiring private security guards to help enforce the rules.
"I think it will grow — unless there’s a crackdown — I don’t see it stopping anytime," Martinson said.
The 20 cases among students come as the school is starting their fall semester with a partial reopening of campus for labs and other classes.
"I just heard that Chico State got sent home yesterday after a week of being there," Meza said.
Chico State has decided to move it’s entire fall semester online after nearly 30 cases were reported on campus. Students are hoping that doesn’t happen here.
"I mean, I kind of expect to be sent home but I don’t know at this point," Meza said.
Among newly reported cases all but three are from students living off campus, and none of the students attended any in-person classes. One did briefly visit the bookstore. University officials said at this time they are not considering transitioning in-person classes online.