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Amid COVID-19 outbreak, San Diego State to resume limited in-person classes

A plaque at SDSU says "San Diego State College: 1897."
More than 1,050 students at San Diego State University have tested positive for COVID-19.
(Howard Lipin / San Diego-Union-Tribune)

San Diego State officials said Tuesday night that the university would resume teaching a limited number of in-person classes starting Oct. 12 and that all students taking them would be required to be tested regularly for COVID-19.

The resumption will come about five weeks after President Adela de la Torre put the program on pause as a coronavirus outbreak began to emerge. The 2,600 students living on campus this fall also were placed under quarantine for 10 days.

More than 90% of all classes are being taught online.

At least 1,058 SDSU students have tested positive for COVID-19, the highest number of any college or university in California, according to a national survey conducted by the New York Times.

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There were 1,704 confirmed COVID-19 cases Sept. 13-19, the period the state will use to calculate the region’s case rate per 100,000 residents in a statewide report.

Some faculty members have questioned De la Torre’s handling of the pandemic, saying she has failed to deeply involve the university’s scientists in dealing with the problem or to provide clear, timely and useful information about what is going on.

De la Torre countered last week that she had handled matters responsibly and had involved the faculty in every step of the process.

SDSU says the in-person classes that will be offered starting Oct. 12 will mostly be upper-division and graduate-level courses that are essential to helping students complete a degree, licensure and career preparation.

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“These courses cannot be fully carried out in the virtual space due to equipment use, off-campus research or clinical requirements, or because of accreditation or licensing requirements,” SDSU said in a statement. “Approximately 2,100 students, total, will be enrolled in an in-person course. Prior to the in-person pause, 6,200 students were enrolled in an in-person course.

“Working in consultation with the California State University system, our university is now able to require testing of undergraduate and graduate students taking in-person courses,” the statement continues.

“This means that all students living on campus and, now, all students taking an in-person course will be tested at least every 14 days.”

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Robbins writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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