Dear SDSU Community,

Thank you for continuing everyday healthy habits and following COVID-19 policies. SDSU is proud to have the highest vaccination rates in the California State University system and, as a result, we have seen remarkably low COVID-19 case rates, with no cases linked to transmission due to instructional or research-related activities. Our predominantly in-person fall semester continues to be successful thanks to your efforts.

When fall 2021 COVID-19 policies were shared in the summer, we set a review milestone for Sept. 30 to evaluate the current COVID-19 situation and update policies and guidance accordingly. With this email, we are providing important information regarding that review, and an update on the university’s COVID-19 policies and guidance.


COVID-19 Policies, Existing Requirements Extended

For the remainder of the fall semester the university will continue to maintain:

  • The existing facial covering policy, with indoor masking required in most spaces

  • The seven-day testing requirement for unvaccinated students

  • The 14-day faculty and staff testing requirement for those who are unvaccinated

  • The current campus events policy

In making these decisions, SDSU considered the COVID-19 situation in San Diego County, Imperial County, and the state of California more broadly. Particular attention was given to the continued elevated case counts in many regions and spread continuing in most San Diego zip codes. The prevalence of the Delta variant across the country was also considered.

We have demonstrated evidence that our plan works, and has led to stable and, in some instances, predictable, low case counts. We have low positivity rates and low wastewater positivity rates on campus thanks to the many proactive interventions our COVID-19 team members, including epidemiologists, put in place. Sustaining our policies and daily healthy practices, especially as we approach the cold and flu season, will help keep our campus safe.


Booster Shot Availability

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health are encouraging those who are eligible to get a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot six months after being fully vaccinated.

We encourage members of the SDSU community who are eligible to speak with a medical provider about accessing the booster shot, which is the third dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Updates on COVID-19 boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are forthcoming.

At this time, those qualified for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster are:

  • People who are 65 and older

  • Residents who are 18 and older in long-term care settings

  • Those who are 50–64 years old with underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and compromised immune systems

The CDC also encourages that the following receive a Pfizer booster shot:

  • People aged 18 to 49 and who have underlying medical conditions

  • People aged 18 to 64 and who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, such as first responders, grocery store workers, and education staff, to include faculty members and staff.

Ongoing Assessment and Planning

Two additional review milestones dates have been identified — Nov. 30 and Jan. 30 — to make recommendations specific to the spring semester.

Looking forward, the following factors will be used as baseline minimums to consider reducing any of the university’s COVID-19 protocols:

  • Sustained low community transmission in San Diego County as defined by the CDC for at least two continuous weeks

  • San Diego County Health and Human Services Case Rate and Community Outbreak criteria have been met and sustained for at least two weeks

  • Campus COVID-19 testing positivity rate remains under 1% for at least two weeks

  • Campus wastewater testing positivity rate is less than 5% over a 30-day period

  • Guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Diego on indoor facial coverings is modified or rescinded

Also, we are launching our annual Boo to the Flu campaign with clinics for free flu shots for our students, and also will soon share details about testing and return-to-campus protocols to occur after Thanksgiving. Students can already get their flu shot today, at no cost, at Student Health Services. Make your appointment through HealtheConnect.


Testing, Vaccination Resources Available

As a reminder, we are dedicated to continuing to provide access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination for students, faculty and staff on campus. You have several options for COVID-19 testing and vaccination and, for those not yet vaccinated, nationwide public health officials continue to encourage that getting vaccinated is both effective and safe.

Again, we thank each and every one of you for your continued commitment to keeping our SDSU community healthy, and we look forward to a successful and safe remainder of the semester.

Adela de la Torre, Ph.D.
San Diego State University President

Agnes Wong Nickerson, MBA
Interim Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer

J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity


San Diego State University
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