Dear SDSU Community,

In anticipation of spring recess next week, and in an effort to keep members of our San Diego State University community safe and healthy, no matter where they are, we are providing some advance reminders and recommendations.

We understand our environment is ever-changing, and do not yet know how long our travel and day-to-day lives will continue to be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our focus, as always, continues to be regular communication and the health and safety of our community.

Campus Events and Offerings

Ongoing restrictions prohibiting gatherings of people in San Diego County require that SDSU suspend all remaining events, to include student events, which were slated to be held face-to-face for the remainder of the academic year.

Student leaders of clubs and organizations, including Associated Students, are encouraged to continue transitioning their meetings, events, and programs to the virtual space. A.S. will resume regularly scheduled public meetings virtually starting after spring break. Student leaders are able to consult with Student Life & Leadership by emailing [email protected].

Also, Student Health Services continues to support students. Students should call 619-594-4325 for phone consultation prior to visiting Calpulli Center, as walk-in services have been suspended. Students can also reach out via HealtheConnect, a quick and secure way to communicate with SHS medical staff.

Colleges and departments are also offering virtual events. On Thursday, March 26, Hala Madanat, director of SDSU's School of Public Health, will moderate “COVID-19 and College Students: What you Absolutely Need to Know.” Students are asked to register online for the event, to be held at 10 a.m. (PST).

Spring Recess Recommendations

Spring recess begins Saturday, March 28. We encourage all students and others who will be away to enjoy the time off and to make their health and safety a priority.

To our students in particular, we want to make sure you are aware of a number of recent developments to ensure that you are able to make an educated decision about your plans during spring recess:

  • The U.S. Department of State has imposed a level 4 travel advisory related to COVID-19, encouraging those in the U.S. not to travel internationally.

  • The White House issued updated guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week imposed an order in California, asking people to remain home except for urgent or essential needs. Gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state, and gatherings of more than 10 people in public are not allowed.

  • Counties across the state, as well as other states in the U.S., have also imposed orders further restricting travel and public gatherings.

With guidance from the California State University system, SDSU strongly advises students to do the following:

  • If in California or another region that has imposed a shelter-in-home order, abide by that restriction except for essential needs.

  • Reconsider plans that involve any air-travel, with a particular emphasis on avoiding travel to any states or countries with recent travel restrictions or where COVID-19 is active and/or evolving.

  • Stay up to date on the latest CDC travel advisories, the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories as well as SDSU’s public-facing website on COVID-19, as the situation continues to evolve rapidly.

  • Verify health insurance coverage areas and terms, if plans involve any out-of-area travel.

  • Continue to practice healthy habits and good hygiene, particularly hand washing with soap.

From Social Distancing to “Distant Socializing”

COVID-19 has resulted in festivals, athletic events, social and other public activities and gatherings being canceled nationally and around the world. Federal public health authorities say cancelations or suspensions of events can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

That said, we recognize the significant impact these cancelations have on our sense of well-being and our sense of community. Remaining connected is not only important, it is an imperative – and one that contributes to the health and safety of our community. In response, this week an email was sent to students launching “Student Life on the Virtual Mesa,” which included virtual support resources for counseling and academic support as well as virtual campus engagement activities. We continue to see the SDSU community respond with positivity and compassion, become more supportive of those around us, more giving, and finding new ways to connect.

Additionally, we also wanted to share with you a recent article discussing the importance of remaining connected as best we can, through practicing "distant socializing," rather than social distancing. This guidance encourages continued emotional and social connections through virtual and other means, despite physical distance. Through our compassion for one another, our generosity, connection-building, and other means developed each day, we are working to keep our sense of connection to SDSU and to our friends and colleagues alive and strong.

COVID-19 Case Update

SDSU has previously reported learning of two study abroad students who have tested positive for COVID-19; an SDSU employee has also been confirmed to have COVID-19. As the university has moved to telework, the employee confirmed to have COVID-19 is at home and recovering. The employee has not been to campus for nearly two weeks, except for one brief time on March 17, and has since been teleworking. All SDSU community members suspected to have had any direct or indirect interactions with this individual have already been contacted, and they are receiving appropriate guidance.

SDSU will continue to update its public-facing COVID-19 page with information about any confirmed cases and, with virtual adoption and telework agreements in place, the COVID-19 risk to campus is minimized. Given privacy regulations, additional information about the individual who is now recovering can not be shared.

Community of Care

While SDSU has moved into virtual educational modalities and many employees are teleworking, our primary concern remains with the health and well-being of everyone in our campus community: students, faculty and staff.

We continue to engage with public health experts, state authorities and California State University officials about best practices related to COVID-19 readiness and response, and also next steps we may need to take. We are working diligently to keep up with this information and to inform you as quickly as possible about any changes caused by evolving events. 

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Agnes Wong Nickerson
Interim Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs

Christy Samarkos
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

San Diego State University
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