Dear SDSU community,

Welcome back to all members of the SDSU Imperial Valley community. Please see the message below, which was just shared with members of the San Diego State University community in San Diego. With this message, we share information specific to those in Imperial County.

We are closely monitoring the situation with the vaccine rollout in Imperial County. As shared below, SDSU is seeking approval from the County of San Diego to serve as a distribution site for COVID-19 vaccines. The university is also identifying ways to help all Imperial Valley faculty, staff and students to gain access to vaccines when their time comes to be vaccinated.

As you are aware, county, state and federal agencies define when different populations of our community may be vaccinated. At this time, employees at risk of exposure who work in certain health care-related settings are first in line to be vaccinated.

More information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Imperial County Public Health Department website. As we have more information about vaccines available to members of our community, we will update you.

Gregorio Ponce, Ed.D.
SDSU Imperial Valley Dean

Libby Skiles, Ed.D.
Student Health Services Director


Dear SDSU community,

Welcome back to San Diego State University and, to those newly joining us this semester, welcome to our one SDSU family.

As we look to the first day of instruction tomorrow, we have a few timely updates to share related to our plan to support COVID-19 vaccinations, an important update to our SDSU Flex plan, to include a delayed start for planned in-person instruction, and a reminder about the importance of whole health for every member of our community.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

We were pleased to hear last week that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 2,466,125 vaccines had arrived in California and that eligible members of our community have access to vaccines at the beginning of the first phase.

Our university is awaiting confirmation to be approved to serve as a vaccination distribution site at Calpulli Center. This is what we know:

  • Being approved will allow us to provide vaccines directly to all our faculty, staff and students.

  • All members of the SDSU community will be eligible to receive the vaccine at the SDSU site, in addition to through any County of San Diego-operated location or directly through their medical provider.

  • SDSU can move through phases more quickly as multiple vaccination sites become available for the campus. However, the university cannot define vaccine priorities for our community that are in conflict with county or state phases or priorities.

As we are awaiting approval to become our own vaccination site, members of our SDSU community have already begun receiving vaccines at county sites and primary care physicians based on how they fall within the county phases.

Get Vaccinated When it is Your Turn

When you become eligible, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to support our effort to effectively distribute the vaccine.

SDSU is identifying ways to help all SDSU and SDSU Imperial Valley faculty, staff and students to gain access to vaccines when their time comes to be vaccinated. For those in San Diego County, appointments are available online to eligible individuals. SDSU has already issued letters to university employees who fall within phase 1A and have prepared letters in anticipation for the county’s move to phase 1B. If you believe you are eligible for phase 1A vaccination and have not yet received a letter, contact [email protected].

As a reminder, SDSU does not define vaccination eligibility or timelines and will only be able to offer COVID-19 vaccinations directly on campus once approved. We anticipate we will receive approval this week.

Currently, faculty and staff working with medically vulnerable individuals, health care personnel performing intermediate care, public health field staff and others are eligible to receive the vaccine in San Diego County.


We expect additional information will soon be available and we will keep you informed all along the way.

SDSU Flex Plan Update

As you are aware, there have been concerning reports related to the new and more virulent variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom. Medical and public health professionals are not yet clear on how the variant will impact models for when the current case-rate spike will peak, and when infection rates may stabilize.

Concurrently, our county, state and other parts of the nation are also continuing to see record daily case rates of COVID-19 and the Regional Stay Home Order remains in effect throughout Southern California. As a sobering example: in the last 30 days, San Diego saw more than 100,000 new cases. This is equal to the total number of cases previously reported in the preceding nine months, March-November, combined.

While the arrival and distribution of vaccines is hopeful, we must modify the timing of the university’s SDSU Flex plan given the uncertainty surrounding the new, more infectious COVID-19 variant, the current unprecedented spike of cases, and the ongoing Regional Stay at Home Order.

We communicated earlier that we would allow for in-person instruction to resume on Feb. 3. However, we will need to delay in-person instruction for the majority of approved courses until we have a clearer understanding of the new variant and see a more stable daily case rate for our region.

The current spike is projected to last through the month of February before stabilizing. Therefore, in-person instruction for most currently approved courses will be delayed until March 1. A limited number of courses with accreditation requirements and those needed for professional licensure will be able to begin meeting in-person on Feb. 3. However, most will be offered virtually only until conditions change. Students whose courses will meet in-person prior to March 1 will be notified by their instructors. We will continue to update you along the way.

We encourage all students to speak directly with their instructors about course requirements.

Take Care of Your Whole Health

No matter where you are physically located for study and work, your safety and wellbeing remain essential. We remind you to rely on the university’s services as you need support or assistance this semester. Staff are available 24 hours a day to support you.

And while the arrival of vaccines brings new hope, certain things cannot yet change. We know that regular and robust testing coupled with daily healthy habits remains a powerful way to mitigate COVID-19 transmission. We will continue our robust and successful COVID-19 surveillance testing plan for all students living in on-campus housing, taking in-person courses and engaged in university research. We will also continue our county partnership to test faculty and staff at no cost to them.

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

Hala Madanat, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation

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

Christian J. Holt
Associated Students President


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