SDSU ramps up testing protocols and makes tests mandatory for students living on campus

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego State University announced Tuesday it is ramping up its COVID-19 testing protocols through a new random surveillance testing program which requires all students living on campus to be tested for the virus.

The program will begin Wednesday, with around 500 students being tested every day through Saturday, then starting again Monday. All students living in SDSU residence halls and apartments will be assigned testing slots at either the Student Health Services Calpulli Center, or the HHSA testing location at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. Students will be notified of their assigned testing window, along with instructions on what to do, through their SDSU email address.

Off-campus students are encouraged to get tested, as well. All students continue to have access to testing at Student Health Services and at both San Diego County and Imperial County locations. Faculty and staff continue to have access to county testing site locations, including the location at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.

Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, director of SDSU’s Institute for Public Health, reminded students to take the illness seriously.

“We’re hearing people act like a negative test is a hall pass to do whatever you want,” she said. “It’s not. A test is just a snapshot of a particular moment.”

She said a person could become infected on their way home from receiving a test, and that it’s important to maintain constant vigilance.

On Monday, SDSU reported 21 new COVID-19 cases among students, bringing the total number of student cases to 642 since the fall semester began Aug. 24.

University officials said they were aware of 638 confirmed cases among students and four probable cases. The university has not received any reports of faculty or staff who have tested positive, SDSU health officials said.

The majority of the cases are students living off-campus in San Diego, according to the university. About 75% of students testing positive live in off-campus housing not managed by the university, with 73% of the cases among the freshman and sophomore classes.

Before the end of the day, the state is expected to reveal whether San Diego County’s case rate and testing positivity percentage remain in Tier 2, also called the red tier, under the recently implemented four-tier state monitoring metric system.

Last Tuesday, San Diego’s state-calculated unadjusted case rate was 6.9 per 100,000 residents and the testing positivity percentage was 4.2%. If the county reaches a case rate of more than 7 per 100,000 residents or a testing positivity percentage of more than 8% for two consecutive weeks, the county would move back into Tier 1, or the purple tier, which is the most restrictive.

The state assesses counties weekly, with reports scheduled each Tuesday.

On Monday, county public health officials reported 208 new COVID-19 infections and no new fatalities, bringing the region’s total caseload to 42,887, while the number of deaths related to the illness remained unchanged at 734.

Of the 5,921 tests reported Monday, 4% returned positive, moving the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.2%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,076.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,306 — or 7.7% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 781 — or 1.8% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

County health officials reported no new community outbreaks on Monday; in the previous seven days, 14 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the county’s goal of fewer than seven in a seven-day span. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases originating in the same setting and impacting people of different households in the past 14 days.

A comprehensive outreach strategy to expand testing access for Latino residents and other communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic started Monday in downtown San Diego with the opening of a testing site at the Mexican Consulate at 1549 India St.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News