Presidential seal

March 19, 2020

Dear SDSU Community,

These past months have been a compelling reminder of how swiftly the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is changing and the importance of our interconnectedness. We have heard from many of you and appreciate that the majority of our campus community continues to be understanding of the time-sensitive changes we must make for the good of all.

We also learned tonight of a statewide order that impacts the majority of California residents.

With this message, we are sharing new information and additional guidance. As with the communications and decisions shared over the last weeks, this message expands on previous updates with state and federal government directives received today. As with earlier messages, please read all information below carefully.

Statewide “Stay at Home” Order

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in an announcement this evening, issued a statewide "stay at home" order, effective at midnight, to protect the public health of all people living in California. Newsom explained in his public address exceptions for essential needs, including grocery and health care-related trips, and some outdoor activities in alignment with social distancing guidelines. However, he encouraged each of us to avoid being in public as much as possible.

The executive order also calls out exceptions for those whose work is needed to maintain continuity of operation for critical infrastructure sectors. One of these sectors, for government facilities, includes colleges and universities. 

What this means for SDSU:

  • The campus remains open, as core functions are continuing. This order has no further impact on the continuity of instruction, advising, and comprehensive student support services in virtual settings.

  • All students who were approved for long-term housing will remain on campus.

  • Those who are responsible for the maintenance, care and security of critical assets and facilities, which includes facilities services staff, can continue to do their work on campus, abiding by social distancing guidelines.

  • Certain researchers are also permitted to be on campus if their research cannot be done remotely or deferred. SDSU researchers should continue to refer to the Graduate and Research Affairs (GRA) Coronavirus webpage for guidance and questions.

  • All other employees should continue to telework. 

Gov. Newsom also discussed recent conversations his team has had with California State University (CSU) and University of California leadership in the event that campuses may be needed for emergency efforts related to COVID-19. We will communicate should a decision related to any SDSU facility occur.

SDSU continues to urge all members of the campus community to be attentive to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Updated International Travel, Study Abroad Advisory

The Department of State announced today a level 4 global health advisory and travel restriction. In that announcement, all U.S. citizens currently abroad were asked to arrange for immediate return to the United States. Further, the U.S. Department of State advised that all U.S. citizens avoid international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

The CSU followed the updated advisory this evening, calling for all international travel, world-wide, to be discontinued. Exceptions can now only be approved by the campus President. Students currently abroad are asked to consider the safest option for them given their current geographical location.

Over the last few weeks, students who have expressed a desire to return home have already done so or are in the process of returning. The vast majority of our students are now safely home at their permanent residences. However, we also recognize that several of our students have expressed that they feel safer in their study abroad locations, continuing their program and avoiding any risk of exposure while traveling.

Students who choose to come home will be able to do so at no cost to them. Study Abroad questions should continue to be directed to [email protected] to discuss travel and academic support. Further, those returning are strongly urged and reminded to abide by the CDC's 14-day period guidance for remaining home and monitoring one’s health.

COVID-19 Case

We learned this afternoon from Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency that a study abroad student has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The student was studying in Spain and is self-isolating at home outside of San Diego County. The student returned directly home, and has had no direct in-person contact with anyone in the San Diego region or on the campus.

While the student did not come to campus, we are sharing this message to provide transparent awareness that SDSU is aware of the case and working directly with public health authorities and also offering support to the student.

This is the second confirmed COVID-19 case connected to the SDSU community, with the first having studied in Italy. The two students did not study together; these are independent cases and both are recovering.


The issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are in many ways unparalleled. The health and safety of each member of our campus community is our top priority, and we know that both the situation and the decisions that have followed have been disruptive. We thank each of you for every creative, innovative and compassionate effort made as we work together to continue addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please continue to check your university email and visit:

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President

Salvador Hector Ochoa
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs