president's seal

Presidential seal

September 4, 2020


Dear SDSU Community,

Following Wednesday’s announcement of a total of 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases within San Diego State University’s student population since the start of the fall semester on Aug. 24, we are sharing an important update.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) confirmed at 10 a.m. today an additional 120 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases within the on- and off-campus student population. With this sizable increase in positive cases since our last update on Sept. 2, we need all members of our campus community, especially our students, to immediately take the actions we have been encouraging over the last several weeks and months.

It is an imperative that all members of our campus community review this message and follow the guidance provided.

About the Cases

With the updated figure, this brings the total number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases within the SDSU student population to 184 since Aug. 24. These are all cases within our student population and involve students living both on- and off-campus, and the university is offering space for students to isolate and quarantine.

Additionally, as of 10 a.m. today, Sept. 4, the HHSA has confirmed they are currently investigating multiple clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks within the university community, specifically among students, to date. This includes the previously announced off-campus outbreak on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

This is not a single, large outbreak within the SDSU community, but rather 14 different groups in different locations. None of the outbreaks under investigation are related to on-campus educational activities, including classes or labs. Since the start of the fall 2020 semester, no known cases have been reported among SDSU faculty, staff, visitor or vendor populations. Further, the HHSA’s COVID-19 case investigation is ongoing.

SDSU, HHSA’s Response

Students continue to seek testing at the university’s Student Health Services (SHS) Testing Booth as well as various testing sites across San Diego County. SHS and HHSA continue to work together to cross reference positive test results of those who have reported an SDSU-affiliation. The SHS Case Assessment Team, upon receiving confirmation of a positive test, immediately contact the individual and any direct contacts.

Immediate Actions

We are taking this situation very seriously. In addition to pausing in-person instruction, the university continues to actively identify individuals and groups not in compliance with established policies and guidelines. Going into Labor Day weekend, the university has further increased patrols with Elite Security, which now occur on both weekdays and weekends. 

Also, to date, more than 457 violations have been issued in response to COVID-19 policy violations. As a reminder, consequences for violation of COVID-19 policies can range up to suspension and, in an extreme case, expulsion. As we enter the Labor Day weekend, we urge everyone to avoid gatherings of any kind. We will be actively monitoring the on-campus and nearby communities for non-compliance.

Testing Available, Options Expanding

If you have been in close contact with anyone who is ill or who has tested positive for COVID-19, please prioritize getting tested as soon as possible.

Earlier this week, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) expanded testing for SDSU students at the County of San Diego-operated, drive-up coronavirus testing site, located in parking lot 17B at 6200 Alvarado Road. HHSA is offering 400 tests per day at the drive-up location through Saturday as part of its increased testing efforts.

The San Diego Tubman-Chavez Community Center, located at 415 Euclid Ave., the next nearest testing location to campus, will also offer testing on Sunday and Monday. This is a walk-in testing site. Testing is free and information is available on the county’s testing site.

Information about other County testing sites is available at or by calling 2-1-1.

Also, effective Sept. 8, the county’s parking lot 17B site will convert to a walk-up, no-appointment site for the general public, including students and employees. The county will continue to assist with testing and provide options. As a reminder, the testing site is free and open to the public.

Additional information is available on the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency testing website. The Imperial County Public Health Department is also offering testing locations in areas near SDSU Imperial Valley. Imperial County testing location information is available online.

Contact for Assistance, Support

For Students, Faculty and Staff

If you have any questions, please dial 2-1-1, which will redirect you to 2-1-1 San Diego, which is a resource and information hub that connects people with community, health and disaster services.

The County of San Diego’s Temporary Lodging Program is accessible to SDSU students and employees who do not have a place to safely isolate and quarantine. Individuals may qualify for the program if they:

  • Need to isolate due to having been confirmed or are suspected of having COVID-19;
  • Or need to quarantine and have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • And are able to function independently.

Those who meet the criteria should consult with a doctor to seek a referral. Individuals without a medical provider can call 2-1-1 to be connected to a medical provider. In addition to housing, meals, laundry, free Wi-Fi, TV, a refrigerator and microwave, and basic nursing care are offered. Mental health services are available if needed.

For Students

In addition to dialing 2-1-1, students who become ill are asked to contact their medical providers and stay home.

Students may also contact Student Health Services by calling 619-594-4325 (Monday through Friday) or the Nurse Call Line by calling 858-225-3105 (after hours and during weekends and holidays). Testing is available by appointment only. Online scheduling is available through HealtheConnect, our secure online health portal.

For Employees

Employees who become ill should remain home, inform their supervisors and contact Human Resources by emailing [email protected].

In Closing

We cannot impress upon our community enough the importance of taking everyday actions for individual and community health. We thank everyone who has taken the county, state and federal guidelines seriously. We also continue to thank the various healthcare, facilities, student support and response teams on our campus who have devoted months to developing and implementing plans for a healthy campus.

Public health, now more than ever, remains a shared community responsibility. We can reduce the number of cases now present within our student community. Everyone, please adhere to the public health guidelines. Your individual actions make a difference.

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

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

Libby Skiles, Ed.D.
Student Health Services Director

Christian J. Holt
Associated Student President