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The CSU Chancellor’s Office has approved Cal Poly’s plan for the fall, which allows for some courses to be offered in person, according to a campus-wide email sent Wednesday evening.

The approved plan includes safety measures for courses, on-campus housing and on-campus conduct during Fall quarter. It is anticipated that the plan will also extend into Winter quarter as well, according to the email from President Jeffrey Armstrong.

Fall classes

Fall classes will start Sept. 14, of which about 13 percent of about 4, 300 sections will be offered in person. These in-person classes include labs and activities that have been determined as necessary to student success and to keep students on track to their degree completion.

Most in-person classes will end on Nov. 20 and resume virtually until the end of Fall quarter. All classes will be virtual Nov. 23-24, and virtual final exams will take place Nov. 30- Dec. 4.

Only a few courses will be granted in-person status after Nov. 20, including some in-person classes, senior projects, undergraduate research as well as enterprise projects and activities. This will be established on a case-by-case basis, the email read.

Any class that starts virtual at the beginning of the quarter will remain virtual throughout the quarter regardless of any change in circumstances. This is different than the original fall plan which would allow for synchronous virtual classes to transition to in-person if health conditions improve, according to a previous campus-wide email sent June 24.


In order to de-densify on-campus housing, a maximum of 5,980 students will be able to live on campus. In a typical academic year, the university houses about 8,500 students, according to the email.

First-year students will be prioritized for on-campus housing, the email read.

This plan was created around the results of a survey the university concluded which showed that most students intended to move back to San Luis Obispo, even in the event that classes were held 100 percent virtually, according to the email.

In light of this fact and after careful analysis and consideration – including consultation with public health officials — we will be allowing a limited number of students to return to housing on campus this fall,” the email read. “Our intent is to strike a balance that accommodates the needs and desires of students, while also seeking to minimize risk to them and the broader San Luis Obispo community,” the email read.

The move-in period for on-campus housing will extend to 10 days to de-densify the move-in process. Move-in will start on Sept. 3 and end on Sept. 13.

Week of Welcome (WOW) orientation will be held from Sept. 10-13 in a hybrid format. Small-group activities will occur in person and take place outside with physical distancing. Larger-group activities will be offered virtually, according to the email.

Working on campus

Departments with staff returning to campus will have to de-densify and implement safety measures. These include bringing staff back on alternating days, staggering arrival and departure times as well as taking measures to maintain physical distancing in offices and meeting rooms, the email read.

Both employees and students must also wear face coverings in any public areas, shared work areas and common areas which includes hallways, break rooms and conference rooms.

Employees are encouraged to work remotely if possible, according to the email. Even staff that are working on campus are asked to offer virtual meetings as much as possible, the email read.

Employees that are self-identified as vulnerable to COVID-19 will be offered arrangements to work remotely. If remote work is unavailable, employees should reach out to Human Resources or Academic Personnel to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Safety measures

Every student living on campus or attending in-person classes will be provided with face coverings and face shields. Students living on campus will receive them when they move in, and students living off campus will be told at a later date when to pick them up from campus, according to the email.

Faculty and staff will also be receiving face covering and face shields through their division.

Faculty and staff will be trained about COVID-19 safety through the virtual course “COVID-19 Information for the Workplace.” Students will learn this information during SLO Days and WOW.

Custodial services will increase to sanitize spaces. Sanitizing sprays and wipes will be provided, and more hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout campus.

Other safety measures include increasing ventilation in rooms, reducing course enrollment capacities, reducing room occupancy, providing appropriate safety equipment, implementing physical distancing conditions in rooms and scheduling classes further apart to decrease contact between people on campus.

On-campus dining will also de-densify their outdoor seating and only offer take-out options. Campus Dining is also asking that orders be placed through Grubhub to limit contact, according to the email.

Campus Health and Wellbeing

Campus Health and Wellbeing will be offering all enrolled and current students free COVID-19 testing for those that are symptomatic or their close contacts.

The university has also developed an exposure investigation process that will assist San Luis Obispo County Public Health’s officials in determining close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases among community members, the email read.

Students who are asymptomatic will be directed to self-quarantine in their rooms while an appointment is scheduled for viral testing with Campus Health and Wellbeing, the email read.

Students that live on campus and test positive will be offered isolation rooms to quarantine in. Students living off campus will be directed to self-isolate. These locations will be confidential to ensure privacy, according to the email.

Campus Health and Wellbeing is also developing an Isolation and Quarantine Support Team to support students when they are in isolation. This team will connect students to a diverse range of resources such as counseling, food delivery and academic support, the email read.

Where to go now

The university is directing students to Cal Poly’s new roadmap website to provide students with updated information on Fall quarter. Campus community members can also find the confirmed number of coronavirus cases on the campus COVID-19 website.

Cal Poly also urges students to reach out to academic support services such as the Mustang Success Center, their academic department or their college advising center for help with courses and scheduling.

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