Gracie Kitayama and Sophie Kroesche | Mustang News

San Luis Obispo County reported 474 active COVID-19 cases on Monday, Nov. 9 — the most active cases in the county since the pandemic began. This beats the previous record of 465 active COVID-19 cases reported on Aug. 26, according to County Public Health

Fifty-three students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday evening, Nov. 6 according to the university’s coronavirus dashboard updated Monday afternoon. Forty-seven of these students were tested by Campus Health and Wellbeing — 26 students live on campus and 21 live off campus. Six students also tested positive from the Ongoing Testing Program.

An additional 163 new students living on campus are quarantined-in-place following potential COVID-19 exposure in University Housing, raising the total number of students quarantined-in-place to 778.

No new University Housing residents are quarantined, despite the increase of COVID-19 cases. University Housing residents are ordered to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19, and 31 students living on campus are quarantined. The quarantine period lasts for 14 days. 

After testing positive for the virus, 92 University Housing residents are isolated in on-campus apartments. There are 103 remaining isolation and quarantine beds available, according to the dashboard.

However, this number was recorded as the number of remaining beds available on Friday, Nov. 6 and Thursday, Nov. 5. As of Friday, Nov. 6, there should have only been 78 remaining beds available. The university did not explain this discrepancy.

“I don’t have any additional details on those numbers,” University Spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in a previous email to Mustang News.

Since Friday, Nov. 6, 33 new University Housing residents entered isolation. Therefore, there should only be 45 remaining beds available. 

A person who tests positive for the virus may be released from isolation ten days after they first had symptoms, if the symptoms have improved and they have not had a fever in 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication. 

San Luis Obispo County reported the largest number of new COVID-19 cases in one day since the pandemic began, with 128 new cases recorded on Saturday, Nov. 7, according to County Public Health.

Fifty-five new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday, Nov. 8 and 43 new cases were reported on Monday, Nov. 9. A total of 226 new COVID-19 cases have emerged this weekend.

The county’s 14-day average of new daily cases has doubled in one week, rising from 21 cases on Monday, Nov. 2 to 44 cases on Monday, Nov. 9, according to County Public Health

Cal Poly reported the increase of infections can be traced by to sorority chapters and University Housing residents in Poly Canyon Village hosting gatherings that did not follow health and safety guidelines, according to a campus-wide email from the Office of the President sent Thursday, Nov. 5.

The university is testing more than 400 members of two sororities, according to the email. Through contact tracing, these sororities were identified as participating in activities that have a high-risk of spreading COVID-19.

Increases have also been linked to students not following isolation and quarantine orders, and students socializing with those who have the virus.

Students who do not follow County Public Health’s isolation or quarantine orders may face misdemeanor criminal charges, according to the email.

If any student does not follow County Public Health’s guidance or CDC guidelines for isolation or quarantine, the student may be suspended or expelled, according to the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR). This applies to students living on or off campus.

Students living on campus may also be removed from University Housing, according to the office.

Students should be mindful of their role to slow the spread of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County, according to Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Shayna Lynch.

“When you are considering going to a gathering with lots of friends, keep in mind how it may affect our faculty and staff members and in turn their families as well,” Lynch wrote in an email to students on Monday, Nov. 9. “Cal Poly is not just one stop through life for everyone and it is up to us to preserve the Cal Poly experience this year by continuing to take COVID-19 protocols seriously.”

Campus Health and Wellbeing performed 366 COVID-19 tests and the Ongoing Testing Program performed 1,350 tests since Friday, Nov. 6. A total of 1,716 tests were performed on campus during this time frame and about 3%were positive.

Four COVID-19 patients are hospitalized and two people are in intensive care. An additional 468 people are recovering from the virus at home. Thirty-three people have died from COVID-19 in the county.

Asymptomatic students who have not been exposed to the virus may book a ten minute COVID-19 test appointment through Campus Health and Wellbeing. Students who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 may book an appointment by calling (805) 756-1211.

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