Students can qualify to be exempt from COVID-19 testing requirements for Winter and Spring quarters, according to a Presidential Order amendment made by President Jeffrey Armstrong on Dec. 31.

Beginning on Jan. 4, students accessing campus services in any way, such as housing, in-person classes or work — and anyone living with a student who accesses campus — are required to test for COVID-19 two times per week. 

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Video by Sofia Silvia 

In the amendment, Armstrong lays out ways students can qualify for an exemption from this requirement. 

Students must have a fully virtual course schedule and meet one of the reasons for exemption, which include a documented condition on file with the Disability Resource Center that “makes participating in testing not possible or contrary to medical recommendations” or any other reason approved by Campus Health and Wellbeing, according to the order. 

Students who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days as certified by Campus Health and Wellbeing can also request an exemption. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, “people can continue to test positive for up to three months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others.” Although this does not imply a person is immune to COVID-19, it does, according to the CDC, suggest that retesting a student within 90 days of a positive test result is not necessary unless that student exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Even with an exemption, a student is still expected to test if they’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus. 

Armstrong said that students who do not meet the criteria for testing requirements do not need to request an exemption. 

“All students are strongly encouraged to participate in ongoing testing, even if you do not meet the criteria for required testing,” Armstrong said in a Jan. 2 campus-wide email. “Regular testing is a step that each member of our community can take to promote greater public health in the Cal Poly community.” 

Students can request an exemption by emailing with the subject “testing exemption request.” 

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