In a campus-wide email Nov. 15, Campus Health and Wellbeing shared the updated Winter quarter testing requirements for 2021, including who is required to participate in testing requirements, testing that needs to be completed before returning to San Luis Obispo, how to sign up for testing on campus and information about continuing the daily health screening survey. 

Who needs to be tested 

Every student living on campus and plans to physically attend campus during the Winter quarter for any reason are required to comply with Cal Poly’s testing requirements, according to Campus Health & Wellbeing.

Students who are also living in the surrounding community who do not plan to attend campus are encouraged by the university to participate in the ongoing testing process and book appointments based on the testing schedule. 

A few exemptions to the Winter requirements are those who are in the surrounding community and do not need to attend campus because they have a complete virtual learning schedule, anyone who has had COVID-19 in the last 90 days and those already in county-mandated isolation and quarantine, according to Campus Health & Wellbeing. 

Members of greek life, student athletes and Cal Poly band members will be separately contacted by Campus Health & Wellbeing. 

When to test before traveling back to San Luis Obispo 

There are two options to testing before returning to San Luis Obispo: testing before arriving on campus and testing upon arrival. 

Those looking to take a test before arriving on campus must provide a negative COVID-19 test three to seven days before returning to San Luis Obispo. Information to submit the test will be available on the testing webpage, according to Campus Health & Wellbeing. 

Those who choose to test upon arriving to campus will need to complete a test within 24 hours of arriving in San Luis Obispo. This test will have to be completed on or after Jan. 3. 

Testing will continue from Jan. 3 to Jan. 16 for students required to participate in the ongoing testing program. Appointments can be scheduled online for the Performing Arts Center ahead of time.

All ongoing testing will be conducted by Avellino Lab and registration is required to receive a test. 

Testing throughout Winter quarter will require all students to continue participation in the ongoing testing program. 

Campus Health & Wellbeing also announced a new testing program that is going to be implemented, which uses saliva samples to test for COVID-19. More information will be provided in an email throughout the academic break, the email read. 

“As a reminder, this testing is for asymptomatic students only,” the email read. “Do not attend if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been directed to quarantine or quarantine in place.”

All testing is free, but insurance will be asked for when registering for a test. If you do not have insurance, a Driver’s License and a Social Security Number will be needed as an alternative. 

Failure to comply with the required ongoing testing program may result in, “disciplinary probation, possible revocation of housing license, or possible suspension through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities,” according to Campus Health & Wellbeing

Daily health screening

Daily health screenings will continue all the way until Dec. 5 and will resume on Jan. 4, 2021. 

The screening will be offered throughout the break, but will not be required to fill out, according to Campus Health & Wellbeing. 

Students will receive a survey notification at 4:00 a.m. each day prompting them to complete  the survey for either a full access pass, limited access pass or no pass depending on survey results. 


Students will receive email updates throughout the break and will need to be self aware of their own requirements. Failure to complete any of the testing will disallow reaccess to campus after leaving, according to Campus Health & Wellbeing. 

Over break, the university has advised students to remain responsible and uphold statewide guidelines to remain socially distant and wear a mask. 

“We strongly advise that you refrain from participating in large gatherings two weeks prior to your return,” according to the email. “Large gatherings increase your risk of contracting COVID-19, so please take your health and the health of others into consideration.” 

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