COVID-19 Information for Residents

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting nearly all nations across the world, we are more dedicated than ever to ensuring your safe arrival to campus and well-being during your overall residential experience. 

Following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state of California and county guidelines, we are proceeding with caution with our return to campus for move-in. In keeping your health and safety as our top priority, we have implemented a set of practices designed to mitigate exposure to COVID-19. 

Information, policies and procedures contained on this page are subject to change pending new guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state of California, and county, and the evolving nature of the pandemic situation.


  • The Office of Housing Administration (OHA) provides an addendum to each resident outlining COVID-19 mitigation expectations, protocols and measures.
  • Detailed pre-arrival and move-in instructions are communicated to each resident and their family with practices to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 before and during housing move-in. 
  • Signage and digital displays are used throughout the residential communities to display information on physical distancing, handwashing, wearing facial coverings and other measures.
  • A Guide to Community Living handbook is provided to each resident at move-in, outlining the policies and procedures residents are expected to follow to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 
  • The Housing and Residential Education team communicates COVID-19 related information and updates to each resident.
  • SDSU maintains a public-facing COVID-19 site with information, updates, health-related guidance and FAQs.  

Building Modifications, Cleaning and Service

OHA completed significant modifications to the residential communities and services including, but not limited to:

    • Installation of protective screens at front desks. 
    • Signage throughout the residential communities to encourage and ensure physical distancing. 
    • Closure and occupancy limits in common areas. 
    • Hand sanitation dispensers in building entrances and exits. 
    • Sanitizing and disinfecting stations in communal areas. 
    • Rigorous cleaning of communal areas occurring multiple times each day. 
    • Updated the Health & Safety Inspection and Service Request protocol to ensure physical distancing and proper sanitation. 
    • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) strategies based on each building’s design and equipment, such as dilution and extraction ventilation, pressurization, airflow distribution and optimization, mechanical filtration, and humidity control. These strategies are effective for reducing the risk of dissemination of infectious aerosols in building environments and align with professional guidance and standards. 

How We Clean

    • Housing Facilities Services (HFS) clean the residential communities each day using EPA-registered disinfectants. 
    • High touch areas such as doors, furniture, and handrails are cleaned twice daily. 
    • Residents are responsible for cleaning their own suite or apartment. However, if current CDC and county guidelines allow, HFS will offer courtesy cleaning inside in-unit bathrooms and kitchens in freshman communities two (2) times per semester. Residents may opt out of this service if requested. 
    • While residents are encouraged to bring their own cleaning supplies, additional supplies are available at each community front desk. 
    • Appropriate cleaning protocols are in place to respond to a positive COVID-19 case.

Health & Safety Inspections

    • Residents are responsible for cleaning their own suite or apartment. Health & Safety Inspections will be conducted inside suites and apartments in sophomore and upper-division communities two (2) times per semester.


All SDSU Dining locations operate in accordance with San Diego County COVID-19 guidelines. Each restaurant and dining operation has specific protocols to address unique physical distancing and cleaning/sanitation within the operation.

Physical Distancing Protocols

  • Floor markings are present to encourage physical distancing of at least six (6) feet. All locations have directional signage displayed for traffic flow.
  • Customers are required to wear face coverings while inside all dining areas.
  • Customers are encouraged to dine in small groups and only congregate with roommate(s) or immediate family members. 
  • Common appliances for customer use, such as microwaves, will not be available.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

  • High traffic areas and commonly used surfaces are sanitized every thirty (30) minutes.
  • Hands-free hand sanitation stations are located at the entrance of all dining areas as well as other locations throughout the facility.
  • After each dining location closes, the contracted professional janitorial company thoroughly cleans all areas of the entire facility.

Isolation and Quarantine

  • When the University becomes aware of a student with COVID-like symptoms or a positive COVID-19 case, an assessment and response team is activated to ensure the sick student is isolated and, as appropriate, close contacts are quarantined.  
  • Several campus apartment buildings have been designated as isolation spaces for confirmed cases, in a single room configuration.
  • SDSU Dining has a food-delivery program in place for isolated students.
  • Isolation kits will be available for sick residents containing bathroom tissue, paper towels, disinfectant/cleaning spray bottle, liquid hand soap, hand sanitizer, and more. 
  • International students and students arriving from abroad are required to quarantine for 14 days prior to move-in and are provided detailed quarantine instructions. 
  • All members of the community will be asked to follow isolation and quarantine guidelines defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

Housing and Residential Education


  • Residential programs and services will be revised to support no-contact delivery or appropriate physical distancing guidelines. 
  • Group gatherings, events, and programs will be limited per current SDSU and state restrictions.
  • Virtual programs will be implemented for community building.


    • Residents must wear a face covering while on campus and in common areas in the residential communities such as hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. Face coverings do not need to be worn inside the individual suites and apartments.


    • Guest policies are subject to change at any time to conform to public health and university guidelines. At this time, residents may not have guests or visitors in their residential spaces (including personal space and community spaces such as lounges, study rooms, and outdoor recreation areas), with the exception of assistance provided to the resident to move the resident into and out of the residential space.


    • We continue to enhance our student support services, facilities and program offerings. Our primary responsibility is to provide a safe and welcoming environment to all student residents. Students living on campus will have access to inclusive living communities and the kinds of learning opportunities that will support their holistic growth. The Residential Education team, including Residence Halls Coordinators, RAs/CAs, and Front Desk Assistants will be available in the on-campus communities to support student success as well as safety. 


    • ARC: The Aztec Recreation Center will be closed and may reopen if guidance allows.
    • Swimming Pools: Swimming pools will be closed and may reopen if guidance allows.


    • Following physical distancing guidelines set by county, state and federal authorities, SDSU has suspended the live-on requirement for first and second-year students for the 2020-21 academic year. With the reduction in density, we anticipate we will be able to accommodate up to 3,500 residents for Fall 2020 out of our 7,000 total bed spaces. 
    • We will also reduce the density of our residential population and potential exposure to others by not utilizing the six (6) traditional residence halls with common/shared restrooms. Instead, we will only offer apartment and suite-style living communities. 
    • In an apartment-style community, residents have a kitchen, living area, and bathroom(s) in their unit. In suite-style communities, residents have a private bathroom(s) in their suite, and certain buildings also include a kitchenette and living area. In all cases, there will be no more than four (4) students to a restroom.


  • Will COVID-19 testing be required upon arrival to campus? Is there a designated site for testing, even if students do not have symptoms?

    While testing is not required, it will be available for students through Student Health Services. Students may also seek testing at any San Diego County testing site or through their provider. 

    Beyond testing, there are a number of initial steps that we recommend students take prior to arrival in order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes actions like reducing non-essential time out of their homes for the two week period prior to leaving for school, avoiding non-essential travel, using facial coverings, physically distancing, and monitoring their health and well-being. We will be sharing these recommendations with all students.

    During the travel process, we recommend that students review and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on minimizing the risk of COVID-19 during travel.

    Finally, as testing expands, we fully expect that there will be one or more testing sites within walking distance for our students from the start of the fall semester. We are also working to implement final details of on-campus testing through Student Health Services, and will share those details with students prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. We know how important this information is for our students and families. Students who are seeking testing now or in the fall can call Student Health Services at 619-594-4325 and we will help them connect with testing resources.  

  • What are SDSU's plans in regards to a student contracting COVID-19? Will the student and/or students need to self-quarantine?

    Consistent with requirements from the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to isolate. Close contacts will also need to quarantine.  The University has developed plans to respond to any cases of COVID-19 in our campus community, including isolation and quarantine protocols. This includes spaces that are set aside to support this function and close partnership with our local health agency.

  • If my student is placed in isolation, when will they be released, is that after 14 days or after a negative response from a test and if they want to go home are they allowed to go home?
    The student will be released from isolation based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the length of the isolation period and directives from San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.  

    If a student is isolated and wants to go home, the guidance would depend on the location of the student’s permanent address. The CDC requires self-isolation, therefore travel is not advised. However, if you live within driving distance and would be able to pick up your student, this would be acceptable as exposure would be limited. If a student has COVID-19 and is moved into the family home, the student would be required to isolate there and all household contacts would be required to quarantine.
  • If my student is placed in isolation, what will be the daily communication to my student?
    SDSU Student Health Services will be in daily contact with students who are placed in isolation to ensure the student is following isolation guidelines and also to meet the students needs for meals and supplies.
  • If my student doesn’t feel comfortable living there any longer, can she do her classes virtually at home and get refunded for the room and board she hasn’t used after going home?
    If your student does not want to continue living in university housing, they may submit a Contract Release Request at any time. However, please be aware that the Student Housing License Agreement is a legally binding contract, and cancelation charges will be assessed.
  • Would it be possible for the school to issue a note that my student should be able to be tested in August as they are entering into a group living situation? Perhaps parents would find this a nice option, esp. if their student's roommates could get tested?

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a nationwide framework for testing in terms of the prioritization of how tests are administered and have specified how tests are administered when there are testing shortages. Unfortunately, we are once again facing some national shortages. Because of this, each county health jurisdiction throughout the U.S. can require the testing providers within their county to limit testing to individuals with symptoms, those who have been directly exposed, first responders, and others. SDSU is not able to issue notes or directives that supersede that guidance.

    What we would suggest, however, is connecting with one of the many national companies working to provide test at home kits or telehealth availability for testing.  While SDSU cannot endorse any specific testing company, a quick internet search will yield several national companies that are established testing providers that may be able to facilitate testing in these circumstances. The turnaround test for an at-home COVID-19 testing kit is typically less than one week.

  • What dining options will be available in the fall?
    Due to the fluid nature of COVID-19, at this time we are not certain which eateries will be available in the fall. Locations and hours have not yet been finalized. Please continue to check the dining website for updates.
  • Can I opt out of my meal plan?
    Freshmen living on campus are required to select a meal plan as part of their license agreement whether living in a suite, or apartment. Meal plans are optional for sophomore and upper-division students. Having a meal plan allows the student to focus on all the intricacies of campus life without the burden of having to plan, shop, prepare and clean up after meals. SDSU Dining offers over 40 locations on campus, all providing ultimate variety and care within San Diego County Health guidelines for safe operations.
  • Will on-campus housing be available for spring 2021 only?
    We expect that housing will be available for spring 2021. More information will be available in October. 
  • What is the number of positive cases that would determine the school closing?
    There are many essential services of the University, including residential, research and service activities, which cannot be suspended nor can be done remotely, and the University would not close. Further, SDSU Flex allows for instruction to vary across in-person, hybrid, and virtual delivery, such that the institution can be responsive to any increase in cases in San Diego County or within our campus community. SDSU is not planning to close based on a predetermined number of positive cases. Instead, services and courses that are in person may be moved to virtual learning depending upon guidance from CDC as well the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.