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Housing Updates During Coronavirus

Updated Oct. 19, 2020 

This fall, University Housing welcomed nearly 4,500 new and returning student residents to campus. Guided by state and local health officials, and the CDC, campus reduced occupancy levels across housing communities, offering single rooms in all residence halls and shared apartments, and introducing extensive preventative measures to protect the safety and wellbeing of live-in staff and residents. 

Winter Quarter

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White has announced that the CSU’s 23 campuses will remain primarily virtual for Winter and Spring 2021. You can read his statement here.

At this time, we expect to only offer single rooms in residence halls and shared apartments for Winter Quarter. We also plan to test all residents for COVID-19 prior to their returning to their campus residence from Winter break.

Winter Break Closure

As the Fall Quarter contract ends Saturday, Nov. 21, residents need to vacate their campus residences by Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. If you are coming back to campus for Winter Quarter, you do not need to take your belongings, and can plan on returning to your same assignment. However, you will not have access to your room until housing re-opens in January, so be sure to take any essential items home with you.  

If you need to extend your stay for one additional day until Sunday, Nov. 22 for travel reasons, you will be able to do so in your Housing Portal starting Monday, Oct. 19. 

Classes will be held virtually, Nov. 23-24.  Finals will be held virtually Nov. 30 - Dec. 3. 

Campus housing plans to re-open for Winter quarter at noon on Sunday, Jan. 3. Given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, keep your travel plans as flexible as possible — in case dates change. 

Winter Break Housing

University Housing is closed for Winter Break, Nov. 21-Jan.3. Limited Winter Break housing is available upon approved request. You can request Winter Break housing here. Please note: Dining venues will be closed or operating at very limited capacity starting Nov. 22. 

There are two housing options for Winter Break: 

  • Nov. 21-Dec. 7 - $735 (Remain in your fall assignment) 
  • Nov. 21-Jan. 3 - $1,976 (Move to Winter Break housing in Cerro Vista) 

Winter Quarter Deferrals

Current On-campus Residents: Residents have the option to defer campus housing and return to their permanent homes for winter quarter. The deadline to defer in your Housing Portal for Winter Quarter is Saturday, Nov. 21. If you defer, you must be fully moved out by 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21. Please remove all belongings, check-out, and return keys at the front desk of your community. If you defer after Nov. 21, you must contact housing@calpoly.edu to set up a time to retrieve your belongings before Winter Quarter begins on Jan. 3. 

Deferred Students: If you’re interested in living on campus for Winter Quarter, let us know by Nov. 21 in your Housing Portal. Select the 2020-21 Housing Application, click “Continue,” and tell us your winter housing plans. As occupancy is limited, we will let interested students know if a space is available on campus by Wednesday, Dec. 2. 

If you do not take action by Nov. 21, we will automatically extend your existing housing deferral to the start of spring term in late March. Your initial payment will roll over to spring term, if applicable. Cal Poly is only allowing residents to defer one quarter at a time. 

Expectations for Residents

Residents are expected to keep their living spaces clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces often, wear face coverings outside of their rooms or apartments and in public spaces, maintain physical distancing, wash their hands often, and gather outdoors only in groups of fewer than ten. Guests, including parents and supporters, are not permitted at this time.

Residents—and all students who come to campus—must complete a daily self-screening to access campus facilities like dining halls, classrooms and administrative offices, as well as participate in regular COVID-19 testing, which is provided by Campus Health and Wellbeing. Appointments and more information can be reached by calling Campus Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at 805-756-1211. If a resident experiences symptoms or has been exposed to someone known to have tested positive for Coronavirus, they are instructed to schedule a tele-health appointment with a medical provider via CHW. 

Campus Guidance

The University's Coronavirus webpage provides extensive guidance and information on Health and Wellbeing, Campus Operations and Guidelines/Resources. We encourage residents to pay close attention to these pages in particular:

Community Support

Live-in Staff

Coordinators for Student Development—Master's level professional staff and Resident Advisors—student leaders live in every community and are available to support students. Residential Student Experience staff are focusing on three learning goals around the areas of wellness, academics/career and life skills, and equitable leadership, specifically: Be Well. Be Smart. Be the Change.

Community Desks

Every housing community has front desk service available to support students with lock-outs, access to kitchens and vending (by reservation) and other services.

Current residents of University Housing needing after-hours support should contact the RA On-Call. The RA On-Call number is posted on the front door of your community. 

Desk hours are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday - Friday and 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. on weekends.

The following desks serve our communities: 

DESK SERVES RESIDENTS OF PHONE
Sierra Madre Community Center Sierra Madre and Yosemite Halls 805-756-5650
Trinity Hall

All South Mountain and North Mountain Halls

805-756-5670

yakʔitʸutʸu Housing

Admin Desk

yakʔitʸutʸu 805-756-5097

Cerro Vista

Community Center

Cerro Vista Apartments

805-756-6790
Aliso Housing Admin Desk Poly Canyon Village Apartments 805-756-9301

Additionally, Housing Administration (Bldg. 31) is open weekdays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Maintenance

Students can report maintenance items through Service Requester on their Housing Portal. If you have been directed to quarantine or isolate, work orders that are life safety or "urgent" maintenance will be addressed first to limit contact between maintenance staff and residents during the pandemic. 

Changed Your Mind? 

Fall Deferrals and Undeferrals

Students currently living on campus can still defer their fall housing to winter. Complete the deferral form through the Cancellations/Deferrals link in your Housing Portal. Your housing fees will be prorated based on the date you check out of housing (remove all belongings and turn in your keys). You must live at your permanent home to qualify for a deferral to winter.

Students currently living at home can request to undefer fall housing by emailing housing@calpoly.edu. Students who undefer will be provided a campus assignment and move-in date based on availability. The deadline to undefer for fall quarter is Oct. 23.

Fall/Winter Communications

To support you during Fall and in planning for Winter, we will post all email communications from University Housing to residents here:

New Student Messages

10/16/20 - Don't Forget to Take Your Upcoming COVID-19 Test

Dear Students:

Thank you for doing your part to keep our community healthy by participating in Cal Poly’s Ongoing Testing Program! This message is a friendly reminder to complete your COVID-19 test.

If you haven’t scheduled your test yet, please click here first for a step-by-step guide to register with Avellino Labs before you schedule your appointment:

Click here to schedule your appointment today.

Testing is available on the following days:

Dates: Oct. 19-25 (Mon – Sun)
Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mon – Fri; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat – Sun.
Location: Performing Arts Center Lobby
Bring: Your Cal Poly ID card, green campus screening pass, and a pen

Appointments take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Walk-ins will not be allowed.

For additional information, testing schedules, appointment links, alternate testing options, accessibility/accommodations and more, please visit the Ongoing Testing page online.

10/16/20 - Winter Quarter Housing Updates (students who deferred Fall quarter housing)

Hi there, Mustangs —

We’re reaching out with a few updates about Winter term. As you may have heard, Cal Poly will be continuing with primarily online course delivery next quarter. Until public health conditions improve, University Housing can offer only private rooms in residence halls and shared apartments.

If you’re interested in living on campus for Winter Quarter, let us know by Nov. 21 in your Housing Portal. Select the 2020-21 Housing Application, click “Continue,” and tell us your winter housing plans. As occupancy is limited, we will let interested students know if a space is available on campus by Wednesday, Dec. 2.

If you do not take action by Nov. 21, we will automatically extend your existing housing deferral to the start of Spring term. Your initial payment will roll over to Spring term, if applicable. Cal Poly is only allowing residents to defer one quarter at a time.

University Housing plans to open for winter move-ins on Sunday, Jan. 3. Winter quarter classes begin on Monday, Jan. 4. Given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, keep any travel plans as flexible as possible — in case dates change. Cal Poly will be requiring winter residents to complete a COVID-19 test on campus before checking in at their housing community. More details will be included with your move-in instructions.

We will continue to be in touch about Winter term as more updates become available. You can also check the Housing Coronavirus webpage, where we post new info for fall and upcoming quarters.

University Housing Cal Poly

10/14/20 - Action Needed: Make Your Appointments for Required COVID-19 Testing

Dear Students,

As we head into week five of the fall quarter, I hope that this email finds you healthy and thriving in all your endeavors.

Cal Poly launched an ongoing testing program to continue our mission of prioritizing the health and well-being of our campus community during the pandemic and to ensure that we can safely continue holding in-person labs and activities.

Frequent testing allows us to rapidly identify and isolate COVID-19 positive individuals who may unknowingly spread the illness to others. It also gives us insight into the prevalence of COVID-19 within our campus community, which helps us plan and respond more effectively to support students, faculty and staff.

Our records indicate that you did not get tested at the on-campus testing site on Oct. 3-7 for your first round of COVID-19 ongoing testing. If you got tested at Campus Health and Wellbeing or a county testing site, this fulfills the first round of the university’s ongoing testing requirement. If you did in fact get tested at the on-campus testing site on Oct. 3-7, please disregard this notice.

We ask that you make appointments to test three more times this quarter. All residential students must comply with the testing requirement in full by getting tested during the specified weeks during fall term (see schedules tracks below for details). Failure to follow protocols will result in student conduct action, which could include suspension or expulsion. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will oversee the enforcement of COVID-19 related expectations.

How do I schedule a test?
Please see the scheduling information below to find your testing dates, register with Avellino Labs (if you haven’t done so already), and schedule your testing appointments. All tests will be conducted in the Performing Arts Center Lobby on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you live in Poly Canyon Village, yakʔitʸutʸu, or North Mountain You are required to test on the following weeks:
Monday-Friday, Oct. 12-16.
Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 26-28.
Monday-Friday, Nov. 9-13.

Click here to schedule your appointments today.

If you live in the Cerro Vista Apartments, Sierra Madre, Yosemite, or South Mountain You are required to test on the following weeks:

Monday-Sunday, Oct. 19-25.
Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 7-8.
Monday-Friday, Nov. 16-20.

Click here to schedule your appointments today. Appointments take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Walk-ins will not be allowed.

Please note: This type of testing is for asymptomatic students (i.e. no symptoms) only. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please do not enter the building. Contact your health care provider or Campus Health and Wellbeing during regular business hours for further evaluation by calling 805-756-1211. If you have been directed to quarantine in place, this testing event is not appropriate for you. Please do not schedule an appointment.

For more details about ongoing testing, visit https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/ongoing-testing.

10/5/20 - Winter Break Info (current residents)

Please note, much of the information in this communication is now outdated, as our processes have changed. Refer to the above content on this page for the most up to date information.  

Hi there Mustangs,

You just moved in — but Winter Break will be here before you know it! The last day of in-person fall classes is Friday, Nov. 20. After that, Cal Poly transitions to virtual instruction for the Thanksgiving Holiday and the remainder of fall term. To eliminate travel back and forth from your home residence to campus, University Housing will be closing for an extended Winter Break, from Nov. 21 to Jan.3.

Residents need to vacate their campus residences by Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. New this year, residents need to return their keys for the break. Instructions on where to return your keys will be provided in early November. If you are coming back to campus for winter quarter, you do not need to take your belongings. However, you will not have access to your room until housing re-opens in January, so be sure to take any essential items home with you.

If you need to extend your stay for one additional day until Sunday, Nov. 22 for travel reasons, you will be able to do so in your Housing Portal starting Oct. 19.

Winter Opening and Deferrals

Campus housing plans to re-open for winter quarter at noon on Sunday, Jan. 3. Given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, keep your travel plans as flexible as possible — in case dates change.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

At this time, we do not expect to move students from private rooms for Winter Quarter. If public health conditions improve and Cal Poly is approved to offer shared rooms, we will let you know.
Residents have the option to defer campus housing and return to their permanent homes for winter quarter. The deadline to defer in your Housing Portal for Winter Quarter is Saturday, Nov. 21. If you defer, you must be fully moved out by 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21. Please remove all belongings, check-out, and return keys at the front desk of your community. If you defer after Nov. 21, you must contact housing@calpoly.edu to set up a time to retrieve your belongings before Winter Quarter begins on Jan. 3.

Winter Break Housing

Limited Winter Break housing is available upon approved request. You can request Winter Break housing here. Please note: Dining venues will be closed or operating at very limited capacity starting Nov. 22.

There are two housing options for Winter Break:

Nov. 21-Dec. 7 - $735 (Remain in your fall assignment)
Nov. 21-Jan. 3 - $1,976 (Move to Winter Break housing in Cerro Vista)

We will continue to be in touch as more updates become available. You can also check the Housing Coronavirus webpage, where we post new info for fall and upcoming quarters.

University Housing Cal Poly

10/1/20 - Register now for mandatory COVID-19 testing this weekend (Residents of Poly Canyon Village, yakʔitʸutʸu and N. Mtn Halls)

Students—Please see this important message from Campus Health and Wellbeing regarding mandatory COVID-19 testing this weekend.

Dear Students:

We are happy to announce that we have a new ongoing testing program for residential students to rapidly identify and isolate COVID-19 positive individuals who may unknowingly spread the illness to others. We are currently working with a third-party vendor to increase our testing capacity and offer convenient testing services for students like you.

If you are a student and received this message, then you are required to participate in this ongoing testing program. Your first round of testing begins this weekend, Oct. 3 and 4. Please complete the following actions to participate:

Step 1: Register to participate - Register with Avellino Labs. Click here register with our step-by-step guide.

Step 2: Schedule your testing appointment – Please click here to schedule a time to get tested. Appointments take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Walk-ins will not be allowed.

Testing Site Info

Location: Performing Arts Center Main Lobby (Bldg. 6).

Date/Time: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3-4, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Bring: Proof of insurance, your Cal Poly ID card, a pen and your green campus pass.

Cost: Free for Cal Poly students (If you don’t have health insurance, you will not be charged.)

Entrance requirement: Wear your face covering, maintain physical distance of 6 feet from others, and adhere to all public health guidelines throughout your appointment.

Notice: This type of testing is for asymptomatic students (i.e. no symptoms) only. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please do not enter the building. Contact your health care provider or Campus Health and Wellbeing during regular business hours for further evaluation by calling 805-756-1211. If you have been directed to quarantine in place, this testing event is not appropriate for you. Please do not schedule an appointment.

How often do I need to get tested?

As part of your residential status, you are required to get tested regularly during fall term. We will notify you to schedule future appointments.

What if I choose not to participate?

Failure to comply with mandatory ongoing testing may result in disciplinary probation, possible revocation of housing license, or possible suspension through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. For additional information on compliance with the university’s COVID-19 policies, go to https://osrr.calpoly.edu/.

Will I be charged for testing?

Testing is free, but you will be asked to enter health insurance information when scheduling your appointment. Register using the name that appears on your insurance card. Please bring proof of insurance and Cal Poly ID card to appointments. You will not be charged if you don’t have health insurance, but you will be asked to provide personal information, including a driver’s license or social security number.

Can I get tested at a different location?

If you do not have a social security number or driver’s license, please schedule a free test at one of the County Public Health Department’s community testing sites or Campus Health & Wellbeing during normal business hours using the scheduling link. (Note: Appointments are limited at the community testing sites). If you make an appointment but then aren’t able to follow through, please cancel in advance to make that time slot available for other community members.

You must complete your test by Thursday, Oct. 8, to meet this requirement.

If you need any type of disability accommodation, including (but not limited to) physical access, deaf/hard of hearing services or adapted materials, contact the Disability Resource Center between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 805-756-1395 in advance of your participation or visit.

Visit the ongoing testing webpage on the Cal Poly Coronavirus website at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/ongoing-testing.

For questions, please reach out to Campus Health and Wellbeing at 805-756-1211 or email health@calpoly.edu.

9/23/20 - Water Fill Stations Access (Residents of yakʔitʸutʸu)

Dear yakʔitʸutʸu residents,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about access to filtered drinking water with us through your Resident Advisors (RAs), Coordinators of Student Development, Faculty-in-Residence, and Inter Housing Council (residential student government).

We brought all your voices forward to members of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), who determine our operational plan during the pandemic. They granted permission for University Housing to open the vending rooms on the second floor of each residential building, so you have easier access to the vending and bottle fill stations located there. In addition, all the water throughout the complex is safe for drinking.

Please know, the EOC had all of our common spaces closed in an effort to minimize gatherings in an abundance of caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even though we are loosening restrictions to this space, please follow room capacity and physical distancing guidelines while accessing the vending room.

We appreciate your patience as we work with public health experts to adjust policies for the health, safety, and convenience of the community. Please thank your RA and IHC representatives in particular for advocating for your needs so passionately!

University Housing
Cal Poly

Continuing Student Messages

Transfer/Grad Messages

FAQs

If you are looking for general housing information, visit our Housing FAQ page.

Fall Quarter Housing

Will Cal Poly waive the first-year housing requirement? Or will first-years still be required to live on campus?

The first-year live on requirement remains in effect. Students who have fully virtual classes or choose to stay at their permanent (home) addresses can defer their start in housing to winter term, which starts January 4, 2021. First-year students are not permitted to live in the local community under this requirement.  Students who defer housing and are scheduled for/register for one or more in-person classes should contact the appropriate campus advisors to adjust their schedules. The Mustang Success Center can assist first-years, the college advising centers can assist new transfer/graduate and continuing students. 

What will the first-year experience be like in campus housing? What services will be available to students who live on campus?

Campus Dining is grab-and-go only, with contactless ordering through GrubHub. Mail and package service is open. Indoor study spaces and common rooms are closed or reconfigured for social distancing. Visitors are not allowed in the residence halls or apartments, except for 2 people during move-in. 

Are face coverings required in the residence halls? Where do they need to be worn?

Yes, face coverings are required in residence halls, anywhere outside of a student’s room and/or bathroom — including hallways and study rooms. Students in apartments are required to wear face coverings inside and outside of buildings but not in their specific apartments.

Will students have access to common areas? Study rooms?

It depends on public health conditions at the time. For now, study rooms, common rooms and lounges are closed, and signage is posted in common areas to reinforce health and safety practices.

Can I defer my fall housing and return home after move-in?

Yes, you are welcome to defer your fall housing after move-in if you don't feel safe or successful on campus due to COVID-19. Your fall term housing fees will be pro-rated to reflect the date of your confirmed check-out. You must request a deferral in your Housing Portal, conduct a proper check-out, and return your keys/access card to be pro-rated. Only students who return to their permanent homes are eligible for a deferral.

If University Housing closes mid-quarter due to COVID-19, will students receive a refund?

If residents are asked to return to their permanent homes due to COVID-19, residents will have their fees pro-rated to reflect their stay in housing, which will be based on their confirmed check out date.

Is winter housing guaranteed for students that defer?

If public health conditions and occupancy allow, we will welcome first-year students who defer fall housing in winter term, which starts Jan. 4, 2021. Winter move-in is Jan. 3, 2021

Will I be able to live with my original requested roommates if I defer to winter?

We cannot guarantee that roommates will be placed together for winter, but we will keep roommate information from each students’ housing app on file in case we can place them together or near one another. Housing plans for winter will depend on public health conditions at the time.

Were first-year room rates adjusted to a new, higher single rate?

No, fees for first-year student housing in single rooms were set at the yakʔitʸutʸu double rate.

What is the cancellation policy for continuing students who have secured housing for next year?

At this time, our policy remains the same for students who cancel housing to live off-campus for the 2020-21 academic year. The $500 initial payment is non-refundable. The deadline for continuing students to cancel in their Housing Portal was Wednesday, Aug. 19.  Cancellations after Aug. 19 are subject to additional fees.

Will students need to move-out for winter break?

With the extended break in between fall and winter quarters, and the unforeseen public health conditions that could evolve over that time, we are highly encouraging students to bring belongings home with them as they will not have access to obtain them. This will be the case if public health conditions cause the break to be longer than planned.

We understand that this adds additional considerations for families, but please know that we are trying to be transparent with students about their access to their rooms and apartments over break. Students will not have access to their rooms for belongings during the break.

COVID-19 Response

How will cleaning practices be altered to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

In the fall, we will not be cleaning inside student’s rooms or apartments. Instead, custodians will focus on all common areas that are accessible, like lobbies, kitchens, residential hall bathrooms, vending areas. Students are encouraged to bring cleaning supplies to clean and wipe down their rooms and apartments. We will increase our disinfecting efforts for all common touchpoints, following CDC, state, and local guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Signage will also be posted in all areas regarding healthy practices — like physical distancing, face coverings, hand washing, and maximum room occupancy. Hand sanitizing stations will be available in the residential communities and throughout campus.

What is being done to ensure safety and physical distancing in communal bathrooms?

Bathrooms in the residence halls will be sanitized twice a day by University Housing Custodial staff. Dividers have been put in place between sinks that are fewer than 6 feet apart. All urinals in communal restrooms have been closed off.

How many cases of COVID-19 in campus housing will trigger a response?

Just one case of COVID-19 in the residence halls or on campus triggers a response. Campus Health and Wellbeing and SLO County Public Health will work with residents in isolation to monitor their recovery. The EOC will work with students on meeting their needs while in isolation. Students who become ill also have the option to return home. 

If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, will they be moved out of their space? 

Yes. Residents of campus housing who test positive for COVID-19 will be supported in moving to designated housing in campus apartments to isolate.  Campus Health and Wellbeing and SLO County Public Health will work with residents in isolation to monitor their recovery. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will work with students on meeting their needs including contactless meal and mail delivery. Students who become ill also have the option to return home.  The follow-up response will be guided be the EOC.

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