In anticipation of the upcoming Halloween week, San Diego State University issued a temporary stay-at-home advisory to try to curtail an increase of COVID-19 cases among its student population.
From 6 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Nov. 2, students are urged to stay in their homes with the exception of essential needs, such as getting food or medical attention, working, voting, or to engage in academic activities.
The move comes after the university had an outbreak at the beginning of the semester in which more than 1,000 test-confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus were linked to SDSU students, most of whom lived off-campus.
In response to that outbreak, SDSU ordered students to stay at home and canceled in-person classes. Since then, the school has gotten a handle on virus cases among its student population and was able to reinstate on-site class for about 200 courses that require hands-on learning.
SDSU stressed in a statement sent to its community that the latest stay-at-home advisory was issued solely in anticipation of Halloween, not because of a rise in cases. The university said that COVID-19 cases “have been stable and low for the last six weeks.”
San Diego State University
How SDSU is handling the coronavirus.
Typically, with Halloween on the horizon, social gatherings are common among college students.
“We encourage all members of our campus community to remain safe and to follow the public health guidelines and order currently in place, especially as Halloween is approaching,” the statement said.
Those who violate the stay-at-home advisory will be subject to consequences since SDSU will be enforcing its temporary measure.
“We will continue to seek disciplinary action against those who willingly engage in behaviors that put themselves and others at risk of contracting COVID-19,” San Diego State said in a statement. “Since Aug. 24, nearly 900 notices of alleged violations of COVID-19-related student code of conduct policies have been issued. Those found to be in violation face sanctions, including suspension and expulsion.”
In lieu of in-person Halloween activities, SDSU is encouraging students to participate in online events to celebrate the spooky holiday. The following events will be held virtually:
Aztec Nights: Fall Festival from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday with games, trivia, and an interactive demonstration by a pumpkin carver.
Aztec Nights: Halloween Spook-Tacular from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 31, with magic show, games, costume contest, and prizes.
SDSU’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Task Force is facilitating an initiative to encourage student clubs and organizations to host online events to celebrate Halloween. Organizations and clubs who host a virtual celebration between the hours of 6 p.m. to midnight on any day from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31 will receive four $25 gift cards.