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Cal Poly students return to campus under new COVID-19 testing requirements

Angel Russell
Cal Poly students are required to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week if they live on campus or are on-campus for classes.

The Cal Poly  campus in San Luis Obispo is buzzing once again, with Monday's start to the winter quarter, and students are adjusting to the increased COVID-19 testing. 

It was the first time on campus for freshmen roommates Smera Doshi and Camille Boiteux, who both made a personal decision to stay home the first quarter.

Doshi said the uncertainty about COVID kept her from initially moving to campus.

“But then I saw the way that things were running on campus," Doshi said. "And there is weekly testing and it made me feel a lot more comfortable.”

Boiteux said her family encouraged her to move out of the house to study on campus.

“They wanted me to experience college more," Boiteux said. "Because we definitely didn’t get a normal, typical freshman experience.”

In light of the recent spike in cases throughout the county and state, the university has increased COVID-19 testing requirements.

All students must get tested three days before arriving, and then again once they get on campus. Doshi said the lines can take some time.

“The lines are pretty long," Doshi said. "Especially since we are all pretty distanced, the lines seems longer than it actually is.”

Boiteux said she and her roommate were surprised once they got through the line to find out students do the nasal swap themselves while a health administrator walks them through the process.

“We were like ‘wow’ we didn’t know that was even a thing, we didn’t even know that was possible,” Boiteux said. 

But Boiteux said she thinks they’ll get used to it, especially since students living on campus or coming on campus are required to get tested for the virus twice a week. 

“Honestly, I would rather stand in line then not get tested every week,” Boiteux said.

According to an official order released by the university, students who live off-campus and without other Cal Poly students at the same address are not required to comply with the testing requirement, but are strongly encouraged to do so.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.