San Diego State University is quiet and nearly deserted while classes are not in session. Photo by Chris Stone

Dozens more San Diego State University students have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the school Monday to extend through Sept. 14 a stay-at-home order for students living on campus.

The number of confirmed and probable cases among the student body was up by 63 as of Sunday, the university said, bring the total to 286 since Aug. 24. Officials expect the coronavirus outbreak to continue for some time and numbers to rise in the coming days.

“Given ongoing testing, and because of the earlier levels of reports before this weekend regarding gatherings and non-compliance with health policies, we anticipate more positive cases will soon be reported. There is often a delay between high risk behavior and new cases being identified,” said Luke Wood, SDSU’s vice president for student affairs and campus diversity in a message to students.

SDSU said none of the students that have tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized, and that some are now well and no longer symptomatic. Researchers, however, are still trying to understand potential rebound illness for those who have tested positive but have since recovered.

Officials said there was a significant reduction in activity in the College Area over the Labor Day weekend due to students complying with the stay-at-home order as well as the university’s COVID-19 Advisory, which asks students living off-campus to maintain physical distancing guidelines and avoid gatherings, including those that are social in nature.

“The number of cases is also likely to rise because close contact with others can spread infections very quickly, whether a person presents symptoms or not,” Wood said. “Our hope, however, is that due to the strong reduction in off-campus gatherings and reduced contact because of the stay-at-home advisories, the rate of these new cases will slow by the week’s end.”

The extended order and advisory are in effect through 9 a.m. Sept. 14. Until then, student living in on-campus housing are expected to stay in their current residences except for tending to essential needs, such as medical care, accessing meals, shopping for necessities such as food and supplies, exercising outdoors with facial coverings, and traveling for the purposes of work.

Students currently in isolation or quarantine must remain in compliance with guidelines provided by medical providers.

SDSU said students who do not comply with university policies and county public health orders my face discipline, which could include suspension or expulsion.

“We have received reports of a few students who are not complying, and this is unacceptable,” Wood said. “For your own wellness and the health and safety of others, you must follow the direction you have received.”

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