A sign at San Diego State University reminds students to wear masks and practice social distancing. Courtesy SDSU

San Diego State University reported 23 new student cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 621 since the fall semester began Aug. 24.

University officials said they were aware of 617 confirmed cases among students and four probable cases.

The university has not received any reports of faculty or staff who have tested positive since fall instruction began, SDSU health officials said.

The majority of the 621 cases are students living off-campus in San Diego. About 75% of students testing positive live in off-campus housing not managed by the university, with 73% of the cases among the freshman and sophomore classes, officials said.

The university said the information is based on cases reported to Student Health Services by an individual or by a public health official.

“As more private labs administering tests, a possibility exists that not all cases are being reported to Student Health Services,” according to the SDSU COVID-19 website. “Anyone who receives a positive COVID-19 test should fill out the SDSU’s online COVID-19 reporting form.”

For privacy reasons, SDSU does not report names, affiliations or health conditions of students, faculty or staff who test positive for COVID-19 unless a public health agency advises that there is a health and public safety benefit to reporting such details.

“The university will also not disclose the specific location of the individual who was infected for privacy reasons and also because avoiding the physical location does not inherently lower a person’s risk of infection; maintaining healthy practices such as physical distancing, wearing a facial covering and washing your hands are the best methods to lower your risk,” according to the website.

The university extended its stay-at-home order for students, directing them to stay in their current residences, except for essential needs, through 9 a.m. Monday. Violations of the order may result in disciplinary action, the college said.

Luke Wood, SDSU’s vice president for student affairs and campus diversity, said the university was working with a security company to enforce public health code regulations.

— City News Servcie

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.