Testing Compliance Exemption Policy
The COVID-19 Presidential Order outlines testing and safety protocols to limit the spread of the virus and to maintain a safe and healthy campus environment. Currently enrolled students must declare their COVID-19 vaccination status (whether fully or partially vaccinated) or request a medical or religious exemption. All residential students must do so by September 14, 2021, and off-campus students must do so by September 20, 2021, or their first day on campus, whichever comes first, to comply with the California State University's (CSU) policy.
All currently enrolled unvaccinated students (which is defined as receiving a medical or religious exemption), are partially vaccinated, are planning to vaccinate or are in the process of becoming vaccinated, or have not completed an attestation regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status are required to comply with all University mandatory ongoing testing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.Ongoing testing refers to COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students conducted at a frequency of every three days as determined by Campus Health and Wellbeing.
Ongoing testing is required for any unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student who meets any of the following criteria:
- Lives in University Housing.
- Is enrolled in in-person courses.
- Works on campus.
- Participates in research on campus.
- Attends an intercollegiate athletic event.
- Uses any on-campus site or service (such as the library, Recreation Center, Campus Dining).
Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing
Some students who are required to engage in ongoing testing may be eligible for a temporary release from the ongoing testing requirement. Note: non-academic trips or extended out-of-town stays are not acceptable reasons for temporary release from the ongoing testing program.
Requests for temporary release will be considered only for the following:
- Medical Condition. An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student with a documented condition that makes participating in testing not possible or contrary to medical recommendations must submit documentation to the Disability Resource Center for consideration of a release from the ongoing testing program.
- Positive COVID-19 Test. An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student who has tested positive for the Coronavirus within the last 90 days, as certified by Campus Health and Wellbeing, may be eligible for a temporary release from the ongoing testing program.
- Extenuating Circumstance. An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student may be granted a temporary release from ongoing testing for one of the below reasons:
- Medical and/or Psychological Emergency
- Unforeseen Personal Hardship
- Military Service Obligation
Validating an Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing
Release Due to a Medical Condition
If you have a documented condition that makes participating in testing not possible or contrary to medical recommendations, you must complete the COVID-19 Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing Form. Upon receipt of your request, you will be invited to complete the Disability Resource Center’s (DRC) online student application. The application will be reviewed and processed by the Disability DRC to protect health information and to ensure that appropriate laws and policies regarding accessibility are followed. The DRC will approve or deny medical requests for testing release and will communicate with the COVID-19 Testing Compliance Committee the approval status, while not sharing any protected health information. Your compliance status then will be updated to reflect the temporary release.
Note: release from testing requests based on medical reasons may take up to three weeks to process.
Students must comply with campus testing requirements until they hear back regarding their request for release from the ongoing testing program.
Release Due to a COVID-19 Positive Test
- If you were tested on campus, you do not need to take any further action; you will be automatically removed from the ongoing testing requirement for 90 days.
- If you were tested off campus, you must upload your positive test result to be released temporarily from the testing requirement.
Students should continue to follow public health guidelines and medical advice regarding quarantine timelines. A notification will be sent via email when the COVID-19 Positive testing release expires.
Release Due to Other Extenuating Circumstances
If you believe you qualify for a temporary release from the ongoing testing program based on one of the following extenuating circumstances: Medical and/or Psychological Emergency, Unforeseen Personal Hardship or Military Service Obligation, you must complete the COVID-19 Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing Form. There is space on the form for you to provide specific details about your request as well as the dates for which you are requesting temporary release from the ongoing testing program. This process allows for consideration of unique circumstances. Upon review of the request, please note that supplemental documentation or verification may be required by the Testing Compliance Committee.
Students must comply with campus testing requirements until they hear back regarding their request for exemption.
Circumstances for Which a Release from the Ongoing Testing Requirement Will Not Be Approved
Any unvaccinated or partially vaccinated student who is included in the testing compliance group as listed in 1-6 above should not submit the COVID-19 Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing Form for any of the following:
- Short-Term Exemption Requests. Because of the time period of up to 14 days before a positive result may be detected after exposure, ongoing testing is imperative and short-term requests for release from the ongoing testing program will not be approved.
- Infrequent campus access. Students will be required to test regardless of how often they plan to be on campus.
- Non-academic trips or extended out-of-town stays are not acceptable reasons for temporary release from the ongoing testing program.
Circumstances for Which a Request for Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing is Not Required
Students who fall under the following categories will not be required to submit a Release from Ongoing Testing request; their compliance status will be updated automatically.
- Those who are in isolation/quarantined in place/quarantine. For the duration of a student’s quarantine or quarantine-in-place requirement, ongoing COVID-19 testing is required, but has different expectation and guidelines shared by Health Center and Isolation and Quarantine Support Team (IQST) to the student. A request for release from ongoing testing is still not necessary. The testing compliance process for these students will be managed by the campus public health officials who are coordinating quarantine expectations.
Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing Request Process
- Any student with a request for temporary release from ongoing testing must complete the COVID-19 Temporary Release from Ongoing Testing Request Form.
- The completed form will be reviewed by a staff member at the COVID-19 Help Center and routed to the appropriate unit for consideration. Medical exemption requests are reviewed by the DRC, and other requests are reviewed by the Testing Compliance Committee. Students must comply with campus testing requirements while waiting for a response to their request.
- The appropriate unit will notify the Testing Compliance Committee whether the request has been approved or denied.
- The Testing Compliance Committee will email the student with a response to the temporary release request. Students who submit a temporary release request based on a medical reason will be notified of determination as soon as possible but the request may take up to three weeks to process.
- If approved, the student’s information will be updated within the testing compliance system, including the specific beginning and end dates for the temporary release. The student will receive a warning in advance of the temporary release's expiration date.
- If denied, the student will be invited to provide additional documentation to support the request and must comply with campus testing requirements while the appeal is considered.
Does getting vaccinated exempt a student from ongoing testing?
Yes, students who completed the attestation and submitted that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are exempted from Cal Poly's on-going testing program. The CDC considers an individual fully vaccinated two weeks after a final dose of vaccine (one dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine plus two weeks; two doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines plus two weeks).
- Students who are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine through Campus Health and Wellbeing on campus don't need to upload their records — their ongoing COVID-19 testing requirements will automatically update two weeks after their final dose.
- All unvaccinated and partially vaccinated students should continue to follow their testing schedule until their portal tab updates to confirm they are no longer required to test.
Do students in isolation need to comply with the Testing Compliance Program?
Students on county-mandated isolation are exempt from participating in ongoing testing for 90 days. Please check your status in the COVID-19 Info tab in the student portal to see if you have been released from ongoing COVID-19 testing. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you do not see a temporary release from ongoing testing in your COVID-19 Info tab in the portal, please upload the positive test result on the same tab on the portal and submit a request for temporary release from ongoing testing.