Cal State East Bay students met with COVID-19 testing, vaccine mandate on dorm move-in day

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Today marked move-in day for hundreds of students at Cal State East Bay, many of them anxiously wondering if they'd actually get to move into the dorms at all this fall. It comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, and widely varying degree of commitment to in-person classes.

"It's exciting. Had to drive all the way from Orange County, six hours, but I'm pretty sure it will be worth it," said Cal State East Bay student Juan Vega, as he unloaded his car.

That's not to say it's a typical college move-in, given all the masks and COVID testing.

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"Everybody is required, regardless of your vaccination status, to show that you are COVID negative," explained Mark Almeida, director of student housing for CSU East Bay. "And if you show up and you don't have those test results then we will test you on the spot."

While the dorms at Cal State East Bay will be more than 85% full, the classes will be just 40% in-person.

Across the 23-campus CSU system, that number is 60%, a bit short of what the hope was earlier in the year.

"Going back to December, we had announced the aspiration of courses and activities taking place in-person," said Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the CSU. "We're still working with that. I think the spread of the Delta variant is forcing us to re-evaluate all of our plans and to work with all of our local public health agencies."

San Francisco State University plans to offer just 40% in-person or hybrid model with 60% at San Jose State and 65% at Chico State.

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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is planning 85% in-person.

A Walnut Creek family, the MacIntyres, are sending two sons off to two separate CSU campuses this fall.

"I am over the moon happy that they are going off to college," said Michele MacIntyre, who worried neither of her boys would be able to actually go away to college. "Ecstatic. They're excited, a little nervous naturally. I have hope for the future."

By the end of September, with limited exceptions, students all CSU campuses must be fully vaccinated, but that doesn't necessarily mean the masking requirements will necessarily change.

That is a decision that will be made in the weeks and months to come, once the students are settled in and as a stubborn virus continues to chart its disruptive path.

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