Long Beach State’s Housing and Residential Life is working on new student housing plans for the spring semester after announcing last Monday that students’ move-in days would be postponed in an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission within the community.
According to an email from Executive Director of Housing and Residential Life Corry Colonna, the department made the decision to delay spring move-in day for “as long as possible” in anticipation of a rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We have reached out to students and shared that the tentative move-in weekend will be Feb. 27 and 28,” Colonna said. “That is all dependent on the COVID numbers and other decisions that need to be made at the highest levels of administration.”
Colonna said that only a small number of students will be allowed to move in at one time, with his department working on creating time schedules to avoid families and students congregating in shared spaces.
This past fall semester, CSULB housed just 239 students on campus, filling up 8.78% of available beds. About 100 students are currently living in the residence halls permanently from the winter session.
“While we have done well with preventing transmission of COVID-19 within our residence halls, congregate living, like living in residence halls, is considered a higher risk for transmission,” Colonna said. “It makes sense [since] you have more students sharing restrooms.”
Since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020, there have been 34 on-campus student cases, three occurring over the last month.
This semester, six of the nine residence halls at Parkside College will be used to house about 210 students, doing so in a manner that will reduce the number of shared restrooms and reduce the spread of the virus, Colonna said.
With the spring 2021 semester beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19 and dorm move-in delayed until next month, students facing housing insecurity are facing a period of uncertainty. Colonna maintained that these students, including those who are emancipated foster youth and those experiencing homelessness, are prioritized during this time.
“Additionally, we have accommodated students who have expressed to us that their home environments were unhealthy or put them at risk,” Colonna said.
Students will also be expected to receive a negative COVID-19 test result within four days of their assigned move-in date. Colonna added that those who test positive should remain in their current housing situation until testing negative.