UCLA on Friday became the latest UC campus to postpone returning students to in-person instruction due to the surge in COVID-19 that has skyrocketed the number of infections across Southern California.
Remote instruction at UCLA will run through January 28.
Initially, many UC campuses announced a two-week delay to face-to-face classes, along with a reinforcement mandate, after winter break. Now, several campuses are extending the return date as the numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rise.
UCLA officials said the decision was prompted by high case rates on campus and in the region.
The campus has recorded more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases involving faculty, staff and students since the beginning of January, and it is impacting “UCLA campus and teaching services, as well as our ability to respond to this level of cases.” .
Another problem: Only about 34% of eligible UCLA students have received their COVID-19 vaccine boosters, a percentage “less than anticipated,” authorities said.
“While we were hoping that our security protocols and improved testing requirements would be sufficient to allow us to resume in-person instruction after next week, campus and regional trends in positivity rates, as well as personnel and operational concerns, they have led us to conclude that an extension of remote education is the prudent course of action, ”the university said in an online announcement.
UCLA’s announcement came after Los Angeles County reported 37,215 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest level in a single day for the county since the start of the pandemic.
At UC Irvine, officials cited a coronavirus test positivity rate of more than 13% this week.
“We want to emphasize that this decision should not be seen as a precursor to a completely remote winter period. We have every expectation that we will return to in-person instruction after this extension, ”UCLA officials said.
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