SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — UC San Diego says it plans to begin repopulating its campus this summer, with about 30% of courses being held in person this fall.
The campus says in-person classes will be limited to less than 50 students per class or 50% classroom capacity, whichever is lower. Any classes with more than 50 students enrolled will be offered remotely.
Some classes will also be held in a hybrid format. The fall quarter is set to begin on Sept. 28, with student arrivals to campus being staggered to protect the capacity for testing.
"We aim to mitigate risk in a way that will allow UC San Diego to provide an environment for learning and offer a university experience that our students expect," said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. "As one of the nation’s leading research universities, we have risen to meet difficult circumstances and responded with innovation every step of the way."
For students attending in-person classes, facial coverings will be required, according to the school. Students will also be tested for COVID-19 monthly and when moving in on campus.
UCSD plans to offer regular coronavirus testing to students, faculty, and staff, with higher frequency in testing for those who are at higher risk for infection. The campus says there will be no cost for asymptomatic or symptomatic testing for students, faculty, and staff when done at a UC San Diego Health location or through Student Health Services.
“Our adaptive model considers the most current science on transmission and infection risk and will drive our determinations on the testing frequency of our various campus populations,” said project lead Natasha Martin, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We wanted a simple, easy testing process which can be delivered at scale in the fall to ensure widespread testing for early outbreak detection.
“Our simulations indicate that if more than 75 percent of the population were tested per month, we would be able to detect an outbreak before there are 10 detectable infections on campus,” she said.
Students aren't thrilled at the impact the coronavirus is having on their college experience.
"You can't really make new friends and meet new people and do many projects strictly online," Dylan Nelson said. He will be an incoming Junior at UC San Diego.
This summer his internship in New York was also put on hold due to the pandemic, but he's finding the silver lining.
"Fortunately all [my classes are] computer based classes, so a lot of that was going to be online anyway so it's not too hard to adapt," adding, "as a Junior I think it's tough but not the worst, I feel bad for all the Seniors going in right now because you're missing out on potentially really big classes."
ABC 10News asked if he would feel comfortable returning to class wearing a face covering, "for me personally no, I think for other people in certain classes they might want the more in person aspect."
Nelson is hopeful for the future, saying this to his fellow Tritons, "hang in there and stay safe or this may be even longer than we want it to be."