SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego State announced Wednesday it will begin the spring semester virtually in response to surging COVID-19 cases following the holiday season.
In a release, the university said the first two weeks of the spring semester, from Jan. 19 through Friday, Feb. 4, would be held virtually, except for some minor exceptions. The school plans to resume in-person instruction on Monday, Feb. 7.
"The temporary start in the virtual space will allow the January case spike to subside, and also provide a window for those who recently received their COVID-19 booster an additional two-week period for it to take full effect," the school's release said.
During the two weeks of remote instruction, the campus will remain open, the school added.
SDSU encouraged all residential students to delay their return to campus until Feb. 5 or 6 if they are able to do so, though on-campus housing will remain open for students who cannot delay their return. Residential communities are currently scheduled to reopen on Jan. 17.
Faculty may submit requests to teach in-person during the two-week window but will need to provide virtual options for students who request remote learning for the first two weeks, according to SDSU.
Just two weeks before classes are set to begin, students like Zoe Morgan, got a message they didn't expect, "My initial thought was, 'oh great this again.'"
"It's a bummer because we already experienced this before with like 'okay just the first two weeks,' and then they're like just kidding the whole semester's online," added Natalia Lopez, a junior at SDSU. "So hopefully fingers crossed it's not like that this time around."
Students, faculty, and staff who want to get tested for COVID-19 can do so through the school's Student Health Services on an appointment basis. COVID-19 test kits are also available at vending machines throughout campus.
Students at SDSU, and across the California State University system, in addition to faculty and staff who are eligible for the COVID-19 booster will be required to have their booster shot by Jan. 18.
"I don't mind anything to go to school," Lopez said. "I know they made a booster on file, and that kind of caught me off guard because I didn't think that would be necessary. I still have my appointment and I am going to get it done. But a lot of people are kind of mad about the booster they thought the vaccine was enough."
Some students like Dominique Iata, a sophomore, hope those measures are enough to keep classes from returning to fully virtual.
"I am hoping that we can somehow keep the cases down, and I know it's college, and college kids will be college kids out and partying and stuff," said Iata. "There is only so much we can do to limit that, but if we all come together we can go back to some sort of normality."