SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – UC San Diego announced that it will push classes back online for the first two weeks due to rising concerns over the delta and omicron variants.
UCSD said the remote-only mode would be from Jan. 3 to Jan. 17.
The move comes after University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D sent a letter to chancellors urging them to design and implement a plan for the return to campus in January that mitigates public health, impacts and maintains teaching and research operations.
Students and campus employees, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to complete a COVID-19 test on the day they return to campus for the winter quarter.
The university decided to go remote after fall quarter saw the full return of students to campus. UC San Diego added multiple outdoor learning open-air tents, and had mask-wearing requirements.
"I think overall everyone is a little bit somber," said Manu Agni, student body president. "No one wanted this. We recognize that it's based on science and that we're trying to be safe but it's a little bit of a bummer."
Those who are not vaccinated or have yet to receive the booster shot will be required to test for COVID-19 two times a week, between three and five days apart.
Each individual UC campus will decide how to handle the return from break, creating uncertainty for San Diego students home for the holidays.
“It makes it so much harder to learn through a screen,” said Arielle Powell, a sophomore at UCLA who attended University City High School. “It’s so different, you really can’t compare the experience of online to being in person.”
For a complete list of requirements visit the UCSD omicron variant and campus operations update.
In contrast, the California State University system — which includes local universities San Diego State and CSU San Marcos — said they have no changes planned for the upcoming semester.
In a statement, a CSU spokesperson said: “Throughout the course of the pandemic CSU campuses have worked with their local public health agency on safety measures and guidelines, so those measures will differ from campus to campus based on the spread of the virus. We continue to monitor the situation, and should a pivot become necessary, campuses will make sure to communicate with their respective campus communities as soon as possible.”