University of California campuses have the option to shift to remote instruction at the start of the upcoming term in January, systemwide president Michael Drake said in a message to campus chancellors Tuesday.
Given that Covid-19 cases “are continuing to rapidly rise across the nation as the Omicron variant spreads,” Drake said campus chancellors should “design and implement a plan for a January return to campus that mitigates public health impacts.” That may include a period of remote instruction, Drake added, “in order to allow students to complete an appropriate testing protocol as they return to campus.”
UC has nine undergraduate campuses across the state. So far, at least one campus, UC Irvine, plans to start the winter term remotely. That campus plans to hold classes online from Jan. 3 to 14 to allow for extensive testing of returning students. Irvine is one of seven campuses that are on the quarter schedule and begin the next term during the first week of January. Two campuses, Berkeley and Merced, are on semester calendars and don’t resume instruction until the middle of the month.
In his message Tuesday, Drake also emphasized that under the system’s Covid-19 vaccination policy, booster shots are mandated for eligible students and other community members.
“The evidence is clear that receiving a booster is essential to protecting yourself and those around you from Omicron and other variants,” Drake wrote.
Editor’s note: On Tuesday afternoon, Bay City News reported that UC Santa Cruz announced it plans to hold the first two weeks of winter quarter classes remotely.