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Cal State Los Angeles To Begin Spring Semester Remotely For 3 Weeks

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Cal State Los Angeles will begin the spring semester with three weeks of remote classes due to the spread of COVID-19, the university president announced Tuesday.

In a message to the campus community Tuesday, CSULA President William A. Covino said all classes will be held remotely when the semester starts on Jan. 24, and the remote instruction will continue until Feb. 11.

He said the start of the semester "coincides with what public health experts expect to be the peak of the largest surge in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic."

"By allowing the peak of the surge to pass before beginning in-person instruction, we hope to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our university community and the other hardships it causes," Covino wrote. "We look forward to returning to in-person instruction and activities. We will keep you informed and provide you with updates in the days and weeks ahead."

Covino said campus facilities will remain open, and student services will be offered both in-person and virtually.

"We encourage students to continue to handle matters such as financial aid questions in the format that works best for them," he wrote.

The Long Beach-based CSU system, which includes 23 campuses statewide, has not issued any directives regarding remote learning for the start of classes. The system is requiring all faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated and receive a COVID vaccine booster shot to access university facilities or programs.

"We strongly encourage anyone who has not received the booster shot to get it now. Taking this important step will help protect you, your loved ones, and others. Booster shots are available through your healthcare provider and at sites throughout Los Angeles County," Covino wrote. "Our We Are Healthy LA website provides a list of local vaccination sites and resources, such as the Los Angeles County at-home test kits."

Some University of California campuses, including UCLA and UC Irvine, both began their spring terms this week with remote instruction that is expected to last two weeks. In late December, Covino noted that some universities were planning remote instruction, but he said at the time that CSULA had a much later start to the spring term than the UC system.

UCLA said that when classes begin on Jan. 3, they will be held remotely for the first two weeks. In-person instruction is expected to resume on Jan. 18.

While classes at UC Irvine will be remote, "the campus will remain fully operational, with the same staffing policies we have followed for the past few months," UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote in a campus message on Dec. 21.

UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Diego also announced they would switch to remote classes for the first two weeks of the winter quarter. UC Davis announced it would switch to remote learning for just the first week of the quarter.

The change back to remote learning came after UC system president Michael Drake sent a letter to all school chancellors stating that all eligible students and staff will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in order to return to UC campuses.

UCLA said that all students returning to campus will have to provide proof of a booster by Jan. 18, and its faculty and staff by Jan. 31.

UCLA also said that its students will have to participate in a "robust" coronavirus testing program beginning no later than Jan. 9.

Drake also advised chancellors to put together "a plan for a January return to campus that mitigates public health impacts, responds to the unique circumstances facing your campus and maintains our teaching and research operations."

CSU Los Angeles announced on Dec. 22, that the university is now requiring booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the spring semester.

In his message Tuesday, Covino noted that "changing circumstances may require us to again adjust our plans and procedures. Throughout the pandemic, your health, well-being and academic success have been our priority. They remain at the center of our plans and decisions."

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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