LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – After beginning the winter term with remote classes because of the COVID-19 surge brought on by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, in-person classes resumed Monday for students at UCLA and UC Irvine.
Both schools had started the term with three weeks of remote instruction.
"Actually, I graduate in one hundred days from today, so to be back on campus and to have that experience, I'm super appreciative because there's nothing like in-person learning, but it's also a little scary," UCLA law student and track and field athlete Michelle Edgar told CBSLA Monday.
All returning students were required to show proof of a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine if they are eligible. Vending machines with free COVID-19 tests have been set up across the UCLA campus. All students and staff are also required to undergo COVID-19 tests at least once per week. They will also be required to wear surgical masks while on campus.
UCLA biology major Joanna George said she had no trouble adapting to the university's aggressive safety protocols.
"It's everywhere (the vending machines) so you can just pick one up, get it down, drop it off as you go, it's that easy," George said.
UCLA senior Robby Ackles said many of his professors are continuing to offer flexibility to students not quite ready to come back yet.
"Some offer the students opportunity to log in via Zoom, or go in person, and then others you go in person, but only on designated days," Ackles said.
UCLA administrators said they were able to reopen campus because of decreasing case and test positivity rates.
At UC Irvine, meanwhile, university Provost Hal Stern wrote in a campus message that the decision to resume in-person courses was made in "consultation with the community, including discussions with Academic Senate leadership, student government leadership, campus health leadership, and university administrators."
"As we return to in-person instruction and we continue to manage COVID infections among students, staff and faculty, we must recognize that grace and flexibility will be important in the days ahead," Stern wrote. "Members of our community may need to be away from campus to recuperate, quarantine or care for others. I ask for compassion and understanding in managing this reality. This has been a difficult time. I am grateful for the continued resilience of the members of our community."
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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