By Melissa Gomez, Colleen Shalby, Teresa Watanabe
December 21, 2021
UCLA and six other University of California undergraduate campuses announced Tuesday that classes will begin remotely at the start of the new term, as colleges throughout the nation wrestle with plans for a safe return after winter break amid an increasingly serious surge of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Additionally, all eligible students and staff in the 10-campus UC system will be required to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19 booster shot, officials announced.
“The emergence of this new and fast-moving variant, coupled with student travel to and from campus and the prevalence of gatherings over the holidays, will present our campuses with a unique set of public health challenges as we begin the New Year,” UC President Michael V. Drake said in a letter to the chancellors, adding that the plan “may require campuses to begin the term using remote instruction in order to allow students to complete an appropriate testing protocol as they return to campus.”
The letter to chancellors comes as a growing number of universities and colleges push back in-person instruction after the winter break, when students are due to return to campuses from all over the state, country and world. Some universities on the East Coast have opted to finish exams remotely; others have implemented COVID-19 booster mandates for students and staff.