UC Berkeley to pilot small number of in-person classes for spring semester

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According to a campuswide email from Chancellor Carol Christ, spring outdoor instructional activities will resume as an expansion of the fall semester's successful pilot of said activities, starting Feb. 1. Likewise, a small number of indoor classes — including clinical, laboratory, studio and fieldwork courses — will begin in-person instruction Feb. 16.

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UC Berkeley plans to resume occasional outdoor instructional activities and pilot a small number of indoor in-person classes for the spring semester, starting in February.

Last fall, campus announced plans to offer limited in-person instruction beginning Feb. 1 for the spring semester, following about two weeks of all remote instruction. In a campuswide email Tuesday, Chancellor Carol Christ provided updates on the plan and noted the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused adjustments to the plan.

“With the Bay Area still under the state’s regional stay at home order and high positivity and new infection rates in the community, we must adjust our plans,” Christ said in the email.

The email added that campus plans to resume occasional outdoor instructional activities, starting Feb. 1, and will begin to pilot a small number of indoor in-person classes, starting Feb. 16.

Spring outdoor instructional activities will be an expansion of the fall semester’s successful pilot of these activities, according to the email. Departments are able to submit proposals to each department’s office of the dean, and instructors of tentatively approved classes are also encouraged to consider this option.

Tentatively approved classes that require specialized spaces for the pilot of indoor in-person classes will be selected by campus, according to the email. These include clinical, laboratory, studio and fieldwork courses.

To explore the option of offering additional indoor classes, campus’ mandatory testing program, color-coded badge system and other protocols have to successfully prevent increases in COVID-19 infections compared to the community, according to the email.

“With COVID-19 continuing to surge across the state, it’s more important than ever that we all remain diligent and follow all public health recommendations and requirements,” Christ said in the email. “We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve, which will need to happen before considering offering additional activities on campus.”

Thao Nguyen is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @tnguyen_dc.