UC permits campuses to begin spring term remotely

Photo of a laptop with a zoom call
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The UC Office of the President has allowed campuses to start their spring terms remotely. 

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Update 12/22/2021: This brief has been updated to include additional information about other UC campus plans.

With omicron having become the dominant COVID-19 variant, the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, has given campuses the option to begin their winter and spring terms remotely. 

Seven UC campuses have already announced plans to begin the upcoming term virtually, as of press time. UC Berkeley, however, does not intend on changing its plans, according to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore.

“At this point our spring semester plans have not changed,” Gilmore said in an email. “The UC Berkeley Public Health Committee and University Health Services continue to monitor closely the case trends and the evolving data and science around variants, like (omicron).”

UCOP has also called upon individual UC campuses to develop plans for a safe return that involve a “test, sequester, and retest model,” according to a message released Tuesday by UC President Michael Drake. Meanwhile, campuses have been instructed to remain vigilant in enforcing masking and mitigating larger in-person gatherings. 

The university has also mandated that everyone receive a booster shot, if eligible. 

“The evidence is clear that receiving a booster is essential to protecting yourself and those around you from Omicron and other variants,” Drake said in the message. “Therefore, I am also asking each of you to communicate the critical importance of boosters to your campus community, especially at this stage of the pandemic.” 

Check back for updates. 

Mallika Seshadri is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated seven UC campuses would make the first two weeks of instruction remote. In fact, UC Davis is only making the first week of instruction remote.