The University of California is planning to return to primarily in-person instruction statewide beginning fall 2021 as access to Covid-19 vaccines becomes more widely accessible, UC officials announced in press release Monday. The University of California system encompasses 10 schools and five medical centers with 280,380 students.
"With robust research advancements and COVID-19 vaccines soon becoming available to students, staff and faculty, UC is preparing to welcome students back to all its campuses this fall, while remaining vigilant in all critical prevention efforts and continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of the University community," the press release said.
UC schools statewide have been primarily offering remote-only instruction for several months due to the increasing number of Covid-19 infections across the state, as well as various regional stay-at-home orders. On campus housing has also continued to operate at reduced capacity with additional safety protocols in place.
"As the University continues to monitor the evolution of the pandemic, we are also carefully planning a safe return to in-person classes," said President Michael V. Drake, M.D., who made the decision in consultation with the 10 UC chancellors. "Current forecasts give us hope that in the fall our students can enjoy a more normal on-campus experience," he added.
In Los Angeles, where Covid-19 deaths are now at its highest peak, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) announced it will continue to offer remote-only instruction through Spring 2021, with the exception of a limited number of in-person or hybrid courses necessary to train students for essential workforce positions.
Officials said more specific plans for the resumption of fall 2021 classes, including additional safety measures and starting dates, will be announced by individual UC campuses depending on local and state health guidelines.