UCSD announces switch to e-learning for the first two weeks of the winter term

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla on December 21 announced in a update of campus operations this instruction will be remote only from January 3 to 17, 2022, in anticipation of an increase in COVID-19 cases that could coincide with the planned start of the winter quarter. In-person training is expected to resume on Tuesday. January 18 in week 3, but is subject to change based on COVID-19 infection rates.

The Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, has swept across the United States. According to New York Times, the number of new daily cases in New York City reached 55,000 as of December 27.

A similar increase occurred in California, as new cases peaked at 20,000 on December 26, an increase of 5,000 since December 24. The average number of new daily cases rose to 1,400 in San Diego reported on December 24, while on December 14, the average number of cases was only half that number, reaching a total of 700.

According to Return to Learn webpage, professors and teaching assistants can teach remotely from home or from campus during the online teaching period. Research will continue in person, but undergraduate and graduate students will not be required to attend campus research sites in person during the online teaching period.

During this time, the campus will be gradually populated using a more comprehensive testing regime. Additional measures have been implemented to increase security when returning students to campus.

As a precaution against the new variant, UCSD requires all students to test on the first and fifth day of registration. Unvaccinated people and people who have been vaccinated but have not received a booster vaccine should be tested for SARS-CoV-2 twice a week, three to five days apart.

Hemlata Jhaveri, Executive Director of Housing Dining and Hospitality (HDH), and Acting Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness, Dr. Angela Scioscia, sent a student residential update Dec. 29, in which they strongly recommend testing within 48 hours of arriving on campus and outlining procedures for returning students to on-campus accommodation.

It is recommended that students indicate their expected arrival date via Housing portal, so that student health services can better manage the restocking process. The UCSD offered incentives to encourage residence students to delay their arrival on campus. Students arriving between January 8 and January 14 will receive a credit of $ 325, while those arriving between January 15 and 22 will receive a credit of $ 650. Credits will be applied to resident housing accounts by the end of the winter term.

24 hours prior to arrival, residence students returning to campus after January 7 are required to self-administer rapid antigen testing. Students who traveled during the break in the United States can complete this form form before January 9 to request that a rapid test be mailed to them.

Students should take a photo of their negative results before moving to campus. If the test result is positive, students must complete their isolation before being allowed to return to campus. These students will need to contact Student Health Services either by email ([email protected]) or by sending messages through MyStudentChart), so that they can receive sufficient medical advice and additional support from the university.

All residence students are also required to take a PCR test upon arrival. According to the email, returning residents should first register at the PCR test vending machine located in their residential community. Triton Health Ambassadors (THA), who will be present from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will ensure that resident students have arrived and completed the PCR test. They will also provide KN95 masks for resident students to wear until students receive their PCR test results.

These precautionary measures in campus operations and accommodation are subject to change as necessary. If students have any questions regarding the test or the process, they are encouraged to email UCSD Triton Health Ambassadors at [email protected] or visit the Return to Learn website.

Photo taken by August de Richelieu for Pexels