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Cal Poly Pomona delays in-person instruction as Omicron surges

Two people walk in front of Cal Poly Pomona sign for coronavirus testing.
A coronavirus testing site opened last year at Cal Poly Pomona. The university announced Monday that it will delay in-person classes for the spring 2022 semester because of surging COVID-19 infections.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Cal Poly Pomona announced Monday that the first three weeks of its semester will go online, the latest Cal State campus to delay in-person instruction amid the surging rates of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The university, which will hold remote classes from Jan. 22 and resume in-person on Feb. 12, joins a growing list of private and public universities that have announced or extended the delay to in-person instruction.

“Even though we are temporarily moving to online instruction, the campus remains open. All offices and services are now and will remain accessible and staffed to support our campus community,” President Soraya M. Coley wrote to the community. “We ardently held out hope that we would be able to kick off the semester in a primarily in-person modality. We still anticipate that 70% of our classes will be in-person for the spring semester

Cal Poly Pomona is one among at least 12 other Cal State campuses that will begin the semester remotely. Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton will delay the start of in-person classes by two weeks while Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Los Angeles announced remote starts for three weeks of the semester. Other CSU campuses that will start remotely include San Diego, Sacramento, Channel Islands, Fresno, East Bay, San Marcos and San Francisco.

Some campuses have yet to announce any changes in plans. At least one university — Chico State — affirmed its decision on Friday to reopen for mostly in-person instruction on Jan. 24.

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California colleges, both public and private, announce extension of remote instruction, saying high positivity rates call for extra precautions.

Eight of the University of California campuses will push the start to in-person instruction to Jan. 31, while UC Santa Barbara is offering instructors the option to continue remotely from Jan. 18 until Jan. 31, at which point the university expects to open fully for in-person instruction. Students who want to remain remote, even if an instructor does not, will still be given the option to access course material, Chancellor Henry T. Yang said.

“We expect that many instructors will decide to continue teaching remotely for the rest of the month, in order to ensure stable and consistent delivery of their lectures, and we understand that some students will need to be absent at some point during this two-week period,” Yang wrote to the community Saturday.

A number of private universities, including USC, Stanford and Occidental College, have also announced remote plans for the start of the year.


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