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UCLA reopens some libraries, recreation services with limited capacity

UCLA will reopen some campus facilities, including libraries, starting this week. Most campus facilities have been closed for almost a year. (Kanishka Mehra/Photo editor)

By Bernard Mendez

March 9, 2021 9:02 p.m.

After nearly a year of COVID-19 pandemic-related closures, UCLA is beginning to reopen.

Some campus facilities, including some libraries, recreation facilities and art studio spaces, have already reopened, while others will reopen by next week, administrators announced in a campuswide email Tuesday.

The Charles E. Young Research Library will open March 15 for students, faculty and staff, while the Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library is currently open for law students at 25% capacity, according to the email. Both libraries will require advance reservations, and entrants will have to fill out a COVID-19 symptom monitoring form before coming inside.

Some UCLA Recreation services at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center – including the amphitheater lawn and tennis courts – will open for UCLA students March 16. UCLA is also planning to reopen Drake Stadium and pools at the Sunset Recreation Center, though it has not announced a reopening date.

Other facilities for students have also begun reopening. Students at the Herb Alpert School of Music can reserve music practice rooms and theater students can reserve rehearsal rooms for groups of up to four.

The university is also providing outdoor study spaces for groups of up to 10 people, according to the email. Instructors can request an outdoor space at 12 locations, including Bruin Plaza, the Inverted Fountain and the Court of Sciences.

Los Angeles County first declared a public health emergency March 4, 2020, after six people in LA County tested positive for COVID-19, and enacted its first safer-at-home order banning public gatherings on March 16.

UCLA first transitioned to remote learning March 11 and closed libraries, recreation facilities and most other in-person activities by the end of the month. UCLA has kept most facilities closed and operated mostly remotely since then, but the University of California system is planning to return to in-person operations by fall 2021 because of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

“We are heartened by these partial campus reopenings and look forward to announcing others, in line with county directives,” said Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck and Immediate Past Academic Senate Chair Michael Meranze in the campuswide email.

[Related link: UCLA plans for remote instruction in summer, reopening of campus in fall]

LA County could move down to the red tier of California’s reopening plan as early as March 17, which would allow the county to reopen movie theaters, in-person instruction for grades 7 to 12 and theme parks with limited capacity, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The COVID-19 test positivity rate in LA County has declined since the beginning of the year from around 20% in early January to around 3% by early March.

LA County has also administered more than 2,400,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as around 800,000 second doses, according to the LACDPH.

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Bernard Mendez
Mendez was the 2020-2021 News editor. He was previously a staff news reporter for the Science & Health beat and a developer for The Stack. He is also a third-year math student at UCLA.
Mendez was the 2020-2021 News editor. He was previously a staff news reporter for the Science & Health beat and a developer for The Stack. He is also a third-year math student at UCLA.
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