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UCLA reaffirms plan to return to in-person instruction Jan. 31

UCLA confirmed Friday that classes will return to in-person instruction Jan. 31. (Joseph Jimenez/Daily Bruin)

By Eva Danesh and Victoria Li

Jan. 21, 2022 6:26 p.m.

This post was updated Jan. 23 at 10:53 p.m.

UCLA will return to in-person instruction Jan. 31 in line with previous announcements, according to a campuswide email sent Friday.

Administrators attributed the decision to decreasing COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates, in addition to improved compliance with the university’s booster shot and testing requirements. Before winter quarter began, the university shifted to remote learning through Jan. 28 following a winter surge due to the highly contagious omicron variant.

[Related: UCLA extends online instruction until Jan. 28 amid rising COVID-19 cases]

While most classes will be in person by default, instructors are able to petition with departmental approval to continue teaching remotely for the remainder of the quarter by submitting an emailed request to the UCLA Registrar’s Office by Jan. 26.

According to the email, the university is also allowing students to drop winter quarter classes without a fee through March 4.

The announcement also detailed current guidelines for COVID-19 safety.

Any students, faculty and staff returning to campus for the first time this quarter must undergo the standard testing procedure: take a test once prior to returning, once the day they return using a UCLA-distributed rapid antigen test and once three to five days later using a saliva-based PCR test obtained from a campus vending machine or other UCLA provider.

Throughout the winter quarter, everyone on campus – regardless of vaccination status – is required to take at least one saliva PCR test from one of the campus vending machines or distribution sites per week. Testing twice per week is strongly recommended. 

UCLA students and employees must also continue to complete the Symptom Monitoring and Vaccination Verification System survey prior to arriving on campus every day, the email read. 

The University of California’s COVID-19 vaccination policy requires all UC students and employees to be up to date with vaccinations, which includes getting the booster shot when eligible

Booster-eligible students must submit documentation of receiving the booster to the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center’s portal by Jan. 31.

Eligible faculty and staff must submit proof of booster vaccination to the Symptom Monitoring and Vaccination Verification System by Feb. 7.

Individuals who are not yet eligible for a booster shot will have 30 days following their date of eligibility to receive the booster and confirm their status.

The Ashe Center advises that students receive a Pfizer or Moderna booster, regardless of the vaccines they received for their primary series, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments for the vaccine through the Ashe Center or a location of their choice. The Ashe Center is currently offering the Pfizer booster shot.

UCLA has also updated masking requirements for indoor facilities. As of Jan. 13, all students, faculty and staff must wear upgraded masks in indoor facilities. These include well-fitting surgical masks, KN95s and N95s. Cloth masks, gaiters and bandanas are no longer acceptable face coverings under the updated policy. UCLA also recommends the use of masks in crowded environments outdoors. 

[Related: UCLA updates masking guidelines, isolation protocols on campus]

Students can pick up free upgraded masks at UCLA Housing front desks, John Wooden Center, Student Activities Center and Associated Students UCLA locations by presenting their BruinCard.

“​​We know these shifts and changes have been challenging to navigate and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we once again return,” the email read.

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Eva Danesh
Victoria Li | Science and Health editor
Li is the 2021-2022 science and health editor. She was previously a contributor for the science and health beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student at UCLA who enjoys writing about research and public health.
Li is the 2021-2022 science and health editor. She was previously a contributor for the science and health beat. She is also a third-year human biology and society student at UCLA who enjoys writing about research and public health.
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