LOS ANGELES - Eligible students and staff at UCLA, UC Irvine, and other University of California campuses will be required to obtain COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, the system's president said Tuesday, while indicating some campuses could temporarily shift to remote courses in January.
In a letter sent to chancellors at the 10 UC schools statewide, Dr. Michael Drake called for each campus to develop "a plan for a January return to campus that mitigates public health impacts, responds to the unique circumstances facing your campus and maintains our teaching and research operations."
"This may require campuses to begin the term using remote instruction in order to allow students to complete an appropriate testing protocol as they return to campus," Drake wrote. "Given the differences in local conditions and campus operations across the university, the length of this remote instruction period may vary from campus to campus."
Drake stressed that "evidence is clear that receiving a booster is essential to protecting yourself and those around you from Omicron and other variants."
"Under existing UC policy, students, faculty, and staff are required to keep their vaccination status up to date," Drake wrote. "The policy mandates COVID-19 boosters for those who are eligible."
He also wrote that campuses should not be holding any large gatherings.
"In line with public health best practices, your return plan should also emphasize the importance of preventive measures on campus, particularly during the initial return phase when students are still in the testing protocol," he wrote. "This should include vigilance around masking and a responsible approach to in-person gatherings. Large, congregant events, particularly indoors, should be avoided in the opening weeks of your winter quarter or spring semester."
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