USC, which began the spring semester remotely due to locally rising COVID-19 cases, will welcome students back to campus on Monday.
Remote classes began Jan. 10, and were originally set to revert to in- person instruction on Jan. 18, the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski and Chief Health Officer Dr. Sarah Van Orman subsequently opted to extend the remote learning period, with in-person instruction resuming Jan. 24.
All faculty, students and staff who are eligible will be required to receive COVID booster shots. Everyone on campus will be required to wear an upgraded medical-grade face coverings instead of cloth masks.
“Other campus services likely will be a little slower than normal due to personnel shortages or because departments have been given the ability to reduce density in the workplace, so it might take longer to answer a phone and some offices may not be fully staffed,'' Zukoski and Van Orman wrote in a university message Friday. ``We ask for your continued patience and understanding as we manage our return and do everything we can to continue to keep our campuses safe for our students, staff, faculty, and communities.''
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The university also plans to move forward with an in-person Spring New Student Convocation on Tuesday in Bovard Auditorium, although social-distancing and masking requirements will be in place. The event will also be streamed online.
UCLA, which also begins classes remotely this month, will return to in-person instruction on Jan. 31.
“We are able to make this transition due to improving conditions, including decreasing case and test positivity rates at UCLA and in L.A. County, as well as increased compliance with the new campus COVID-19 testing protocols and vaccine booster requirements announced last month,” according to a university message sent Friday.