(Facebook/Nassau Community College)

Winter quarter classes begin today at UCLA and UC Irvine remotely for a planned two weeks in response to surging COVID-19 cases.

In a letter to the Bruin community sent Dec. 21, Michael J. Beck, administrative vice chancellor, and Megan McEvoy, an professor of immunology and molecular genetics, wrote that all students should still plan to return to campus no later than Jan. 9 to participate “in a robust COVID-19 testing program that will help keep our community healthier.”  Faculty and staff will also participate in a testing regimen, wrote Beck and McEvoy, co-chairs of UCLA’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force.

UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote in a campus message Dec. 21 that “while we recognize that change is a constant in this pandemic environment, we are committed to doing all we can to maintain in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. At the present time, however, we know it is not prudent to return to in-person instruction immediately after winter break.”

While classes at UC Irvine will be remote, “the campus will remain fully operational, with the same staffing policies we have followed for the past few months,” Gillman wrote.  COVID vaccine booster shots are required for eligible students and staff.