LONG BEACH, CA- California State University Long Beach students have returned to campus for in-person learning after having the first two weeks of the Spring semester, which began on Jan. 20, taught remotely.
The university announced on Jan. 6 that all classes would be held remotely, out of an abundance of caution, due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant surge.
President Jane Conoley and the university decided to hold on the return to campus for the first two weeks because of substantial risk stating: “The Covid Omicron surge made us decide that there was a risk of high infection rates if we brought students back from winter break.”
With hundreds of new cases still being reported daily, the university will continue to take necessary precautions with special cleaning protocols inside all classrooms and shared areas, while still always wearing masks indoors. All students are required to take a health pre-screen each day before coming to campus that must show a green checkmark.
This semester, there will be a 75% rise in in-person classes being held compared to the fall semester which had 40% in-person classes. Some students are excited to come back for in-person learning, as well as have the resources offered on campus.
“It’s a scary time and we need to prioritize health, but I’m excited to return back in person, I don’t perform well on Zoom,” said Angie Martinez, a Geography major. “Not everyone has working home environments and resources. Mentally and academically, I do my best on campus,” said Martinez.
While students like Martinez look forward to the return to campus, others still think remote instruction is best during this time. “With cases still being high in Los Angeles County, I feel this semester should remain online,” said Maria Hernandez Galindo, a Child Development and Family Studies major.
In addition to testing to allow students on campus for classes, student-athletes are being tested multiple times a week, while residential students are required to show a negative test before they can move into student housing.
All students will be required to show proof of vaccination including booster by Feb. 28, or six months after receiving their final dose of the original vaccination. Students with medical and religious exemption are still required to get tested weekly and upload negative test results.
Testing will be offered on campus to students and the public in the CSULB Chartroom.
By Arlene Guerrero