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Saturday, December 3, 2022

UC Davis to return to in-person instruction on Jan. 31

With positive case numbers for COVID-19 declining, the campus will fully reopen to students, staff and faculty next Monday

By KATHLEEN QUINN and ISABELLA KRZESNIAK campus@theaggie.org

The UC Davis campus will resume in-person instruction on Jan. 31, according to an email sent to students by Chancellor Gary May on Jan. 24.

“While we began winter quarter with much of our work being done and many classes being held remotely, we look forward to welcoming students, faculty and staff back to our Davis campus and classrooms, Monday, January 31, as planned,” the announcement states.

As of Jan. 24, the positivity rate for COVID-19 has decreased to 1.78% with 321 positive results in the last seven days, according to the UC Davis COVID-19 dashboard.

All students, faculty and staff must upload a copy of their vaccine booster, or approved a medical or religious exemption to the UC Davis health portal by Jan 31, however, the requirements for testing remain unchanged for students outside of dorms.

For those living within dorms, the administration added an additional requirement for students who do not have their boosters; as of Jan. 31, they will need to be tested once every four days. This is more frequent than a previous requirement, having students regardless of vaccination status test once a week while living in residence halls

The return to campus was originally scheduled for Jan. 10, but after a push from students, faculty and staff and a dramatic rise in positivity rates, the return to in-person instruction was delayed on Jan. 6.

Students were encouraged to stay in Davis in order to prevent another spike upon returning to campus. 

We are thankful so many of you stayed in town as we recommended,” May stated in the announcement. “If you’re not in the area now, you should come back as soon as possible so you can receive your test results before January 31.”

This leaves students with one week to test in order to gain access to campus lecture halls and facilities. 

“If you are already here, please get tested this week to help avert long lines at the ARC next week,” the announcement states.

While students are being encouraged to obtain and use N95 or KN95 masks, and the Campus Ready website includes tips to extend their use, cloth masks still meet the university’s requirements to attend class, according to the announcement. 

The administration directed students to reach out to the major departments to acquire a single N95 or KN95 mask, but no further information on this process was provided in the announcement.

ASUCD President Ryan Manriquez is working to provide N95 masks at the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center and the third floor of the Memorial Union for student convenience.

I’m making sure masks are provided for everyone,” Manriquez said. “[The announcement] was a bit vague.”

Additionally, the announcement discussed the launch of an opt-in lecture capture program in order to make learning easier to access.

“I’d say that UC Davis is behind the times in terms of technology inside the classroom, in terms of how you record lectures,” Manriquez said. “We’re transforming education and the fact is that more people are going to need a hybrid option.”

As a representative of the UC Davis student body, Manriquez believes that this quarter has been especially difficult.

“We want to make clear that out of all the quarters of COVID-19, this has been the most disruptive one for students,” Manriquez said. “Having the mindset that we’re online for the first week, then having three more weeks online, and then having to come back halfway through to a completely different teaching style is really hard for students and faculty to adjust to.”

Written by: Kathleen Quinn and Isabella Krzesniakcampus@theaggie.org