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UC San Diego Announces Plans To Resume At Near Full Capacity This Fall

A sign on UC San Diego campus directs visitors with appointments to the vacci...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A sign on UC San Diego campus directs visitors with appointments to the vaccination super station site, in this Feb. 20, 2021 photo.

UC San Diego announced Wednesday that it plans to have the campus operating at nearly full capacity this fall, citing positive trends regarding vaccinations and the school's "Return To Learn" COVID-19 response.

University officials said they expect around 90% of students and 85% of on-site staff to be fully vaccinated by the fall quarter. Campus residence halls will be at near 100% occupancy, with no more than two students per room, according to a UCSD statement.

Facial coverings will still be required in all public spaces, while physical distancing guidelines are expected to be reduced from six feet to three feet in most settings.

Most instruction will be in-person in either indoor or outdoor classrooms, though "appropriate remote learning options will be made available for students who are unable to arrive from abroad due to visa delays or travel restrictions," the university said.

"We're ready to return to campus," Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said. "Our students, faculty and staff went above and beyond throughout the pandemic to keep one another safe while continuing to learn, create and conduct research. While we learned many new ways to connect and serve our students over the past year, we are ready to reconnect in person, as safely as possible, in spaces specifically designed for collaborative learning and discovery."

All students will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to campus, but "campus leadership does not expect to require vaccinated students to continue routine asymptomatic testing," according to UCSD. A vaccination education and outreach campaign will be launched as part of an effort to support high vaccination rates by the fall term.

Continued testing may allow a return to athletic events and other social gatherings such as concerts, the university said.

The school also touted a low infection rate over the past school year as part of its impetus for a return.

Nearly 10,000 students have been living on campus since fall 2020, while thousands more living off campus have attended daily in-person classes. During that time, the school boasts an infection rate of less than .05% among those students, according to the university.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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