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Students Move-in To UC San Diego Campus With Strict COVID-19 Protocols

Justin Leung and his parents Wing and Monette moving into the dorms at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA September 21, 2021
Nicholas McVicker
Justin Leung and his parents Wing and Monette moving into the dorms at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA September 21, 2021

In the sea of students flooding the UC San Diego campus Tuesday, there were clear signs everywhere that the threat of COVID-19 is still present. The campus has reminders posted about vaccination requirements, testing availability, and mask mandates.

This fall, those mandates are just as important as studying and grade point average.

RELATED: California Now Has Nation’s Lowest Coronavirus Transmission Rate

Students Move-in To UC San Diego Campus With Strict COVID-19 Protocols
Listen to this story by M.G. Perez.

18-year old freshman Justin Leung moved into the dorms with help from his mother and father. They are a fully-vaccinated family who traveled here from their home in the San Francisco Bay Area. He said he is ready to start classes.“I’m definitely excited to be learning in person and getting the experience I didn’t get to have in my last year of high school,” Leung said. He will be studying chemical engineering.

More than 32,000 students are enrolled this semester. They are all required to be vaccinated with very limited medical exceptions. The University is also moving some classes outdoors, testing wastewater for COVID, and masks are not negotiable. They must be worn at all times indoors.

UC San Diego has taken a lead in COVID protocols since the initial shutdown in March 2020. The rules require even vaccinated students to take a COVID test once a week for the first month of classes. Unvaccinated students will be tested twice a week.

Students Return to Campus at UC San Diego

Alysson Satterlund is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. She credited the university’s success through the pandemic to a united effort, “I am confident because we are in community,” she said, “through the contributions of students, staff, and faculty who adapted based on what we learned from the science.”

The Leung family is happy to be part of the university’s community. Wing Leung has made sure his son has plenty of masks and hand sanitizer. He and his wife are hopeful of the COVID pandemic’s end and he said, “I’m tired of it but I think it is something we have to live with. Hopefully, not for much longer.”