SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Cal State San Marcos announced Thursday that it will revert to virtual learning for the first two weeks of classes amid a COVID surge in San Diego County. A message from the school said the online-only plan would apply to classes at CSUSM and CSUSM at Temecula with limited exceptions.
"While public health officials expect the surge to be relatively brief, the peak for California will likely happen in mid-January. In an effort to help protect the health of our communities, the first two weeks of classes will be online only," a tweet from the school read.
It plans to return to the published class schedule on Feb. 7.
Earlier on Wednesday, San Diego State President, Adela de la Torre sent a letter to the SDSU community announcing that "as a proactive measure in response to this public health modeling, during the first two weeks of the spring semester, Jan. 19 through Friday, Feb. 4, instruction will be virtual with some minor exceptions. Our normal in-person course schedule will resume as planned on Monday, Feb. 7."
At another California State University system school, the president of CSU Sacramento posted a message Wednesday morning on the university website stating "in an effort to minimize the fear and potential danger as the daily rates spike, we have decided that most classes and labs will be delivered virtually from Jan. 24 through Feb. 6. On Feb. 7, we will return to the published class schedule with the vast majority of classes face-to-face."
On December 21, 2021, UC San Diego announced that due to the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases related to the new omicron variant coinciding with the planned start of the winter quarter, the school would transition to remote only learning for the first 2 weeks of January.
UC San Diego, which began classes for the new quarter on Monday, Jan. 3, said it was exercising caution by moving all instruction away from in-person to remote from Jan. 3 through Jan. 17 in a campus notice posted from the office of UC San Diego Chancellor Khosla.
Chancellor Khosla made the announcement following a letter from UC President Dr. Michael Drake to the 10 UC chancellors asking them "to design and implement a plan for a January return to campus that mitigates public health impacts, responds to the unique circumstances facing your campus, and maintains our teaching and research operations."
Many of the other UC schools announced similar shifts to remote learning to begin the winter 2022 quarter.
The shift to remote learning followed an announcement that UCSD School of Medicine researchers had found an "unprecedented" spike in COVID- 19 viral load in wastewater collected from San Diego County's primary wastewater treatment facility.
The amount of COVID-19 virus detected in wastewater has predicted the region's COVID-19 caseload up to three weeks ahead of clinical diagnostic reports, the researchers said. Since people with COVID-19 shed the virus in their stool even before they experience symptoms, wastewater screening acts as an early warning system.
"The wastewater screening results reported [in December] are unlike any the team has seen before," said Jackie Carr of UCSD Health. Both Delta and Omicron variants of the virus were detected in the wastewater.
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