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UC Announces Plans To Return To In-Person Learning Next Fall

The UC Office of the President announced on Jan. 11 that the University of California will be returning to in-person instruction in the fall of 2021. This is following the recent on-campus arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines from the companies Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

According to the statement, the UC will continue to “[remain] vigilant in all critical prevention efforts and [continue] to prioritize the health and well-being of the University community.”

The announcement was intended to provide current and prospective students and their families ample time to understand and account for the plans of the UC system. UC President Michael V. Drake made the decision to return to in-person learning in fall with all 10 of the UC chancellors.

“Current forecasts give us hope that in the fall our students can enjoy a more normal on-campus experience,” Drake said in the announcement. 

According to a Vaccination Update posted by UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman on Jan. 19, the UCI Health team has vaccinated over 2,700 patients ages 65 and older.

UCI received an initial 3,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination on Dec. 16. The vaccine was first offered to UCI frontline healthcare workers; it then became available to UCI employees who are over the age of 65, UCI Dining employees and UCI Housing employees on Jan. 18. For those eligible to receive the vaccine, the vaccine clinic is located at the Bren Events Center.

“The vaccination event [this weekend] was successful by all accounts, and I thank everyone involved for their time, dedication and commitment to excellence. You make us proud,” Gillman said in the vaccine update.

Over 10,000 UCI Health employees have been vaccinated since the initial arrival of the vaccine in December, and over 4,000 second doses were successfully administered. 

According to UCI Forward’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information page, “It is expected that COVID-19 vaccines will be widely available for public consumption by mid-April, 2021.”

Meanwhile, students on campus will continue to complete weekly asymptomatic testing and maintain social distancing.

Today, there are 110 active cases on campus. No new cases have been reported as of Jan. 19.

Drake and Gillman could not be reached for further comment.

Sydney Charles is a 2020-2021 Campus News Co-Editor. She can be reached at campusnews@newuniversity.org.

Tatum Larsen is a 2020-2021 Campus News Co-Editor. She can be reached at campusnews@newuniversity.org.

Dhanika Pineda is a 2020-2021 Campus News Co-Editor. She can be reached at campusnews@newuniversity.org.