BREAKING NEWS: First Two Weeks of Spring to be 100 Percent Virtualcsudhbulletin December 2, 2020 0 COMMENTS
By Robert Rios, Campus Editor
CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham said today that with the current surge in COVID-19 cases predicted to last for eight weeks that he is directing all instruction through at least the first two weeks of the spring semester be virtual only.
Parham said in his report to the campus’ academic senate in its virtual meeting that he will soon, “release a campus memo directing that 100 percent of all instruction for the next eight weeks be virtual and that every person who walks onto the campus be tested for COVID-19.”
Parham said the decision comes after meeting with infectious disease and public health experts, as well as receiving an advisory by CSU Chancellor Timothy White this morning urging presidents at the CSU’s 23 campuses to seriously consider taking steps to mitigate the unrelenting onslaught of a virus that, nearly eight months after it ground the nations’ economy to a halt and has left nearly 275,000 Americans dead, is not only showing no signs of abating, but is actually growing stronger.
“Things are going in the wrong direction,” Parham said, mentioning that hospitalizations in Los Angeles County have quadrupled in a month. (Just yesterday, LA County public health officials announced 7,593 new cases of COVID-19, the highest total so far during the pandemic, and that the average daily rate of positive cases has tripled from 4% a month ago to 12%.)
Parham said making the decision now to keep everything virtual for eight weeks it may lessen the possibility of having to make any changes to the academic calendar, such as delaying the start of the spring semester, which had been discussed last week, he said. But while he said that there is a possibility that the surge won’t be as intense as feared, it could also be worse.
“Again, I don’t have the crystal ball, but the…numbers are going through the roof and we are just shy of this whole state going to lockdown and if that happens, we may have to extend,” virtual instruction beyond the first two weeks of the semester, he said.
About 8% of classes for the spring have been approved for some level of in-person instruction, Parham said. Under the new directive, none will meet for at least two weeks, and all approved student research projects that would have been performed on campus,have also been postponed.
“Even though we have approved plans and signed off on those to give some classes some degree of freedom, we’re going to ask them to gracefully or immediately pivot and offer that course in a virtual format because the surge is going to be heavy and we have to protect our” students, faculty and staff, he said.
Parham also said that due to the possibility of a further spike due to Thanksgiving gatherings, which still won’t be known for seven to 10 days, and withthe Christmas holiday coming up that a protocol will go into place at every one of the CSU campuses “inviting people to get tested, isolate themselves for seven to 10 days period and then retest.”
The spring semester is scheduled to start Tuesday, Jan. 19. Eight weeks from today will be Jan. 27.