San Jose State University has joined a growing list of colleges delaying in-person classes until next month in response to the current surge of COVID-19 cases fueled by super-contagious omicron variant of the virus that causes the respiratory disease.
San Jose State will begin classes Jan. 26 “in a fully remote modality” that will continue through February 11, with in-person instruction set to resume Feb. 14.
“We are all understandably tired of the pandemic’s impact on our lives,” said San Jose State Interim President Steve Perez in a statement to students Wednesday. “The situation surrounding the pandemic continues to change rapidly, and we must continue to be kind, flexible and patient with each other. I look forward to seeing many of you on campus soon.”
San Jose State joins a growing list of California State University and other public and private college campuses delaying in-person learning. They now include 17 of the 23 CSU campuses: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, San Marcos, Long Beach, Fullerton, Northridge, Dominguez Hills, Sonoma, San Bernardino, Stanislaus, East Bay, Channel Islands, and the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
University of California campuses in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Cruz, Merced, Davis, Irvine and San Diego also have delayed in-person classes for the new 2022 term, as have private universities including Stanford, Occidental and the University of Southern California.
San Jose State said that remote class exceptions may be granted by a dean for courses that must meet in person to address students’ immediate learning needs, such as lab sections, studios, or individual instruction, starting the week of January 31. All students will need to be on campus for scheduled in-person classes.
Although most classes will be remote initially, university operations will remain open and university employees are expected to continue following their approved work schedules and modalities such as telecommuting.
University Housing will provide specifics regarding the move in timeline and process later this week, but is requiring students to get tested within 24 hours of departing for campus using an at-home or commercially available test. Those who test positive will not be able to move into on-campus housing.
All students, regardless of vaccination status, will be tested again upon arrival and will participate in weekly testing during the current surge and until the community test positivity rate is reduced to a satisfactory level, university officials said.
As part of the CSU system’s vaccination requirement, students who are eligible must have a booster vaccine shot to be considered fully vaccinated. That includes anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccination shot more than two months ago or who are five months or more past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
All booster-eligible students who are registered for hybrid or in-person classes are required to update their vaccination status and upload a record of their booster shot by January 31, 2022. Students may request medical and religious exemptions for the booster with appropriate documentation, and previously granted exemptions that are not time-limited will apply to the booster.
Perez said that students feeling a need for support may contact Counseling and Psychological Services or SJSU Cares, and that employees may seek help through the Employee Assistance Program.