Cal State Los Angeles will begin the spring semester with three weeks of remote classes due to the spread of COVID-19, the university president announced Tuesday.

In a message to the campus community Tuesday, CSULA President William A. Covino said all classes will be held remotely when the semester starts on Jan. 24, and the remote instruction will continue until Feb. 11. He said the start of the semester “coincides with what public health experts expect to be the peak of the largest surge in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.”

“By allowing the peak of the surge to pass before beginning in-person instruction, we hope to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our university community and the other hardships it causes,” Covino wrote. “We look forward to returning to in-person instruction and activities. We will keep you informed and provide you with updates in the days and weeks ahead.”

Covino said campus facilities will remain open, and student services will be offered both in-person and virtually.

“We encourage students to continue to handle matters such as financial aid questions in the format that works best for them,” he wrote.

The Long Beach-based CSU system, which includes 23 campuses statewide, has not issued any directives regarding remote learning for the start of classes. A spokesman told City News Service that each individual campus “will be guided by what’s taking place in their respective region based on consultation with local public health agencies.”

The CSU system is requiring all faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated and receive a COVID vaccine booster shot to access university facilities or programs.

Some University of California campuses, including UCLA and UC Irvine, both began their spring terms this week with remote instruction that is expected to last two weeks.

In late December, Covino noted that some universities were planning remote instruction, but he said at the time that CSULA had a much later start to the spring term than the UC system.

In his message Tuesday, Covino noted that “changing circumstances may require us to again adjust our plans and procedures. Throughout the pandemic, your health, well-being and academic success have been our priority. They remain at the center of our plans and decisions.”

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