San Diego State University will start its spring 2022 semester online in anticipation of a post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases, the university said Wednesday.
When the semester starts on Jan. 19, students will attend classes virtually with some minor exceptions, SDSU President Adela de la Torre said in an email to students. In-person instruction is, for now, scheduled to resume on Feb. 7.
"The temporary start in the virtual space will allow the January case spike to subside, and also provide a window for those who recently received their COVID-19 booster an additional two-week period for it to take full effect," de la Torre said.
Campuses will remain open but only specialized courses which need to meet in person will be allowed. Students who live on campus can also return starting Jan. 17 but the university encouraged students to delay their return until after Feb. 4.
NBC 7 spoke to some students who had mixed reactions to the announcement.
"Cases are going up so I wasn’t really minding it, but at the same time, I don’t like online school," said Jada Singleton, a freshman. “When I do my work at home I feel more tired. I don’t feel like I have the energy to do my work or anything. It is completely different."
“I really like this campus, but knowing that they’re going remote kinda steers me away from it," said Natalie Wilson, a prospective student. “I did my entire sophomore year and half my freshman year remotely, I didn’t learn much and I think it set me up pretty badly for my junior year."
The California State University system had already announced that all students, faculty and staff would need to get the COVID-19 booster shot by Jan. 18, 2022, to be considered fully vaccinated and to attend classes in person.
The University of California school system encouraged their 10 schools to move the start of the spring quarter online. UC San Diego announced it would shift classes to a remote learning model from Jan. 3-17.
San Diego County continues to see COVID-19 cases spike and hospitalizations increase. The county's seven-day positivity rate of tests take was 24,1% on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals continues to climb at a pace not seen since August, according to the latest state figures. There were 717 people in the county hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, up from 682 on Tuesday, 664 on Monday, 628 on Sunday, 590 on Saturday, 510 on Friday and 475 on Thursday.
Of those patients, 141 were in intensive care, up 20 from the previous day. The number of available ICU beds increased by seven to 188.