Los Angeles Times, Reopening Plans at UC Berkeley, Other Campuses Fall Apart Amid Coronavirus Surge:
Hopes that college life might begin a slow return to normal this fall were deflated Tuesday, when two University of California campuses announced they would begin the semester with fully remote instruction amid a pandemic surge.
UC Berkeley and UC Merced had hoped to open Aug. 26 with a mix of online, in-person and hybrid classes. But they reversed those plans as COVID-19 infections began their record-shattering increases throughout California, with cases now topping more than 400,000 and deaths, 7,800. In Los Angeles County, half of new COVID-19 cases were among those ages 18 to 40.
The UC reversals follow other decisions to do likewise by several California campuses, including USC, Pomona College and Occidental College
Nationally, the proportion of colleges and universities planning for in-person classes has declined from about two-thirds in May to about half today, according to more than 1,200 campus plans reviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
“What you’re seeing is people having a great deal of respect for the power of this virus and doing everything they can to provide high-quality education in the safest way,” said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, which represents more than 1,700 colleges and universities. “Nationally, people are beginning to pull back on the intensity of their in-person instruction.”