Keck Graduate Institute rang in the New Year with an update to its spring term plans: the first two weeks of classes will take place online.
Citing the latest surge in COVID-19 cases brought about by the highly transmissible omicron variant, KGI’s COVID-19 task force announced in a Saturday update that the “most concerning data … from [the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health] regarding current cases and hospitalizations” guided its decision to push back in-person operations.
The school initially intended to bring employees back Jan. 3 and students by Jan. 18. Now, “all KGI employees will work remotely” until the end of the month.
While most courses are set to start online, the task force added students can check for updates starting Jan. 15, a date by which the task force says LACDPH may announce additional recommendations for institutions of higher education.
The task force added that growing pressure on healthcare and testing facilities are at the center of its decision to delay bringing students back to campus.
In addition, it said the delay will help make time to acquire N-95 and KN-95 masks for the entire KGI community.
“This decision creates challenges for everyone in our community,” the task force said. “Please know, this delay of returning to campus was made with the greatest concern for the safety, health, and well-being of our entire community.”
As of Dec. 17, students, staff and faculty at KGI are required to receive booster shots by Jan. 17.
The presidents of the undergraduate Claremont Colleges were expected to meet this week and make a decision on beginning the 5Cs’ semester with remote instruction.