Los Rios District moves classes online for the month of January in response to Omicron surge


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The Los Rios College District has chosen to move in-person classes, labs and services online for the beginning of the spring semester. A surge in COVID cases is cited as the prime reason for the switch to online.

The Los Rios Community College District announced on Monday that all Los Rios colleges would return most in-person classes, labs and services to online until Jan. 31.
This decision follows the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the U.S. and California, according to an email sent to students by the LRCCD.
“While we are fortunate to know that our employees and students are vaccinated, the sheer volume of cases has led to concerns about serious breakthrough cases, rising hospitalization rates in our region, and the operational impacts of large-scale staff and student absences,” district officials said in the email. “By Jan. 31, we expect to have significantly expanded testing capacity and many experts believe that we will see the Omicron surge begin to wane.”
In addition to this announcement, the statement also provided information on COVID-19 testing, vaccine requirements and mask recommendations.
“We’re working with a new testing vendor now starting this semester,” said Communications and Public Information Officer Kristie West. “With the demand for testing now, we have asked them to expand and they are working on that now, so we’re hoping in the next week or two we will be able to have students and employees who wanna get tested be able to go on to one of our college campuses and get that done.”
Students can schedule a COVID test appointment at COVID-19 Testing | Los Rios Community College District. On-campus COVID tests are available, while Walgreens and Rite Aid appointments are completely unavailable at sites near the Cosumnes River College campus.
LRCCD is also debating whether COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be required of students returning on-campus in addition to the prior vaccination requirements, according to the email.
“I believe for employees they will ask for some time this spring, a date this spring, to get the booster shot,” West said. “For students, it probably won’t be required until summer or early in the fall.”
Following information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LRCCD suggested that students use surgical masks, N95 masks or KN95 masks on campus rather than cloth masks.
“We are recommending the higher quality KN95 or N95 masks and I think those will be available around campus so if a student actually does show up without a mask, they will be able to get one,” West said.
For more information and updates on COVID-19 requirements as well as what services will remain in person, visit Reopening Los Rios: Planning for a Safe Return to Our Campuses.