Rise in COVID-19 cases causes spring 2022 semester to begin online

Some classes will remain online until Feb. 22, while others return on Jan. 31


According to an announcement by the Los Rios Community College District, because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, some classes will be switched to an online format until Feb. 22. Other “difficult-to-convert” classes will return on ground on Jan. 31. (Photo by Oden Taylor)

The spring 2022 semester, which mostly started online, will remain online through Feb. 22, according to an email sent out by the administration on Jan. 21 and a message posted on the Los Rios Community College District Website

The LRCCD originally released an email on Jan. 10 saying that most classes would be online through Jan. 31. The district extended the return date in a Jan. 21 email sent by LRCCD Chancellor Brian King. In the email, King explained that the public health conditions led to the decision.

“We continue to evaluate public health conditions in our region and assess the impacts of evolving data on the well-being of students and employees as well as the operational impacts to our colleges,” King said in the email.

The amount of case numbers has led to the extension for online classes. 

“While we have prepared to expand our district-wide testing capacity as needed and have seen case rates in our communities begin to flatten or drop, case numbers are still amongst the highest they have been during the entire pandemic, underscoring health and staffing concerns for our colleges,” the email says. 

Most labs and “difficult-to-convert” classes were moved online, but will now return to in-person learning on Jan. 31. 

Science labs, art classes and other lab and activity classes will be some of the classes returning on ground, according to the email. 

The full list of classes that will be returning to campus can be found on the Los Rios Reopening Website

All of the classes that aren’t difficult or impossible to convert will remain online until Feb. 22. 

According to Scott Crow, American River College’s public information officer, there were multiple factors that led to moving the majority of classes online. 

“The district very carefully weighed a lot of factors, starting with the surge of cases from the highly contagious Omicron variant,” Crow said in an email to the Current. “Another key factor was the limited availability of testing.” 

Keeping other classes online until Feb. 22 would help allow time for more testing, according to the email sent on Jan. 21. 

“We expect that cases in our region will continue to decline as our testing capacity expands over the next several weeks, further reducing the risk to public health and staffing shortages,” the email says. 

According to the email, students should look in Canvas and their email for communication with their instructors about the status of classes. Also, students should reach out to instructors with any class-related questions. 

Many student services can be accessed virtually, as most will also remain online until Feb. 22, according to the email sent on Jan. 21. 

According to Crow, the reopening website will be updated frequently as new information becomes available.

The district understands this is a time of uncertainty for students, Crow added. 

“We appreciate the flexibility and patience of all our students during this time,” Crow said.

This story has been updated to reflect new information regarding the extension on campus reopening, on Jan. 24 at 5:01 p.m.