by Photo courtesy of Southwestern College

Students at Southwestern College will continue virtual learning through Feb.25 due to rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases brought by the Omicron variant.

According to the president and superintendent of Southwestern College, Mark Sanchez, operational decisions will be based on science, local public health data, and guidance from public health experts.

“As a community and institution, our mission has been to always create the safest environment for everyone who comes onto one of our campuses,” said Mark Sanchez, president, and superintendent of Southwestern College. 

Courses and activities exempt from the delayed in-person start date include public safety, allied health, performing arts, athletics, and classes at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center. 

“Our employees and students have continuously shown resilience and perseverance in continuing their work and educational journeys despite the challenges that we’ve experienced during the pandemic,” Sanchez said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not over and it continues to upend many of our lives. However, it will not deter us in our mission to provide exceptional education and services to our students and our region.”

The SWC’s virtual welcome center is open to students in need of services. All college campuses will be closed to in-person appointments.

Additionally, all college employees and in-person students will be required to get a COVID-19 booster shot when they become eligible unless they have qualified for a religious or medical exemption.

This announcement comes as San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency Monday reported 5,482 new COVID-19 cases and 20 additional deaths associated with the virus.

There were 75,673 new tests reported Friday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 27.5 percent, down from 29.3 percent on Tuesday. 

More information about booster requirements and submission will follow in the coming days.

In-person instruction will resume Feb. 28 unless noted otherwise, according to a statement from the college.

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