Update on beginning of winter quarter

December 21, 2021
Kim A. Wilcox
December 21, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing to provide you with an update about the beginning of winter quarter.

With the emergence of the Omicron variant and our winter quarter starting so close to the New Year’s holiday, with many holiday gatherings likely taking place, we are taking several preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission on campus. 

Remote Instruction

On-campus classes at UC Riverside will be delivered remotely for the first two weeks of the winter quarter, with exceptions for off-campus field courses and internships that may continue to meet in-person. The quarter will begin on Jan. 3 with remote instruction, and we expect to return to our planned winter quarter modes of instruction the week of Jan. 17.


Also, no large in-person indoor events will take place on campus during the first two weeks of winter quarter. 


In addition to a shift to remote instruction for two weeks, we are also implementing a more aggressive approach to COVID-19 testing for students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, returning to campus following the winter break. 

All students must take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus, or immediately upon their arrival, then sequester and test again five days after arriving on campus. If you test positive before returning to campus, do not come to campus until you have completed your home isolation period and your symptoms have improved. 

Employees who return to work on campus are also advised to test before Jan. 3 at any off-campus location or at our employee testing site at the Pentland Hills Bear Cave Meeting Room starting on Jan. 3.

Testing options are available both on and off campus, and information about testing locations and times is available on our Campus Return website

Campus is Open

The campus will be open and other operations on campus will continue as planned; employees should continue with their existing plans and work schedules unless otherwise indicated by their supervisor. 

Students who are not symptomatic are welcome to return to on-campus housing as planned for winter quarter. If you live in an on-campus residence, please fill out this brief survey about when you plan to return to campus. 

Campus venues such as the Library, Student Recreation Center, and Highlander Union Building will remain open, but with limited occupancy the weeks of Jan. 3 and Jan. 10. 


If you are eligible, I strongly encourage you to get your vaccine booster over the winter break. All UC health care workers and UCR medical students are required to receive a booster shot no later than Jan. 31. 

Since the outset of the pandemic, UCR has adhered to guiding principles that have always resulted in a more cautious approach to managing on-campus activities. These principles – individual health, community health, and incremental decision making – strongly influenced the decisions I am announcing today. 

I will you all the best for a safe and restful winter break.

Stay healthy.