MALIBU, CA — Pepperdine University is set to reopen for in-person instruction for the spring semester as the omicron variant quickly spreads throughout the county, the school announced Tuesday.
All Pepperdine programs, like orientation, international programs and classes, will continue in-person as planned barring any new restrictions from the Los Angeles County department of public health, according to an email from the University's public relations office.
The university will meet with the public health department and other higher education institutions Wednesday to discuss protocols and health orders, the university said in the email.
The announcement comes as many University of California campuses, including UC San Diego, Riverside, Irvine decided to temporarily move online at the start of the spring semester.
The university saw 189 on-campus cases of COVID-19 during the fall semester, according to the school's website. The majority of these cases were students.
The university will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before students return to campus for the spring semester, followed by weekly screening testing, the Pepperdine Graphic reported. Students without approved exemptions were required to submit proof of vaccination by Dec. 9.
On the whole, the Pepperdine community is more vaccinated than the city of Malibu — 88 percent of students and 91.4 percent of faculty and staff were vaccinated as of Dec. 8.
Only 67.1 percent of Malibu residents age five and over have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Malibu had 945 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday, over 100 more cases than just a week before, according to Los Angeles County Public Health data.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County saw 7,425 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, according to LADPH. LA County hospitalizations nearly doubled in December, with unvaccinated individuals 21 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than their vaccinated counterparts.