CALIFORNIA—On Thursday, July 2, the University of Southern California announced that a majority of the undergraduate classes will be offered online in the fall of 2020 due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The University of Southern California has become one of the first major private schools in the district to change initial plans in allowing students to return for the fall 2020 curriculum. One month after the announcement of the plans for the upcoming semester, the coronavirus outbreak rapidly increased, making USC officials to rethink their prior decision.

“Public health guidelines continue to change, and Los Angeles County has yet to approve our plans for returning to full campus operations,” stated USC Provost Charles F. Zukoski and Senior Vice President of Administration David Wright in a letter. “Los Angeles is experiencing an alarming spike in coronavirus cases, making it clear we need to dramatically reduce our on-campus density and all indoor activities for the fall semester.”

On June 3, President of USC Carol Folt stated in person classes will continue in the fall semester with classes beginning on August 17. The university had planned to take safety precautions to encourage social distancing and making face masks mandatory on school grounds, with additional daily symptom checks to ensure the health of students and officials. However, Governor Gavin Newsom’s new order of the restriction of indoor business activities took place, prompting the university to alter its original course.

Although majority of the classes will be transitioned to an online platform, some courses will offer a “hybrid” solution where there will be a mixture of in-person and online classes. Zukosi stated that 10-20 percent may be on campus. A modified class schedule will be available by next Wednesday, July 8 with the class availability.