Cal State plans keep its instruction largely virtual in Fall 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. California State University System Chancellor Timothy White said on Tuesday, according to Inside Higher Ed.

The system’s 23 campuses will remain primarily virtual in the fall months, citing concerns of a second wave of the virus emerging later this year.

“Our university when open without restrictions and fully in person… is a place where over 500,000 people come together in close and vibrant proximity,” White said at a meeting of Cal State’s Board of Trustees, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That approach sadly just isn’t in the cards now.”

Chancellor Timothy White made the announcement Tuesday.

“First and foremost is the health, safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff, and the evolving data surrounding the progression of Covid-19 — current and as forecast throughout the 2020-21 academic year,” White said in making his announcement.

Potential exceptions at Cal State could include nursing students who need clinical training to be on track to get licensed to work in health care, White said, or students who need access to equipment for their training.

Students who need to continue research in labs will also continue forward under rigorous safety standards. White said students may need to work in shifts, wearing personal protective gear.

Rigorous health and safety requirements will be in place, such as sanitizing and spreading students out. Instead of 15 students per class, it may be five students, he suggested.

Some of the Cal State campuses may continue to offer remote learning only.

California was the first state to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, effective March 19. Like many other schools, colleges and universities across the nation, UC and CSU began suspending in-class learning in March.

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  • Cal State: Shutterstock