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KCBX News Update: Booster shots required at CSU and UC systems, free rapid test pop-up event in Grover Beach, and Central Coast otter pup relocated to Long Beach

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UCSB will transition back to remote learning for the first two weeks of the term in January.

CSU, UC system to require boosters of all eligible students and staff

Both the University of California and California State University systems will require booster shots of all eligible students and staff in the upcoming term.

This comes amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which has now overtaken Delta to become the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the U.S.

There is no uniform plan for when CSU and UC schools will return to in-person instruction.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will continue in-person classes in January, but UC Santa Barbara — along with other UC schools like Riverside, Irvine and San Diego — will return to remote instruction for at least the first two weeks of classes.

SLO County Public Health to offer free rapid COVID tests at pop-up event in Grover Beach

San Luis Obispo County Public Health will offer free rapid COVID-19 tests at a pop-up event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Grover Beach tomorrow

The first 150 people who show up to Ramona Gardens Park in Grover Beach can receive a test and get results in about 15 minutes, according to the department.

The highly-transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus was first detected in San Luis Obispo County on Friday.

More information on the coronavirus in SLO County is available here.

Sea otter pup rescued from Central Coast arrives at Aquarium of the Pacific

A sea otter pup rescued off the coast of Pismo Beach has found a new home at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

Field officials with the Morro Bay Marine Mammal Center found the orphaned pup and deemed unable to be released back into the wild.

Now, Aquarium of the Pacific is providing the pup “round-the-clock care” and plan to make him a permanent addition to the aquarium’s population, according to a news release.

The pup, who now weighs 16 pounds, will join the other otters in the main habitat on Dec. 28.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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