By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Bruins are back!

For the first time in more than 18 months, students and staff are returning to UCLA for the start of the fall quarter Monday. The campus had largely shut down along with most everything else in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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And while it’s true the campus is celebrating being named the No. 1 public university for a fifth year in a row by US News & World Report and the opening of two residence halls, the palpable excitement on campus is undoubtedly due to being able to again live and learn in person together on the picturesque Westwood campus.

“It’s just good to be back on campus, after missing a majority of freshman year and all of sophomore year,” Junior Jenna Schindele said.

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However, the pandemic is ongoing, and there are a number of precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly the more contagious Delta variant. Students and staff are required to be vaccinated and be able to show proof, and very few exemptions are available. Those who will be able to obtain an exemption will be required to undergo COVID testing twice weekly, and tests will be available at all residence halls and in vending machines throughout the campus. Masks will be required indoors in areas like classrooms and common areas, and students will additionally be required to take daily monitoring surveys.

“I’m definitely scared but I think with all of UCLA’s precautions, we should all feel safe,” said Hanna Huang, who works in the university’s athletics department.

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And while most classes will be in person, large lectures will be done virtually, with some smaller breakout sessions to be done in person.