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As coronavirus case numbers climb in California, Scripps College and Pomona College announced Wednesday they would close their campuses and conduct instruction completely online in the fall.

In her announcement, Scripps president Lara Tiedens said the college had been planning to reopen campus to students this fall before the pandemic worsened in the state.

“As we planned for the return to campus, we have continued to monitor the current public health situation in Los Angeles County, which over the last couple of weeks has worsened dramatically,” the announcement read.

Pomona also reversed its plans, citing the rising case counts in Claremont.

“Here in the nation’s most populous county, the virus is taking off among young people, who account for half of the new cases, and the numbers bring growing concerns about more spread to the most vulnerable,” wrote G. Gabrielle Starr, Pomona's president, and Samuel D. Glick, chair of the college's Board of Trustees.

The decisions to go ahead with an online-only semester are complicated by the recent Department of Homeland Security rule that prohibits international students from remaining in the United States if their colleges are online only. In its announcement, Pomona acknowledged this complication and said it will reach out to affected students in the coming days.

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