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The University of California could reopen just one-third to one-half of dorm rooms this fall in order to maintain safe distances among students amid the coronavirus outbreak, a top UC official said Monday, raising questions about what would happen to others without campus housing.

Campuses are still making decisions on their fall scenarios, which may come in June or July. Last week, UC President Janet Napolitano said campuses will first be required to satisfy systemwide guidelines to ensure public health and safety and any reopening “will probably be greatly reduced.”

Any reduced availability of dorms — and subsequent decline in housing revenue — would amplify the staggering financial toll on the UC system triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

The UC system was hit with $558 million in revenue losses and added expenses to its 10 campuses and five medical centers in March alone and those costs are projected to rise to about $2.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year that ends June 30, according to Nathan Brostrom, UC Merced interim chancellor, who also has served as systemwide chief financial officer.

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