Date: April 22, 2022
To: UC Santa Cruz students, staff and faculty
From: Gary Dunn, PhD, Temporary Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness, and Elizabeth Miller, DO, Student Health Services Medical Director
Topic: COVID-19: Community Update
Dear UC Santa Cruz Community,
We are writing today to address increasing COVID transfer rates on our campus and in the surrounding community. In the past week, our seven-day positivity on campus rose from 1 to 3.66 percent. Santa Cruz County rates also rose, but not significantly.
Although we are aware of the increase in positive cases, we continue to be encouraged that the vast majority of our community is up to date with their vaccines, and so far there has been little spread of COVID-19 in our workplaces and classrooms. Yet the current rates require our continued attention and action. At this point, we would like to remind the community of the importance of engaging in the ongoing COVID reduction efforts:
We strongly recommend masking indoors. Although masking is no longer required on most campus sites, we continue to strongly recommend the use of face masks indoors. Because masking remains an effective tool against the transmission of COVID-19 and many other diseases, free surgical and KN-95 masks are still available for pickup at different campus locations. Please note that the following spaces and circumstances require masking at all times:
- Masking is required in UC Santa Cruz clinical settings (e.g., Student Health Services and COVID-19 test sites) and while driving on campus transit vehicles.
- Also per California Department of Public Healthanyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or is known to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person should wear a mask for 10 days.
We encourage you to participate in regular COVID-19 tests. UC Santa Cruz continues to offer free test on campus for students, staff and teachers. In accordance with Spring Test Protocol, community members who are not up to date on their vaccinations must test every four days. Updated community members can test as desired, but are encouraged to do so regularly – especially if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have a chronic medical condition.
We suggest that you practice healthy hygiene and covid-cautious habits. If it is safe to do so, The CDC advises opening doors and windows as much as you can to bring in fresh, outdoor air when you plan to gather indoors with others. In addition, you should continue to practice good hand hygiene, refrain from sharing food or drinks, cover your cough and sneeze, and, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and contact your local health care provider for guidance. Symptomatic students should contact the Student Health Service’s Nursing Advice Line (831-459-2591) during opening hours to schedule a COVID-19 test. Employees should stay home and contact their primary care physician for follow-up. If you test positive for COVID-19, please immediately isolate, and follow Instructions for COVID-19 positive test results.
We appreciate your continued support of our community through your response to COVID-19. Our collective efforts are crucial to minimize transmission speeds. That said, we will continue to closely monitor local transmission rates and will update the community on significant changes affecting the test protocol or community actions such as indoor masking.
For now, let’s continue to be aware of this moment and do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together, Slugs!
In the community,
Gary Dunn, PhD, Temporary Associate Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness
Elizabeth Miller, DO, Medical Director, Student Health Service