2019 Novel Coronavirus

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Elizabeth Miller, D.O., Medical Director, UCSC Student Health Services

The potential threat of a new virus can be frightening and overwhelming, particularly with misinformation and rumors that can spread through our community and on the internet. This letter serves to update everyone with accurate information obtained from the CDC and state communicable disease specialists. 

UC Santa Cruz leaders remain in daily communication with health officials working for Santa Cruz County, the state, and the UC Office of the President. We have not had any confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases at UC Santa Cruz, and no confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County. However, there have been two confirmed cases in Santa Clara County and two cases in San Benito County. These four cases were placed in isolation immediately after arrival to the U.S., so the risk of spread of coronavirus from them has not been a concern. To date, California has had a total of six confirmed coronavirus cases, all doing well. 

UCSC Student Health Center leaders are committed to the health and wellness of the campus. We are prepared to support members of our campus community who may be impacted by the new coronavirus, including suspected or confirmed cases. We will continue to provide updates on coronavirus at ucsc.edu/coronavirus. Any significant changes to the situation will be shared immediately and broadly with our campus community. 

In accordance with the most recent public health guidance, anyone who has returned from China on or after Feb. 3, with or without symptoms of illness, should not go to work or school. They should go home and notify their health care provider. 

Persons who returned BEFORE February 3rd, and have been back for less than 14 days, and have become ill with fever, cough, or shortness of breath should call their health care provider and be ready to share their travel history BEFORE arriving on site in order to make arrangements to prevent possible spread of illness to others. Students who become ill should contact the Student Health Center at 831-459-2591 and ask to discuss their symptoms with a nurse. All students arriving for care at the Student Health Center are screened for their travel history and/or possible exposure to the virus. We do not have any suspected coronavirus cases at this time. UC employees can choose from a range of health care providers based on their health care plans

Faculty, staff and students who have returned from China BEFORE February 3rd and have no symptoms may wish to consider staying home for 14 days after they left mainland China, but it is not mandatory, and they should continue monitoring themselves for symptoms until the end of the 14 days.

As a university, we stand to support, include, and protect our diverse and international community. It is important to remember that isolating or assuming a certain racial group is carrying the disease is counterproductive and can cause unfounded suffering.

Campus community members who are experiencing discrimination or harassment on the basis of their nationality or race are encouraged to report incidents by going to help.ucsc.edu or reporthate.ucsc.edu.

We are, of course, in flu season and I encourage everyone in our community to take precautions to protect their health:

• Get a flu vaccine if you haven’t already done so.  SHS has several flu vaccine options for students. Please check the SHS website for more information.

• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick  

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (cell phone, keyboards, tabletops).

• If you are sick, stay away from work, school or other people to avoid spreading illnesses and seek medical care if you have fever, severe cough or difficulty breathing.