Emergency notification: Confirmed case of COVID-19 at UCSC

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Sarah Latham

We write to share that the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency confirmed today that a student member of the UC Santa Cruz community has tested positive for COVID-19. The student lives off campus and has been self-isolating since being tested. The student was last on campus March 16 and is doing well. 

We are coordinating closely with local public health officials and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance in responding to this case. Student Health Services and Office of Emergency Services personnel are working with public health officials to determine whether there are members of the campus community who may have had significant exposure to this individual and who may subsequently have an increased risk of developing COVID-19. Public health officials will determine specific actions that may be needed, such as self-quarantine. 

The health and well-being of our campus community is our top priority. The campus is ensuring that this student is getting the care and support that they need. Student Health Services and Office of Emergency Services personnel continue to proactively identify individuals with potential COVID-19 exposure and request that they self-quarantine to protect our community. 

Students, faculty, and staff should stay home and call their health care provider if they have symptoms of respiratory illness, especially fever and cough. The CDC’s coronavirus self-checker is a good tool to help you determine what next steps should be taken.

What students should do

Students, whether on campus, off campus in Santa Cruz, or at their permanent residence, can call the Student Health Center at 831-459-2591 for instructions on self-care or to make a telehealth or in-person appointment. Information about after-hours care for students is available online. Acutely ill students who are not in Santa Cruz should seek medical care from a healthcare provider in their area.

If you are a student who received care off-campus and have tested positive, or if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please notify the Student Health Center at 831-459-2591 so that we can help coordinate your care and support the health of our campus community.

What employees should do

Employees should seek medical care through their regular health care providers. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone who tested positive, please email your supervisor and the Office of Emergency Services (Lisa Ehret, director) at oes@ucsc.edu.

Where you can find updates and additional information

The COVID-19 situation is dynamic, which means guidance from public health officials and the CDC changes frequently. The COVID-19 campus website is being updated regularly with the latest information, including the number of confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County and our campus community. Notification about additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our campus community will be based on guidance from public health officials.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience during this challenging time. 

Steps to stay healthy 

The CDC provides the following guidance on how to protect yourself

  • Clean your hands often:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with others:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).
  • Take steps to protect others:
    • Stay home, except for essential business/services as covered in the state’s stay-at-home order.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes:
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
      • Throw used tissues in the trash.
      • Immediately clean your hands.
    • Wear a facemask if you are sick and around other people.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces