Campus operations impacted by Shelter in Place Order through April 7

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Lori Kletzer, Interim Campus Provost/Executive and Vice Chancellor Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services

As the COVID–19 virus mitigation actions escalate across the country, our campus is making additional changes to our operations. As communicated earlier today in a message sent by interim Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer, all instruction, including labs and studio courses, will now be done solely via remote modalities for the entire spring quarter.

This afternoon, the Health Officer for the County of Santa Cruz issued a Shelter in Place Order and the Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara issued a Shelter in Place Order both of which are in effect through April 7. These directives mandate that people self-isolate, except to leave to provide or receive essential services, and permits the continuation of essential businesses. “Essential businesses” that can continue during this shelter in place period include educational institutions defined as:

“Educational institutions—including public and private K–12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating remote learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible”

In light of these latest actions, the following changes will apply to campus operations at locations in Santa Cruz County. Campus locations outside of Santa Cruz County will be making localized decisions based on guidance from local health officials and additional communications to those groups will be coming out shortly. We are moving to a reduced mode of operation through April 7, and expanding previously communicated changes to spring quarter operations. Additional changes might need to be made as the situation continues to evolve.

Though we have not had a confirmed case of COVID–19 on campus at this point, these changes are being made to support the health and safety of our campus community.

Final Examinations

Students should expect remote final examinations will be held at their scheduled time unless they hear otherwise from their instructor. Students who are not able to complete their remote final examination due to travel or technology limitations should contact their instructor to discuss options. Instructors should be in regular communication with their students regarding details surrounding the remote final examination.

Student Housing

We strongly urge students who are able to safely return to their permanent residence to do so by Sunday, March 29, and plan to remain there for the remainder of the academic year. The shelter in place orders allow for this travel. Exceptions to stay in campus housing beyond Sunday, March 29 will be made for students who meet one of the following:

  • do not have access to alternate housing;
  • have economic needs that do not enable them to return to their permanent residence;
  • can not relocate due to personal health or safety considerations;
  • have permanent residences in areas highly impacted by COVID–19;
  • have permanent residences that do not have the infrastructure needed to support remote learning; or
  • have other situations that should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students who intend to vacate need to complete a form to initiate the check-out and refund processes. Students who remove all of their belongings from their campus residence and return their keys by April 5 will be eligible for a full refund of any housing and dining fees paid for spring quarter. Students unable to move their belongings out by April 5 can work with the Housing Office to determine if alternative arrangements are available. For any student moving out after April 5, charges will be prorated based on the date the room is vacated and the checkout process is completed. Students cancelling and moving out will not be assessed the standard cancellation fee. The Campus Housing Office will provide additional information for those students remaining on campus for spring via one of the exceptions listed above. Students who have questions about this process should contact their relevant Housing/Student Life Office.

Dining Services

Effective today (March 16), Dining Services has moved to a take-out only mode and has reduced the number of open dining spaces.

Campus Events

Campus events and events hosted in/on campus facilities will be canceled or postponed through the remainder of the spring quarter. Event sponsors can contact the Office of the Campus Counsel to discuss considerations for event contracts. Information on commencement will be forthcoming.

Campus Travel

All campus travel scheduled to take place before April 7 that does not comply with orders outlined in the Shelter in Place directive should be canceled or postponed. All non-essential business travel after April 7 should be canceled or postponed for the rest of the spring quarter. Principal Officers will provide guidance on any needed exceptions, though they must comply with other local and federal travel guidelines.

Employees and Leave Options

Only those employees who must be on campus to maintain critical operations should come to the campus through April 7. Principal Officers should provide guidance on the minimal on-campus operations required during this time and communicate to their staff. Guidance regarding operations after that date will be forthcoming. All others should work remotely. For those unable to work remotely, and in order to support our employees during this unprecedented time, UC President Janet Napolitano has implemented new leave guidelines as follows:

All employees shall be eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave, subject to the following conditions:

  • All hours must be used by December 31, 2020, or the allotment shall expire;
  • The hours may be used at any time during the period of this Executive Order, including intermittently, either before or after the use of any accrued leave or other paid leave, at the request of the employee, in consultation with the supervisor, provided that such use shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential university services, including in particular, the clinical services delivered by UC Health;
  • The number of hours for employees who work less than full-time shall be prorated according to the percent of the appointment;
  • Exempt employees who do not accrue sick or vacation leave are eligible for the one-time allotment of the paid administrative leave.
  • The paid administrative leave hours may only be used for the following purposes:
    • When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID–19-related illness or that of a family member;
    • When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID–19-related reasons and/or the work site has implemented a COVID–19-related remote-work program or is under a shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely;
    • When an employee is unable to work because a COVID–19-related school or daycare closure requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.

Research Activities

The Office of Research has been coordinating research continuity planning across divisions. Additional information is available online. Principal Officers can provide division-specific guidance on how research should be handled during the shelter in place.

Planned Power Outage

The planned power outage scheduled to take place during spring break in order to connect the new PV array at the East Remote lot will be delayed to a later date.


McHenry Library and the Science and Engineering Library will be open on Tuesday, March 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both libraries will be closed on Wednesday, March 18 and will remain closed until April 7.


The bookstore will be closed to walk-in shopping. Online orders can be picked up at the will call window. The Express Store will remain open but will follow stringent social distancing guidelines and limit the number of individuals allowed inside at any time.

This continues to be an incredibly dynamic situation. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we collectively work to mitigate the spread of COVID–19.