UCSC transit driver tests positive for COVID-19

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

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

UC Santa Cruz was notified late Saturday that an employee who works in Transportation and Parking Services as a campus shuttle driver tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts are with this employee and their family. We wish them a quick recovery.

Because the campus shuttle program is a public facing activity that provides services for students, faculty, and staff, we believe there is a need to inform our community about this case. The employee drove the loop route on April 1 and 2 and has not been on campus since then. Transit records indicate that approximately 19 people rode the driver’s bus route over the course of the two days; identities of the passengers are unknown.

We believe this case presents a low risk of exposure to our campus community based on the protocols we instituted on March 17, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19: campus shuttle passengers use only the rear entrance of a bus to enter and exit the bus; passengers are separated by at least six feet from the bus driver; and buses are cleaned several times throughout the day by TAPS staff.

In accordance with guidance provided by the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, exposed individuals may already have symptoms or may develop symptoms through April 16, 2020. Students who rode the shuttle on April 1 or 2, and have any symptoms or concerns, can call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 to schedule a telephone visit for risk assessment and possible testing for COVID-19. Faculty or staff who rode the shuttle and have symptoms or concerns should contact their healthcare provider and inform them of any possible exposure and/or symptoms to determine appropriate next steps.

The health and well-being of our campus community is our top priority. Remember to stay home as much as possible, maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from others, and wear a face covering in public. Also, frequent hand washing with soap and water remains an effective tool in minimizing COVID-19 exposure from surfaces. Notification about additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our campus community will be based on guidance from public health officials.

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.

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