Updated guidance on campus operations based on extended Shelter in Place Order issued by the Santa Cruz Health Department

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor Business and Administrative Services

The UC Santa Cruz community continues to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are being proactive in maximizing physical distancing, while maintaining the critical operations needed to support students and employees who continue to live on campus, to facilitate remote learning, and to ensure the campus infrastructure is maintained and campus facilities are safe. The COVID-19 situation continues to be dynamic. Not only does it impact campus operations, but it has impacted the personal lives of everyone in the campus community and across the globe. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we navigate the situation and collectively work to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Over the last few weeks, we have outlined the steps we are taking during this public health crisis in several campus messages. Our actions have adapted over time as we learn more and as we comply with federal, state and local mandates, as well as guidance coming from the UC Office of the President. Yesterday, the Santa Cruz County Health Department issued a new order extending the current shelter in place mandate until May 3 and outlining additional clarifications on allowable activities. They also issued a useful FAQ that addresses questions members of the Santa Cruz community have. 

Our campus continues to be defined in the directive as an essential institution and activities we undertake for purposes of facilitating remote learning or performing essential functions are allowable, provided that physical distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.

Below is an update on the latest information on campus operations. Please note that some restrictions that had been put in place until April 7 will now continue through at least May 3 to comply with new county orders. For additional information, you can access the UC Santa Cruz COVID-19 website.

Dining Services

Dining Services will be operating the College Nine/College Ten Dining Hall and Crown/Merrill Dining Hall during the spring quarter as a take-out only service.  Additional information is available at the Dining COVID-19 Response page.

Campus Housing

Students living in campus housing have been asked to return to their permanent residences if conditions allow. The housing office is relocating students who remain on campus in an effort to maximize physical distancing, while also ensuring staff can adequately support those who remain. Additional information can be found at the Housing COVID-19 page.

Campus Events

Guidance was given in earlier communications that campus events and events hosted in/on campus facilities should be canceled or postponed through the remainder of the spring quarter. No new events should be scheduled for the spring quarter. Event sponsors can contact the Office of the Campus Counsel to discuss considerations for event contracts. Information on commencement and guidance on summer event planning will be forthcoming.

Campus Travel

All campus travel scheduled to take place prior to May 3 that does not comply with current shelter-in-place directives should be canceled or postponed. All non-essential business 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

Earlier this month, directives for employees and for research and instructional staff were shared to clarify expectations for working at and physically accessing campus locations. Principal officers have oversight of their divisions in determining the minimum staff members needed to maintain critical on-campus operations. The new COVID-19 administrative pay program launched earlier this month is still in effect and those leave hours can be used prior to December 31, 2020 to support employees unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons. Staff Human Resources has developed an FAQ site to answer many questions related to staff employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic employees may refer to the Academic Personnel Office’s COVID-19 information site. 

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.

Remote Instruction

The Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning is offering resources and essential information for instructors at the Keep Teaching site.  


Both the McHenry Library and the Science and Engineering Library will be closed until further notice. Services that involve accessing or exchanging physical items will not be offered. All patron-facing services will focus solely on online or remote options. More information about resources and contacts are available at the Library Remote Access webpage.  


The bookstore remains closed to walk-in shopping. Online orders for all products can be placed for pickup at the will call window or may be shipped, free of charge. The Express Store will remain open but will follow stringent social distancing guidelines and limit the number of individuals allowed inside at any time. More information can be found at the Bay Tree Bookstore site.

Outdoor Recreation

As outlined in the Santa Cruz Health Department order, outdoor recreation activities, including walking, hiking, bicycling, and running, must be in compliance with physical distancing, which is six feet of distance from other individuals.