Santa Cruz County updates shelter-in-place order

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services

UC Santa Cruz continues to address the challenges created by COVID-19. I want to thank everyone in our campus community for their patience during this difficult time. Public health continues to be our top priority. The changes to our campus operations have been implemented with a goal of keeping our campus community as safe as possible, while still ensuring our students have access to the knowledge and expertise that comes with a UC Santa Cruz education even though the method of delivery has adapted.

I also want to acknowledge the uncertainty that has become part of our daily life and the impact it has on our students, staff, and faculty. The members of our campus community are having to juggle campus responsibilities, family needs, and a host of other issues. Our campus has counseling resources to help employees and students who are in need. 

Our efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 will be ongoing and adapt based on public health considerations, and guidance from the state, county, and other agencies. 

Updated county shelter-in-place order

Santa Cruz County announced yesterday that it is extending its shelter in place order and that it will remain in effect until further notice. The county also added more essential activities and essential businesses that will be allowed to operate under the order under certain conditions. The revised order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. today (Friday, May 1). I encourage all of you to read the order to see how it impacts your individual situation.

UC Santa Cruz continues to be defined in the order as an essential business, and activities we undertake for purposes of facilitating remote learning or performing essential activities are allowed, provided that people wear face coverings and that physical distancing of six-feet between persons is maintained to the greatest extent possible. There are new protocols outlined in the order regarding physical distancing and we are working to ensure we are in compliance. We are also reviewing the various aspects of the order to determine if there are any additional adjustments needed to our operations. The Office of Emergency Services will continue to provide Social Distancing Protocols as outlined in the order and COVID-19 safety signs for building principals to post at each main entrance. Managers and supervisors shall ensure signage has been posted or disseminated.  

Our operations at the Silicon Valley Campus are governed by orders issued by Santa Clara County.  We will work with leaders at that location to ensure that they are in compliance with the new orders issued by Santa Clara county earlier this week. 

Both the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara orders contain face covering requirements. For the UCSC locations, this includes wearing a face cover when:

  • interacting in person with any member of the public

  • working in any space visited by members of the public

  • working or walking through common areas, e.g. hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities

  • preparing food for distribution

  • in close proximity to others

  • waiting for or riding in public transit

  • driving public transit, with or without passengers

There are a limited set of situations in which someone does not need to wear a face covering, such as while driving a car alone or working in an office alone, so long the public does not regularly visit the room.

Outdoor spaces

Earlier this month, UC Santa Cruz lifted some access and location restrictions while still maintaining closures of other locations. We have further adjusted our restrictions to now allow access to trails. It is critical that we prevent the spread of COVID-19, so the campus has decided that the following locations will remain with restricted or closed access.

  • Coastal Science Campus (limited access to campus, coastal trail accessible)

  • Westside Research Park (2300 Delaware Ave.)

  • Workout area near Police Department (Lot 105)

  • Pathway through The Village and footpath to/from East Remote

  • Pogonip Lookout at Coolidge Drive

  • Stevenson Knoll 

  • Main campus entrance grass area

  • Lower East Field

  • East Field (walking/running track is open for use but physical distancing is expected)

  • East Field workout area, basketball courts, and all of OPERS

  • Quarry Amphitheater

  • Family Student Housing Softball Field

  • Playgrounds at: Family Student Housing, Ranch View Terrace, Hagar Court

  • Rachel Carson College: Tennis Courts, Basketball Courts and adjacent grass area

  • Oakes College: Lower West Field 

Although campus trails are now accessible, restrictions remain in effect for areas where group gatherings may occur or areas where we have had challenges with people practicing physical distancing as provided in the county order. Additionally, access to playgrounds and other recreational equipment has been restricted due to the challenges of ensuring adequate sanitization of equipment. These restrictions will be in place until the campus determines it is appropriate to reopen these locations. We will continue to monitor and reassess these decisions based on state and local guidance.

I am so grateful for all of our employees who are working diligently to implement and monitor our compliance with these directives. As state, county and campus guidance and mandates continue to adapt, we will update the campus community with changes.