COVID-19 Planning Update

To: UCSC employees

From: Vice Chancellor Sarah Latham, Business and Administrative Services

Dear colleagues,

Over the past four months, every member of our Banana Slug community has been impacted by COVID-19. In spite of the personal impacts of the pandemic, we have seen countless faculty and staff, whether remote or in-person, demonstrate their passion and commitment to our campus mission and to our students. During this time, more than 200 members of our campus community have played an active role in the task teams and work groups charged with recovery and resiliency planning. This communication is an update on those efforts.

Current situation
Coronavirus case numbers in our state and in the counties in which UC Santa Cruz has operations continue to rise. Santa Cruz County surpassed the 500 total cases mark this week, with the number of confirmed cases growing at an elevated rate over the past two weeks. We continue to monitor state and county data as we plan for fall quarter. At this point, all campus operations that can operate remotely will remain remote. California has yet to permit higher education to resume unrestricted in-person instruction and operations. It is unclear when that will happen and what, if any, guidelines will be put in place. As communicated by Chancellor Larive in June, if we are permitted to do so by the state, and if local conditions allow, we will offer a small number of laboratory, studio, field study, and field research courses in person this fall. The majority of our classes will be offered remotely or online.

A protocol has been developed to review any additional operations that should be resumed on-site this fall. We are currently working with principal officers across all divisions to identify those operations. We anticipate that employees who can effectively continue working remotely will do so at least until Jan. 4, 2021.

Operational resumption planning and new website
In my June planning update to campus, I laid out several areas of planning and the implementation of several mitigation measures as we move through summer and prepare for fall quarter. I also referenced the release of our campus resumption plan. This plan has now been posted and is available on our new UCSC COVID-19 recovery website. The resumption plan is considered a living document, and will be updated regularly as planning progresses, conditions change, and our plans adapt. In addition to the full plan, a briefing booklet is available that covers the key elements of the plan and campus mitigations. As with the larger plan, the briefing book will also be adapted as conditions change.

In addition to these planning materials, the new recovery website provides an array of resources and information on support for students, faculty and staff. We hope this new layout will better serve the information needs of our campus.

Information sessions
Over the next three months, we will conduct regular information sessions to keep the campus community updated on planning efforts. Some sessions will be broad in topic and intended for all employees, while others will be targeted in topic and population. The first information session is tentatively scheduled for the week of July 27, and will provide an update on planning efforts and the six areas of campus mitigation: symptom checks, training, worksite plans, testing, compliance, and the Slug Strong actions that every member of the community can take. Weblink information and the form for submitting questions will be forthcoming in Tuesday Newsday and posted on the recovery website.

Slug Strong: Do your part
Every member of the UC Santa Cruz community will have a critical role to play in our campus efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. On the new website, we have outlined the six Slug Strong actions each of us can take.
Thank you so much for everything you do to support our campus community as we continue down the path of recovery and resilience.

Thank you so much for everything you do to support our campus community as we continue down the path of recovery and resilience.