Issuance of state higher education guidance

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

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

Friday afternoon, the California Department of Public Health released its guidance for institutions of higher education. This information provides clarity on some of the critical mitigations that California campuses must have in place as they work to resume additional on-site operations. 

We are actively reviewing our operational plans and protocols to ensure that we are meeting the state’s expectations. Based on an initial review, the campus planning approach aligns well with the various requirements laid out by the state. The ability to offer certain indoor operations continues to be tied to the state monitoring list and whether counties are on that list. The state guidelines state “For counties on the State County Data Monitoring List for three consecutive days, indoor lectures are prohibited. Courses offered in specialized indoor settings (e.g., labs, studio arts), whose design imposes substantial physical distancing on participants based on the nature of work performed in the space, are permitted.” 

As a reminder, our current approach for fall quarter is to offer most courses remotely or online and provide in-person instruction for a small number of courses, including laboratory, studio and field research courses. Course locations are under review and will be adapted to ensure compliance with state directives.

We have significantly reduced the density of on-campus housing. Students in residence halls will be in singles, while campus apartments will be a mix of single and double occupancy. Operations required to be in-person for fall in order to support this approach are currently under review.

As previously shared, we anticipate that employees who can effectively continue working remotely will do so at least until Jan. 4, 2021.

In addition to the state guidelines, the UC Office of the President announced on Friday that all members of the UC community are required to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020. More information will be forthcoming when the vaccine is available and campus flu clinics are announced.

For more information on our planning efforts, please visit our recovery site at In addition, a recording of Friday’s information forum for campus employees, which took place prior to the issuance of this guidance, is available online. For detailed information on our resumption plan, you can access the campus’s full resumption plan online or as a briefing book that covers the basic elements of the plan. 

Though we now have this state guidance, we are aware that conditions can change and we need to be prepared to pivot our plans should state or county conditions and directives require.