Next phase of building resumption - additional buildings cleared to open

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

As UC Santa Cruz works through the stages of recovery from the wildfires that continue to burn in our county, campus crews have been diligently working to assess systems, clean facilities, and do needed safety assessments.

I am pleased to report that another phase of buildings has been cleared to resume operations, and I am modifying further the campus emergency declaration. Effective immediately, the following areas of campus have been cleared to resume operations:

  • Biomedical Building
  • Cowell College Dining Facility (not open for in-person dining, only meal preparation for the county and evacuees)
  • Early Education Services
  • Molecular Diagnostic Lab for COVID-19 testing and Sinsheimer Laboratories
  • Provost Houses: Merrill, Oakes, and Porter Provost Houses - note that other residential areas in these colleges have not yet been released for repopulation
  • Student Health Services

There are some very important things to remember as we resume operations in these locations:

  • Reopened locations may only resume operations that were in effect on Aug. 20, 2020, prior to campus emergency declaration and had been approved through the COVID-19 resumption process.
  • Air quality remains a concern due to wildfires in the area. We continue to track air quality, and will utilize the UC guidance for addressing air quality to inform any subsequent actions we need to take. Although air quality tests have been completed throughout campus and may be at acceptable levels, there still may be smoke odor in or around buildings. Should your department need assistance with mitigating the smoke odor, please contact EH&S staff and they will assist you.
  • Unless you are heading to one of the buildings that has been cleared for resumption, do not attempt to access campus. 

We continue to ensure that students who were living on campus and evacuated are supported and have a place to stay while we work to reopen student housing. Family Student Housing, which receives power from a different grid than the rest of the campus, remains without electricity. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has not given us a timeline for when power will be restored.

Campus teams continue their work to get other facilities cleared of smoke and ash, and I am appreciative of all their hard work, both in times of emergency and during our regular operations.

The health and wellbeing of our campus is most important, and we will only reopen buildings after they have been cleared by the Campus Fire Marshal, Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), and our Physical Plant Department.

Thank you for your patience as we work through the stages of operational recovery. We will continue to update you as additional buildings are cleared to open. Please continue to visit our wildfire information site.