New regional stay-at-home order framework released by Gov. Newsom

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

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

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge across the state, a new regional stay-at-home order framework is being implemented by Gov. Gavin Newsom to help slow the virus’s spread and ensure that medical systems have the capacity to serve those in need of care.

The state has been divided into five regions, and when intensive care unit (ICU) capacity in a region drops below 15 percent, a regional stay-at-home order will promptly go into effect for at least three (3) weeks for the counties in that region. Three weeks after the order is implemented, the state will evaluate it weekly for adjustment. The order will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%.

Currently, no region has dropped to that level, but the Governor’s Office projects most regions will do so within days. Counties will have 48 hours to implement the stay-at-home order once issued by the state. Counties can add more restrictive elements to their local order. Santa Cruz county and Santa Clara county (where our Silicon Valley Campus is located) are in the Bay Area region along with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma. 

The stay-at-home order, once implemented, prohibits private gatherings of any size and also closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail. Individuals traveling to or from critical service sectors to work or obtain services, are allowed to do so. The state has a list of critical infrastructure sectors. Higher education institutions are included in the governmental facilities sector. Once our region enters the stay-at-home order stage, and additional details from our county are released, we will provide additional information. 

Our campus positivity rates and case numbers remain low, though they have increased over the last couple of weeks. We must remain vigilant. Please continue to:

  • Complete your daily symptom check, if you are accessing a campus site

  • Wear a face covering 

  • Abide by posted physical distancing guidelines  

  • Participate in the asymptomatic testing program that has been made available for members of our campus community. 

  • Do not come to work if you are feeling ill

  • Regularly wash your hands 

In addition, we are continuing to ask employees to work remotely if they are able to do so. 

Additionally, and to provide clarification because we have been receiving questions, if a University employee or student tests positive for COVID-19, the campus has a standing protocol  for notifications. The protocol is led by Dr. Elizabeth Miller, our Student Health Center Medical Director, and is in coordination with County Health protocols, Cal OSHA protocols and campus protocols. If a campus community member was at risk, as identified through contact tracing, you will be notified. 

This has been a challenging year. However, the spirit of compassion and mutual respect that our Slugs have shown by following the best practices listed above have demonstrated the best of who we are. Together we are Slug Strong.