Slug Strong update: Low rate of campus COVID cases; UC to again require flu vaccines

Throughout fall quarter, interim Vice Chancellor for Research John MacMillan and Student Health Center Medical Director Elizabeth Miller are providing regular updates about efforts to support the campus community’s health and well-being. 

Dear Campus Community, 

We hope everyone has hit their stride as we enter the third full week of instruction. Our combination of having a highly vaccinated campus community, requiring face coverings indoors, and regular asymptomatic testing program continues to be effective. 

Our campus lab ran nearly 2,000 tests from Oct. 4-10 and our vendor Fulgent ran an additional 286 tests. Six students—two on campus and four off campus—and two employees tested positive. All are taking the appropriate precautions to avoid further spread. We have found no evidence of community spread. 

We appreciate everyone’s efforts in helping to support the community’s health and well-being. As you can see, it makes a difference.

Summary of Updates

  • Status update on campus and in Santa Cruz County
  • Like last year, UC requiring flu vaccines for students, employees

Status Update

  • Small number of positive COVID-19 tests among students: As mentioned above, we recorded six positive cases among students and two among employees. Two of the students live on campus and four live off campus. 
  • High vaccination rate in our campus community: As of today, 95 percent of UC Santa Cruz students and 98 percent of employees have complied with our COVID vaccine policy. The campus continues to work toward bringing the remaining people into compliance. 
  • Slug Strong dashboard offers regular updates: Our COVID-19 dashboard is updated regularly and provides a breakdown of COVID-19 cases.   
  • Santa Cruz County dashboard shows decline in new cases: The county currently has 441 active cases, which is a 21 percent decline over the past 14 days.
  • Mask up! Though Santa Cruz County no longer has a mask mandate, UC Santa Cruz continues to require face coverings in most indoor situations. 

Like last year, UC requiring flu vaccines for students, employees

The University of California last week issued a systemwide executive order requiring all covered students, faculty, other academic appointees and staff to, by Nov. 19, 2021, get vaccinated against influenza or opt out using a form supplied by their location after receiving information about flu vaccine.

The campus will provide more information about how to submit proof of a flu vaccine soon. In the meantime, everyone should try to get vaccinated when they have the time. 

Students can get flu shots Oct. 27-28 at the Hay Barn. Registration details are coming soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Student Health Center immunizations page for more information.

Employees should contact their healthcare provider to find out how to get a flu vaccine.