COVID-19: Community Update

Date: April 22, 2022

To: UC Santa Cruz students, staff, and faculty

From: Gary Dunn, PhD, interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness, and Elizabeth Miller, DO, Student Health Services Medical Director

Subject: COVID-19: Community update


Dear UC Santa Cruz Community,

We are writing today to address increasing COVID transmission rates on our campus and in the surrounding community. In the past week, our campus seven-day positivity rate increased from 1 to 3.66 percent. Santa Cruz County rates also increased, though not as significantly. 

While we are mindful of the rise in positive cases, we remain encouraged that the vast majority in our community are up to date on their vaccines and thus far there has been little COVID-19 spread in our workplaces and classrooms. Still, the current rates require our continued attention and action. At this time, we wish to remind the community of the importance of engaging in ongoing COVID-mitigation efforts:

We strongly recommend masking indoors. Though masking is no longer required in most campus spaces, we continue to strongly recommend the use of face masks indoors. Because masking remains an effective tool against the transmission of COVID-19 and many other illnesses, free surgical and KN-95 masks continue to be available for pick up at various campus locations. Please note the following spaces and circumstances require masking at all times:

  • Masking is required in UC Santa Cruz clinical settings (e.g., Student Health Services and COVID-19 testing sites) and while riding campus transit vehicles. 
  • As well, per California Department of Public Health, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or is known to be a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual, must wear a mask for 10 days. 

We encourage you to engage in regular COVID-19 testing. UC Santa Cruz continues to offer free, on-campus testing for students, staff, and faculty. In accordance with the Spring Testing Protocol, community members who are not up to date on their vaccinations are required to test every four days. Community members who are up-to-date may test as desired but are encouraged to do so regularly — especially if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have a chronic medical condition. 

We suggest practicing healthy hygiene and COVID-cautious habits. If it’s safe to do so, the CDC advises opening doors and windows as much as you can to bring in fresh, outdoor air when you plan to gather indoors with others. Additionally, continue to practice good hand hygiene, refrain from sharing food or beverages, cover your coughs and sneezes, and, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and contact your local health-care provider for guidance. Symptomatic students should contact the Student Health Services Nurse Advice Line (831-459-2591) during business hours to schedule a COVID-19 test. Employees should stay home and contact their primary-care physician for follow-up. If you test positive for COVID-19, please immediately isolate, and follow the COVID-19 Positive Test Result Instructions

We appreciate your continued support for our community through your response to COVID-19. Our collective efforts are essential to minimizing transmission rates. That said, we will continue to closely monitor local transmission rates and will update the community about significant changes that impact the testing protocol or community actions like indoor masking. 

For now, let’s continue to be mindful of this moment and do our parts to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together, Slugs!


In community,

Gary Dunn, PhD, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness

Elizabeth Miller, DO, Medical Director, Student Health Services