Campus Update on Monkeypox

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Gary Dunn, Ph.D., interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness, and Elizabeth Miller, D.O., Student Health Services Medical Director

Subject: Campus update on Monkeypox


Dear UC Santa Cruz community,

We are writing to provide you with some information about Monkeypox and our campus response and preparedness efforts. On August 1, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency to bolster California's vaccination efforts. The proclamation will elevate the work underway by the California Department of Public Health and others in the administration. It will allow a fully coordinated response to monkeypox, for the state to lead outreach and education efforts, and access to additional vaccines and treatment.

UC Santa Cruz Student Health Services has partnered with local and state public health departments and has access to the vaccine (JYNNEOS) and antiviral (Tecovirimat (TPOXX)) treatments against monkeypox for students who are eligible. 

At this time, we are prioritizing the JYNNEOS vaccine for preventative use for students who are at high risk because they were notified of an exposure within the past 14 days and/or those who meet the following criteria: 

  • Presumed contacts who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox
  • Known close contacts who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.

TPOXX is an antiviral treatment option for those who have been diagnosed, or have lesions and a known contact with monkeypox but are not yet diagnosed. 

If You Have Symptoms or Have Been Exposed

  • Wear a mask and cover your rashes and sores until you get them checked by a medical provider as soon as possible.
  • Take a break from in-person gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal skin-to-skin contact. This includes sexual activity.

Students who think they might meet the criteria for vaccination or have symptoms are advised to contact Student Health Services: 

  • Nurse Advice Line: (831) 459-2591
  • Health e-Messenger: questions or concerns about risk, symptoms or exposure - Messages > New Message > Monkeypox Question

Staff and faculty are advised to contact their health care provider or visit Santa Cruz Health Services Agency for more information. 

We understand that hearing about another public health risk in our community can be concerning and encourage students to reach out to Student Health Services with any questions and to contact CAPS for mental health resources. Staff and faculty can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program for free mental health support.

It is important to note that while the public health emergency designation will allow jurisdictions to allocate more resources, California Department of Public Health states that the risk of monkeypox to the public is currently low. Being aware of the symptoms and how to prevent or treat the virus is an important step in educating ourselves and the UCSC campus community about monkeypox and the potential threat to public health. We will continue to monitor the situation closely in the days and weeks to come.

In community,

Gary Dunn, Ph.D.

Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness


Elizabeth Miller, D.O.

Medical Director, Student Health Services