Fall 2022 campus update

To: Campus Community

From: Biju Kamaleswaran Interim Vice Chancellor, Division of Finance, Operations, and Administration

Dear Campus Community,

We look forward to welcoming you back to UC Santa Cruz in the coming days and weeks. As we approach the start of the fall quarter, we find ourselves in a considerably better position for managing COVID-19 than in the previous two years of the pandemic. We will continue with our mission of education and research with fewer restrictions this fall than we have had in the past. Our campus community has an extremely high vaccination rate, and more COVID-19 treatment options are available. As we offer these latest health guidelines, we ask you to remain flexible as our policies may need to change. We are confident that, as Slugs, we will continue to work together for the well-being of our campus community. Below is what you can expect when you return to campus.

The Highlights

  • Testing Requirements
  • Mask Requirements
  • Vaccination Requirements
  • Vaccination Clinics
  • Monkeypox (MPX) Treatment
  • Campus Badge Update
  • Isolation Update

Testing Requirements

Students who Live in University Housing

Testing 24 hours before you come to campus is required with an at-home rapid antigen test. Please do not come to campus if you test positive or are symptomatic. Instead, please contact your Housing Coordinator to reschedule your move-in date and follow these instructions from Student Health Services.

After you arrive, you will need to take a PCR test within a week. It’s super easy, and no appointment is necessary! You will be given a PCR test kit when you receive your keys during move-in.

Students who Live Off Campus

Testing 24 hours before you come to campus is required with an at-home rapid antigen test. Please do not come to campus if you test positive. Please follow these instructions from Student Health Services.

After you arrive, you will also be required to take a PCR test within a week. When you arrive on campus, please pick up a PCR test kit. Kits will be available after Sept. 17 at the College Housing Offices, Bay Tree Campus Store, McHenry Library, or the Science and Engineering Library.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff are not required to test. However, if you have attended a crowded event without a mask or have had possible exposure, testing is strongly recommended before you return to campus to support the health of our campus community. After Sept. 17, you can pick up a free PCR test kit at the Bay Tree Campus Store, McHenry Library, or the Science and Engineering Library, or check with your medical provider for alternative testing resources. You can also sign up to receive eight free at-home tests through USPS to a non-campus address delivered right to your door.

Ongoing Testing

Ongoing (surveillance) testing is not currently required for students, faculty, or staff (unless you are a university healthcare worker). However, free asymptomatic testing is still available for the campus at the following locations. Testing will help to protect your health and your fellow Slugs.

Mask Requirements

Masks will still be required in clinical settings, such as Student Health Services and indoor COVID-19 testing sites. Wearing masks in other indoor spaces, such as classrooms, dining facilities, and on Campus Transit vehicles / METRO buses, is strongly recommended. The university continues to provide free masks to the campus community. They can be picked up at the following locations.

Vaccination Requirements

The UC Vaccination Policy for COVID-19 remains in effect. If you are new to campus, you must enter your vaccination dates and upload your COVID-19 vaccination card. If you do not upload proof of vaccination or show proof of filing a request for an exception, you will not be in compliance with the Policy . All students (both undergraduate and graduate) are required to adhere to the UC Vaccination Policy. Students may be referred to student conduct (or to Staff HR as an employee) for non-compliance with university policy.

Vaccination Clinics

Student Health Services will hold vaccination clinics for COVID and flu for students at the Stevenson Event Center from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Sept. 22 and 23. Appointments will be available two weeks before these dates.

Risk Services is partnering with Kaiser to provide flu shot clinics for employees on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Bay Tree Conference Center.

Monkeypox (MPX) Treatment

Student Health Services has partnered with local and state public health departments to get access to the vaccine (JYNNEOS) and antiviral (Tecovirimat (TPOXX) treatments against MPX (formerly referred to as monkeypox) for eligible students. However, we have an extremely limited vaccine supply at this time. We are prioritizing students who are close contacts with a known MPX case or those who are considered high risk.

Students who meet the following criteria may be eligible for the JYNNEOS vaccine:

  • Presumed contacts who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • Individuals in a Tier I or Tier II high-risk priority group as defined by the California Department of Public Health.
  • Known close contacts who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.

Students with questions or concerns about their MPX risk, symptoms , exposure, or testing, are advised to contact Student Health Services via Health e-Messenger: click Messages > New Message > Monkeypox Disease Questions. Or Health e-Messenger - questions about eligibility for the Monkeypox vaccine: click Messages > New Message > Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility Questionnaire or call the Nurse Advice Line: (831) 459-2591.

Campus Badge Update

The campus COVID-19 student badging system is no longer in use. The campus notification system remains in operation. When students test positive using a campus testing facility, notifications will be sent to the student’s instructors. All students who test positive (either on campus or off) have been asked to notify all of their close contacts, including their instructors.

Isolation Update


Most of our campus community is up-to-date on their vaccinations, and there are more therapeutics available now to reduce the severity of COVID. Students living in university housing who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate in place. For any roommates with underlying medical conditions, we have temporary accommodations available for the period their roommate is in isolation.

Monkeypox (MPX)

Students who test positive for monkeypox (MPX) may not isolate themselves in their on-campus residence. The isolation team will further instruct you about isolation at appropriate temporary accommodations.

Thank you for working with us to keep our campus community healthy this fall.