Campus update on COVID-19 for students

March 10, 2020

To: UC Santa Cruz students
From: Jaye Padgett, Vice Provost, Student Success, and Sue Matthews, Associate Vice Chancellor, Colleges, Housing and Educational Services (CHES)

Subject: Additional information for students about campus services

Dear students,

By now you’ve probably seen the announcement from Chancellor Cynthia Larive about new campus measures designed to help limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk on campus. If you haven’t read it, please do. The information section below is meant to give you more guidance.

The facts related to COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County are changing rapidly, so it’s important to keep checking in. Please read all email communications. The campus is also busy updating websites to keep you informed. The most up-to-date information can be found online on our coronavirus webpage.

General questions

  • What if I have concerns about the coronavirus? A good way to manage any worries about COVID-19 is to stay as informed as possible. The CDC has posted some very good information.
  • Is the campus closing? No. Campus buildings will remain open, and many campus units, including student housing, dining, health services, and counseling and psychological services, will continue to provide services, though some services may be modified. Please pay attention to future communications in case this changes.
  • What’s different? We are moving away from most in-person classes this week (but not necessarily all), canceling large gatherings, and cutting back on other gatherings, encouraging people to respect some social distance, and doing some meetings remotely. 
  • Should I go home? The campus is encouraging students to go home (to their permanent residence) as soon as they can, continuing their studies remotely. Finals will not be in person. But if you have a class this week that can’t easily be done remotely, such as a lab or studio, it may still be meeting in person. Contact your instructor if you have any questions.
  • What if I can’t go home? We know that some students, for a number of reasons, may not be able to go home. It is perfectly fine to stay on campus in that case. We will continue to serve you, even if some services are handled a bit differently.
  • When should I come back? Classes will continue to be held remotely during the whole first week of spring quarter, through April 3. This COVID-19 outbreak is a quickly changing situation, so please continue to check for updates regarding spring quarter.
  • Do I need to move out of my residence? No. You may remain in your on-campus residence through spring break. If you are able to, however, you are encouraged to return to your permanent place of residence so that you may limit social contact with others.  
  • Will there be dining services? Yes, dining services will continue to operate, although there may be modifications to services or hours of operations. 
  • Will I be able to eat over spring break? Yes, there will be a few campus facilities open over spring break that will accept cash or flexi-dollars. Dining meal cards will not be accepted for meal equivalency swipes or for 5- or 7-day meal-plan holder usage. This period was not calculated into the cost of the meal plan. Students unable to pay for their meal may sign up at the register to be billed separately. Slug Support can be of assistance for students who cannot afford their meals over spring break.  Please contact the Dean of Students Office at
  • What should I do if I was planning to participate in an EAP or UCDC program that has been canceled?  Please contact the Housing Office to arrange for spring on-campus housing accommodations. We have housing space for you!
Student Support Services
  • What’s happening to student support services, such as the Disability Resource Center, the Career Center, Slug Support, etc? As long as campus remains open, student support services will remain open. However, since we’re working to minimize in-person contacts, there may be fewer in-person staff. Many services and activities will continue remotely, using Zoom, email, phone, etc. It’s best to check the website of the office you’re interested in to learn more.
  • Are College Student Life and Slug Support services still here to help? Yes, absolutely. College Student Life staff remain available and accessible in their local units. The Slug Support Office is still here to support you if you are experiencing financial hardship or other challenges including any related to COVID-19. Email to set up an appointment with Slug Support case managers. 
  • What about the food pantries? The Dean of Students pantry is open this week with regular business hours. The SUA pantry is closed this week. Both pantries will be closed during finals week. If you are experiencing food insecurity during finals week, email to contact a Slug Support case manager.  The Family Student Housing Food Pantry via Second Harvest Food Bank will continue to be available. Bags of food will be pre-sorted for distribution. 
  • What about tutoring and supplementary instruction? Most or all of this will happen remotely, using Zoom. You should hear from your tutors.
Student Health Services
  • Will I be able to access health care at Student Health Services? Yes. Student Health Services (including the Medical Services, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Optometry, CAPS, CARE, and SHOP) will remain open for students who are local or remaining on campus. 
Students who have fever and/or a cough or shortness of breath AND recent travel to a CDC level 2 (currently Japan) or level 3 country: You must first call SHS to arrange for appropriate precautions prior to visiting the SHS. Call 831-459-2591.

Phone and online access are available for the following students:
  • Any student, including those who are no longer on campus or in the Santa Cruz area
  • Those who have traveled to a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country within the past 14 days
  • Those who have respiratory symptoms and who have traveled to a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country or are a known contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Those who wish to use after hours services or self-help online care resources
Student Health Services providers by phone:
  • Medical visits: Speak with a Student Health Center nurse during normal business hours or the after-hours nurse advice service by calling 831-459-2591.
  • Mental health visits: Speak to Counseling and Psychological Services counselors, psychiatrists, and case managers by calling 831-459-2628 during business hours. After hours, call 831-459-2628, and select option 3 from the automated menu. 
Additional online care options:
  • LiveHealth Online: Have secure, online video visits with licensed mental health professionals. LiveHealth online has a co-pay and no referral is needed.
  • Therapy Assistance Online and WellTrack: Use interactive tools and self-care exercises for mental health concerns.
What should I do if I’ve traveled internationally and need to return to campus? Any students returning from high risk level 2 or 3 countries  are required to self-quarantine off-campus for 14 days. Contact SHS at 831-459-2000 for information about self-quarantining, health monitoring and other support. 

What should I do if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 while away from campus? Please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that we can be aware and coordinate care if needed.