Information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Campus status

Last update: July 7, 2020

When fall quarter instruction begins October 1, UC Santa Cruz will offer most courses remotely or online and provide in-person instruction for a small number of courses that cannot be delivered remotely, as is the case for some laboratory, studio and field study courses. Read more. 

The campus will remain open.
Most support services for students, including counseling, advising, and tutoring, will be delivered via Zoom.

Tracking and Reporting COVID-19

COVID-19 requires all of us to be even more attentive to our health, regularly checking for symptoms associated with the virus.

All employees who work on-site at a UCSC property (owner or leased) must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom check questionnaire prior to reporting for work. Effective immediately, these employees must enroll in the program. Learn more about the symptom check program.

  • Employees: If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone who tested positive, please email your supervisor.
  • Supervisors: Report confirmed COVID-19 cases or exposures to the COVID-19 Symptom Check Officer at: Do not include additional health information.
  • Students: If you've tested positive for COVID-19, please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that medical staff members are aware and coordinate care if needed.

A campus shuttle driver who tested positive for COVID-19 died on April 14 of complications related to the virus at a local hospital. Santa Cruz County health officials shared that he had contracted COVID-19 through community spread.

Santa Cruz County announced its first confirmed case on March 7 and currently has 501 cases. People with questions about COVID-19 can call Santa Cruz County at 831-454-4242 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Outside of these hours, people can call United Way of Santa Cruz County at 211 or text "covid19" to 211211.

Campus leaders are taking all appropriate measures to protect our community and closely following the guidance of our state and nation’s top health leaders to ensure we continue to support the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.

Campus COVID-19 summary
Total 6
Current Campus Cases (residing off campus in Santa Cruz County1) 1
Current Campus Cases (residing on campus in Santa Cruz County1) 0
Current Campus Cases (residing outside Santa Cruz County2) 0
Recovered cases 4
Deaths 1
  1. These cases are reported to the campus from the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency
  2. These cases are self-reported by campus community members to UC Santa Cruz

Recent announcements:

Read all campus messages

 Resources and updates


  • For now, the most important thing is for you to do is stay home and seek medical care if you’re feeling sick, especially if you develop a cough or a high temperature. Students should call the Student Health Center at 831-459-2591 for instructions on self-care or to make an appointment. Information about after-hours care for students is available online. Employees should seek medical care through their health coverage.
    • Students: If you've tested positive for COVID-19, please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that medical staff members are aware and coordinate care if needed. 
    • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone who tested positive, please email your supervisor and the Office of Emergency Services (Lisa Ehret, director) at
  • Santa Cruz County issued a new order today that requires staff and patrons at essential businesses to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order is effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 24, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the county health officer.
  • The CDC has guidance for people living together in close quarters, such as people who share a small apartment, or for people who live in the same household with large or extended families.
  • The CDC has guidance for people who are caring for someone with COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings. Learn what to do when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or when someone has been diagnosed with the virus. This information also pertains to people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms.
  • Any permanent residents of the United States returning from high risk level 2 or 3 countries are required to self-quarantine off-campus for 14 days. Contact Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 for information about self-quarantining, health monitoring and other support.
  • 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.
    • Medical questions can be directed to the Nurse Advice line at 831-459-2591. 
  • Students in need of support can reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services. For faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program can provide personal counseling and support.
  • Prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:
    • Not shaking hands
    • Cleaning hands at the door and regularly washing your hands
    • Practicing social distancing: work or study 6 feet away from others
    • Disinfecting surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Read full CDC Guidance

Instruction and Commencement

  • The suspension of in-person instruction, lectures, discussion sections, labs, and studios is now extended to the full spring quarter. The campus also will continue with remote final exams at the end of spring quarter, June 8-12.
  • The campus announced that it will hold virtual commencements in June for the 13 undergraduate main venue events and plan to also have an in-person commencement ceremony when it is safe to reconvene.
    • Students must register for commencement by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 10. Information on how to register can be found on the commencement website.
  • The instructional continuity working group has information online to support instructors to adopt a variety of tools for delivering class sessions in online formats, make changes to assessments and assignments that maintain alignment with learning goals, and respond to situations in which students may need to miss more significant amounts of class.
  • More information about recommended digital tools to use for remote instruction are available online
  • ITS has compiled a list of resources available to the campus community.


  • Principal investigators (PIs) and their research groups/staff may only engage in essential on-campus research continuity activities with the specific approval of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Read more.
  • The Office of Research is providing more information for researchers on its website


  • In order to dramatically reduce the density on campus, UC Santa Cruz strongly urged students who can safely leave to do so. This has provided the remaining students who are not able to leave campus with the recommended space for effective social distancing. Read more.

Campus Operations

  • The campus is not closing. Many campus operations, including student housing and dining, health services and research support operations, will continue to provide services, though some services may be modified as conditions change.
  • The campus will shift to having all facilities placed in after-hours security mode. This means that for all sites, including the residential campus, Coastal Science Campus, Westside Research Park at 2300 Delaware, UCO-Lick at Mount Hamilton, Scotts Valley Center, and Silicon Valley Center, doors will be locked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and access to the facility will be limited to those essential employees who require access and have key/electronic access. This action reflects the need to adequately secure the campus through the period of the county and state directive to shelter in place and may be extended for public safety purposes.
  • Only those employees who must be on campus to maintain critical operations should come to the campus for the time being. Principal Officers should provide guidance on the minimal on-campus operations required during this time and communicate to their staff. 
  • The campus continues to be proactive in its efforts to promote higher levels of sanitation in heavily trafficked and public areas across campus. It remains vital that everyone on campus assist by taking several actions, such as social distancing; thorough hand washing to prevent the spread of disease; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; refraining from shaking hands; washing hands thoroughly before and after traveling from place to place; and cleaning work surfaces in personal work stations. In addition, we are working to expand the locations and number of hand-sanitizing stations across campus.
  • Units are encouraged to work on business continuity planning.
  • Information Technology Services has established a resources page for the campus community. 
  • Campus events and events hosted in/on campus facilities should be canceled or postponed through the remainder of the spring quarter. No new events should be scheduled for the spring quarter. Event sponsors can contact the Office of the Campus Counsel to discuss considerations for event contracts. Information on commencement and guidance on summer event planning will be forthcoming. 
    • Discussions on how to manage commencement are underway and will be communicated soon.

Public Safety

  • Beware of coronavirus scams. Times of crisis are most opportunistic for nefarious hackers. Please be aware that scams and phishing emails are targeting people's growing fears of the coronavirus in order to steal their usernames, passwords, credit cards and other sensitive information. Criminal hackers and scammers have been sending fake coronavirus-themed emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick people into revealing sensitive information, allowing access to their data or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
  • Beware of employment scams. UC Santa Cruz police urge students to be aware of online employment scams, as authorities nationwide are seeing an uptick in student cases, especially with students studying remotely, with many looking for opportunities to earn some extra money.


  • Only those employees who must be on campus to maintain critical operations should come to the campus until further notice. Principal Officers should provide guidance on the minimal on-campus operations required during this time and communicate to their staff. Guidance regarding operations after that date will be forthcoming. All others should work remotely.
  • For those unable to work remotely, and in order to support our employees during this unprecedented time, UC President Janet Napolitano has implemented new leave guidelines.
  • Where possible, campus departments should utilize Zoom (or alternative services) for meetings to reduce travel within the campus or between campus locations. For in-person meetings, social distancing practices should be followed. The guidance above related to gatherings involving more than 50 participants should also be used when making determinations about meeting alterations and cancelations.
  • ITS has compiled a list of resources available to the campus community.
  • If staff would like to forward their office phone to their personal home phone or cell, ITS is able to activate the External Call Forwarding for any person with a university extension. This service is provided at no charge in support of COVID-19 actions. To request this service, please open an IT Request ticket.
  • Ergonomics Tips for Remote Working (PDF) offers tips to follow to stay healthy and safe while working from home. 
  • The campus announced five important temporary system-wide emergency provisions to ensure the campus is maximizing the safety of community members while continuing to deliver on the educational and research mission.

Student Services

Many campus operations, including student housing and dining, health services and research support operations, will continue to provide services, though services are being modified as conditions change.


Service Status More info
Academic Advising Academic Advisers are working remotely and are available for student consultations and appointments. See the link at left for information about making an appointment. Make an advising appointment. Website
Admissions Due to COVID-19 concerns, Undergraduate Admissions has adjusted services. The Welcome Center and front counter at Hahn Student Services is closed until further notice. For general inquiries, please send an email to For campus tours inquiries, please email <>. Website
Athletics and Recreation UC Santa Cruz Physical Education spring courses, Adventure Outings, classes and workshops have been postponed until further notice. Website
East and West Recreation Facilities Closed
Outdoor fields, jogging path, hiking trails, west tennis and basketball courts and fitness multi-station Closed
Bookstore Open 8:30 am to 5 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday. The bookstore will be closed to walk-in shopping. Online orders can be picked up at the will-call window. Website
Express Store 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday The Express Store will remain open and will limit the number of individuals allowed inside at any time. Please put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).
Dean of Students The Dean of Students Office has suspended in-person operations until further notice. It will continue to offer services and support on a remote basis. Website
Slug Support

Available to all students on a remote basis.

The Slug Support Pantry will be partnering with The Cowell Coffee Shop for the Peoples to continue distributing food to UCSC Students. Distribution will take place weekly at the Cowell Coffee Shop: For the Peoples. Appointments are encouraged for each visit, Sign up at Slug Support Pantry Distribution Sign-Up.


Remote CalFresh assistance is available to students. Students can speak to a Calfresh buddy via Zoom or phone for their Calfresh inquiries, applications, questions and concerns. please email to set up an appointment. 

Dining Services Dining Services continues to offer service at the Colleges Nine and Ten Dining Hall Website
Financial Aid Financial Aid inquiries can be sent via email to Website
Health Center To address the needs of students during COVID-19, SHS has many new telehealth services for off-campus students, as well as in-person primary care services for students living in Santa Cruz. Medical, mental health, wellness coaching, and advocacy services are available. Read Health Center COVID-19 updates. Website
Libraries Both the McHenry Library and the Science and Engineering Library will be closed until further notice. Services that involve accessing or exchanging physical items will not be offered. All patron-facing services will focus solely on online or remote options. More information about resources and contacts are available at the Library Remote Access webpage. Website
Mail Services Campus Mail Delivery continues. Please notify if your stop is closed. Website
Registrar Business will be conducted via email, instant messaging, and telephone. Website
Transportation and Parking Services Beginning July 1, 2020, all parking on campus will require the display of an appropriate, valid permit or placard, or a virtual permit payment. Read more. Website
Other UCSC Locations
Arboretum Closed Website
Farm and Garden, and Alan Chadwick Garden Both locations are closed to the public until further notice in order to protect the health of our staff, students, volunteers, and other visitors. Website
Seymour Marine Discovery Center Closed Website

  • As long as campus remains open, student support services will remain open. However, since the campus is working to minimize in-person contacts, there may be fewer in-person staff. Many services and activities will continue remotely, using Zoom, email, and phone. It’s best to check the website of the office you’re interested in to learn more.
  • 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.
  • Students unable to travel or return home during this time due to conditions in their destination or due to other health considerations where travel poses a risk may remain on campus.

International Students and Study Abroad

  • There are no campus-based study-abroad programs operating in the winter quarter, spring quarter, or spring semester 2020 to CDC Level 2 or 3 locations. The system-wide, UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has canceled spring and summer 2020 programs in China, as well as its winter and spring programs in Italy and South Korea. UCEAP has also suspended spring 2020 programs in the Schengen countries in Europe, including Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Read more. 
  • The Office of Global Engagement is providing more information for international students and scholars. Read more


  • UC President Janet Napolitano has advised all UC locations to avoid all non-essential work travel and some international restrictions are in place; employees who travel for work should register to ensure they are covered by UC travel insurance in the case of an emergency. Travelers booked through our online program, Connexxus, are automatically registered for the travel insurance.
    • All non-essential business should be canceled or postponed for the rest of the spring quarter.
    • Principal officers will provide guidance on any needed exceptions, though they must comply with other local and federal travel guidelines.
  • Any university travel to a country with a “Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel” or “Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions” designation must go through the campus approval process prior to travel.
  • Individuals are discouraged broadly from international travel due to the changing nature of US immigration policy, the rapidly evolving COVID–19 outbreak and its impacts. If you travel to a CDC Level 3 country, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Before returning to campus, undergraduate residential students who have recently traveled to affected regions should contact their college’s senior director in order to identify an appropriate quarantine facility. Because of the restrictions on returning to the US, and the rapidly changing COVID–19 situation, international travel is not advised.
  • In addition to the travel guidance outlined here, the previously communicated travel directives outlined by the UC Office of the President remain in effect.
  • Risk Services is providing more information relating to travel and for current travelers.

Principles of Community

In difficult times, our Principles of Community remind us of our core values.

Frequently asked questions

Question: Myself, my child or a member of my household had an interaction with someone who is now showing signs of COVID–19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath). How should I respond?

If you think you may have been exposed but you have no respiratory symptoms or fever, then you do not need a COVID–19 test. Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms, practice social distancing, and contact your health provider only if you develop symptoms. Work directly with your supervisor to determine the best plan for your continued work.

If a household member was in contact with a someone showing symptoms related to cold or flu, monitor the member of your home for symptoms.

In the meantime, practice good hygiene. Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content, avoid large gatherings, avoid touching your face, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home when you’re sick.

Should I inform my supervisor if a member of my household was in contact with someone showing signs of illness?

If your household member was exposed to someone showing signs of fever, cough and shortness of breath, you may wish to monitor members of your household. If symptoms develop, notify your supervisor and work directly with them to develop a plan for your potential absence and eventual return to work.

However, if a member of your household was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID–19, please notify your supervisor. Once notified, work directly with your supervisor to develop a plan for continuing your work.

Should I come to work if I have cold or flu symptoms?

For now, the most important thing to do is stay home and contact your healthcare provider if you’re feeling sick, especially if you develop a cough or a high temperature. Employees should seek medical care through their health coverage.

The following symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you are experiencing symptoms:


More FAQs