Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 requires us to be flexible. The questions below are mean to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Please be advised that some descriptions may refer to resources, buildings, or providers of activities whose offices are currently closed. However, in nearly every case, those offices are available via the web, email, phone, etc. If you aren’t finding the information you are looking for here, please share your questions with us, and we’ll get back to you.

General

When will in-person instruction resume?

As a campus, we remain focused on resuming an in-person educational experience for our students on Jan. 31.

Students who are already on campus or in the area will find increasing opportunities for in-person interaction and learning over the next several weeks.

Housing

My roommate has tested positive. Why haven’t they already been relocated to isolation housing?

We are working diligently to move all students living on-campus who test positive to isolation housing. Due to the high case load right now, there are unavoidable delays. Until the known COVID positive student is moved, please continue to follow campus guidelines to minimize your risk of exposure: all roommates/housemates should wear a well-fitting mask (such as, a fitted N95, KN95, KF94) at all times – even while sleeping. Masks can be picked up from your local housing office. Ventilate your living space by keeping windows open as much as possible, physically distance among yourselves as much as possible, and regularly disinfecting shared spaces. Disinfectant supplies can be obtained from your local Housing Office.

We realize this is an uncomfortable situation. There are many steps that must be taken until a positive student can be moved. Please be kind and supportive toward each other during this time.

Are guests allowed in on-campus housing?

There are no guest restrictions at this time, but we advise that you check with your roommates or housemates to make sure you are on the same page on how to handle guests. All visitors to the campus must complete a daily symptom check for guests. If a guest or visitor is not feeling well or tests positive for COVID, they should not come to campus. Guests should complete this form before arriving on campus.

Will there be any college or athletics programming?

The College Programming Offices are focusing on virtual events to keep our communities connected and thriving. Athletics and Recreation highlights a number of winter quarter offerings in their newsletter.

Testing

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

Students, faculty, and staff can sign up for an appointment to get a COVID-19 test with Fulgent Genetics from Monday through Friday. Instructions are available online and the samples are collected at the Merrill Cultural Center.

Weekend testing is also available with self-administered kits that will be provided and collected on a first-come first-served basis from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday outside the Porter Dining Hall, as well as at the Merrill Cultural Center.

If you are not feeling well or test positive, do not come to campus. Please call 1-800-809-6097 for additional instructions, or read this information about what to do. You will need to isolate per CDPH guidelines. You will need to postpone your return until your COVID test is negative or your healthcare provider has cleared you.

I’ve tested positive. What should I do?

If you are a student, you can call 1-800-809-6097 for additional instructions, or read this information about what to do.

If you are an employee, please immediately notify your manager and Cindy Delgado with Risk Services at cadelgad@ucsc.edu or 831-888-7253 for next steps and available resources. Stay home and do not go in-person to work.

My roommate has tested positive. Why haven’t they already been relocated to isolation housing?

We are working diligently to move all students living on-campus who test positive to isolation housing. Due to the high case load right now, there are unavoidable delays. Until the known COVID positive student is moved, please continue to follow campus guidelines to minimize your risk of exposure: all roommates/housemates should wear a well-fitting mask (such as, a fitted N95, KN95, KF94) at all times – even while sleeping. Masks can be picked up from your local housing office. Ventilate your living space by keeping windows open as much as possible, physically distance among yourselves as much as possible, and regularly disinfecting shared spaces. If they’re not there already, custodial services will soon be leaving disinfectant supplies in residence hall shared bathrooms. Make use of those supplies.

Make sure to schedule/get your booster as soon as possible. The deadline to get and submit proof of your booster is Monday, January 31st.

We realize this is an uncomfortable situation. There are many steps that must be taken until a positive student can be moved. We are getting better at this every day. We are adding resources every day to speed up this process. Meanwhile, please be kind and supportive toward each other. If possible, support your ill roommate/housemate by offering to pick up meals for them at the dining hall.

How is the campus minimizing the spread of COVID-19 at the testing sites?

Students, faculty and staff should upgrade their masks, wearing an N95, KN95 or a surgical mask beneath a cloth mask whenever they are indoors.

By scheduling appointments, UC Santa Cruz is working to minimize lines at the testing sites as well.

Why is the campus working with outside vendors for COVID-19 testing?

Since the fall quarter, Fulgent Genetics provided COVID-19 testing for our campus to supplement the testing capacity of our own campus diagnostic laboratory. As previously announced, amid regulatory changes and the increase in commercial testing for COVID-19, the Colligan Clinical Diagnostic Lab (CCDL) ended its COVID testing. During winter break, the campus transitioned all of its COVID-19 testing to Fulgent Genetics. As you may be aware, the CCDL was created at the beginning of the pandemic when there was not enough readily available commercial testing for COVID-19. Two years into the pandemic, there are now many more testing options allowing this opportunity to work with vendors consistent with our goal to make operational decisions based on the evolving conditions of the pandemic and campus needs.

Why are some samples sequenced by Fulgent Genetics?

Sequencing COVID-19 positive samples is a critical component for researchers to track the evolution of the virus and detect and identify different COVID-19 variants. Like many COVID-19 diagnostic testing laboratories, Fulgent sequences some, but not all, of the COVID-19 positive samples that are tested in its lab. Sequencing results are deidentified and shared (not sold) with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.

An individual’s DNA is not being sequenced and Fulgent is not selling any individual genetic information. When a positive sample is sequenced they are sequencing the virus to get the particular SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence that was present in that positive sample. They are not sequencing human DNA. Sequencing the virus helps researchers identify which COVID-19 variants are in a particular community and identify new variants.

Will there be additional testing options?

UC Santa Cruz is planning to expand testing availability and will share more information later this quarter. We want to make sure that testing for COVID-19 is quick and easy.

Dining

Are dining halls open?

Yes, dining halls are open and serving food, visit the Dining website for more details.

Transportation

Are campus shuttles still running?

Yes, Loop, Upper Campus, and Night Upper Campus shuttles are continuing to run on their regular schedule. The Bike Shuttle will continue to run in a limited capacity for winter, with service changes for breaks, holidays, and rainy days. Make sure you’re following TAPS on Instagram and Twitter for updates. Also, remember, no mask, no ride.

Are METRO buses still running?

Yes, METRO buses are continuing to run on their regular schedule. Visit scmtd.com to view current schedules and to sign up for text or email updates. Also, remember, no mask, no ride.

Will TAPS be issuing permit refunds due to the remote instruction extension?

At this time, TAPS is adhering to the current refund/return policy for long term permits and bus passes. TAPS has posted recommendations for whether or not a permit return would be advised for various situations with next steps for your situation. You can view their recommendations here.

I have scratch-off permits that expired December 31st, can I return them?

As an exception to policy in light of COVID impacts, TAPS is accepting scratch-off permits that expired December 31, 2021 for exchange for scratch off permits with a later expiration date through January 31, 2022. View the eligibility and return process guidelines here.

Is the TAPS Sales Office still open?

The TAPS Sales Office is continuing to operate during their regular business hours. Please be advised that an increase in permit returns, exchanges, and reinstatement may cause delays and longer than normal lines at this time.

Study Spaces

Are there spaces on campus where I can take remote classes?

Classrooms are open for students to use for watching lecturers or studying. Upgraded masks, such as KN95 or a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask, must be worn indoors. The library’s study rooms also are available for reservation. Weather permitting, the Quarry Amphitheatre is also a great outdoor, safe space to study in the bleachers and it has its own wifi.

Holding Up Under the Stress of COVID-19

I am concerned about affording the costs associated with my studies and/or residency at UCSC – what resources are available to help me develop a plan for success?

The campus offers a number of services for students facing all manner of challenges. The Financial Aid and Scholarships office regularly works to minimize financial barriers to support students in achieving their educational goals. The Division of Student Affairs and Success and their Slug Support Team can also provide advice and support to students facing challenges.

Student Health Outreach & Promotion (SHOP) offers wellness coaching on a broad variety of topics including General Wellness, Sexual Health, Alcohol and Drugs, Nutrition, Time Management and more.

I’m feeling worse than just being stressed out – who can I speak with?

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a variety of Counseling services that are available for any registered UCSC student and are confidential. There is no out-of-pocket fee for CAPS services, and you don’t need UC SHIP or CruzCare to be seen at CAPS.

There are times when I really want to talk to or spend time with people who have had experiences similar to mine and who have likely faced similar struggles. Are there resources that can connect me with people who will understand my identity/identities?

The Resource Centers comprise the four Ethnic Resource Centers: African American Resource and Cultural Center, American Indian Resource Center, Asian American / Pacific Islander Resource Center, and “El Centro” the Chicano Latino Resource Center; as well as the Cantú Queer Center, and the Women’s Center. The centers are currently physically closed, but staff can still be reached by phone or email.

Accommodations are important to my success. Who can I speak with to help secure these valuable resources?

The Disability Resource Center (DRC), exists to assist the UCSC campus with equal educational access for students with disabilities. Its offices are currently closed but is holding remote appointments via phone and video.

Staying Informed

Information about the pandemic keeps changing – where can I easily find up-to-date information that ranges from right here in Santa Cruz on up to the global situation?

The State of California, Santa Cruz County, and the City of Santa Cruz each have regularly updated sites where you should be able to find information about current public health orders and more.

UCSC maintains a page that tracks incidences of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff. The Health Services Agency for Santa Cruz County provides a forecast model and analyses providing historical data as well as projections. Johns Hopkins University & Medicine keeps a dashboard with statistical data and maps (from global down to individual counties) that tracks the spread of this disease.

Students Living Off-Campus

Do you have any advice on how I would go about looking for off-campus living arrangements?

UCSC’s Community Rentals Office has helpful information available for both renters and landlords.

Where in Santa Cruz County can I be COVID-19 tested?

In addition to the on-campus testing locations, there are several locations in the county that offer COVID-19 Testing. The County’s Health Services Agency has aTesting Locator that provides a map showing testing locations with address, hours of service, and contact information.