In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community and to assist our students, faculty and staff in managing the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has taken a number of actions and adopted a range of practices and protocols. They are outlined in the following announcements.
COVID-19 Remains a Concern for Fall '23 Quarter
The COVID-19 Response team notes that COVID-19 cases increased over the summer and that other college and universities have seen an uptick in cases as their academic years have begun. The team recommends that community members get the recently-approved vaccine and practice mitigation measures like hand washing and face coverings if needed, test if symptoms occur, and report cases.
Workplace Exposure Information
The COVID-19 Response team continues to encourage all faculty, staff, and student employees to self-report their COVID-19 infections, in order to comply with CalOSHA and State regulations requiring notification of exposed close contact co-workers. Beginning July 1, 2023, along with individual confidential notifications through the UCSB MyHealth Portal, campus locations of known positive cases will also be listed on the Workplace Exposure Information page to enable more widespread notifications. Please note that the university's COVID-19 dashboard has been discontinued as a means of tracking overall COVID-19 case numbers since the widespread use of home testing has made these numbers unreliable.
COVID-19 Update and Revision to UC Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements
- On May 16, 2023, the University of California Office of the President announced revisions to the University of California COVID-19 vaccine policy, to allow students, faculty, and staff using campus facilities the option of affirmatively declining the required COVID-19 vaccines without the need for approval of exceptions or exemptions. Additional information about these revisions and their impact on campus processes can be found in the June 2 communication to the campus community.
COVID-19 Prevention Plan
- The Office of Environmental Health & Safety has updated its COVID-19 Prevention Plan, an all-inclusive preparation plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the UC Santa Barbara community amid the campus’s gradual return to in-person instruction, research, operations and other activities.
Additional notices from the chancellor and others may be found in Messages to Campus.
Campus Mitigation Protocols
For faculty and staff members who are reporting to work on-site and for students who live in university housing or attend classes or conduct research on campus, a number of protocols are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Among them are the following:
Please visit our COVID-19 Vaccine page for information related to the UC Office of the President's systemwide vaccine policy.
Masks are no longer required but individuals should use information about the current COVID-19 community levels to guide which prevention behaviors to use and when (at all times or at specific times) based on their own risk for severe illness and that of members of their household, their risk tolerance, and setting-specific factors.
Regardless of the COVID-19 community levels, The California Department of Public Health recommends that you:
- Wear a mask around others if you have respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat),
- Consider wearing a mask in indoor areas of public transportation (such as in airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports).
- When choosing to wear a mask, ensure your mask provides the best fit and filtration (respirators like N95, KN95 and KF94 are best).
- If you’ve had a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, wear a mask for 10 days.
Face masks, both surgical and N95, are available without charge for students, faculty, and staff at the UCEN Campus Store Customer Service Desk and the A.S. Pardall Center, and at other locations on campus. Access the "N95 Mask - How to Wear" and the "N95 Respirator Use" videos to learn about proper use of N95 respirators.
Frequent hand washing and surface cleaning is recommended. Disinfection should be performed in work areas where a COVID-19 exposure has been reported.
Additional guidelines, and the “COVID-19 Returning to Work Training” course required by Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health, are outlined on the Campus Requirements page.
Human Resources’ Guidance for Staff and Supervisors During COVID-19 Impacts provides information and resources for staff and supervisors. Links on the page are updated as announcements are made and new information becomes available.
Environmental Health & Safety has posted its COVID-19 Prevention Plan, an all-inclusive mitigation and preparation plan for the campus’s gradual return to in-person instruction, research, operations and other activities.
The Environmental Health Program at Environmental Health & Safety offers numerous resources, including general information, guidance documents, information on masks and face coverings, cleaning resources and infographics and signage.