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 campus communications:
Chancellor’s COVID-19 Update: Vaccines, Spring Quarter Instruction, Commencement, Enhanced Summer Program, Fall Quarter, and Remote Work Through June
- Information regarding the University’s continuing COVID-19 vaccination effort as well as plans for spring quarter remote instruction, housing and reduced-occupancy openings of the Library and the RecCen are highlighted in the Chancellor’s COVID-19 Update. Also included is preliminary information about this year’s Commencement celebration, an enhanced summer quarter and possibilities for fall quarter instruction. In addition, guidance provided to staff members asks that those who have been working remotely continue doing so through June 30, 2021.
Regional Travel Guidance
- Highlighting the travel advisory issued by the California Department of Public Health, campus medical experts and Santa Barbara County Public Health officials strongly urge community members to avoid traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who must travel, medical experts recommend following all Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which outline the pre- and post-travel testing requirements the campus applies to the Daily COVID-19 Screening survey.
COVID-19 Extended Family Medical Leave
- To ensure maximum flexibility for staff members, UC President Michael Drake issued an executive order extending to June 30, 2021, the time period during which paid administrative leave may be used for COVID-19-related reasons. The Office of the President also has released clarification on COVID-19 Extended Family Medical Leave, one of three COVID-19-related paid leave provisions available to policy-covered represented staff employees. More information can be found in the Chancellor’s Update for Staff and Faculty.
Influenza Vaccination Mandate
- Beginning Nov. 1, 2020, the UC Office of the President is making influenza vaccinations mandatory for all faculty, staff and students who will be working, living or learning on a UC campus anytime during the 2020-21 flu season. Faculty and staff members in need of a flu vaccination should contact their primary care providers or visit their local pharmacy. Students in need of a flu vaccination should contact Student Health. Appointments may be made through the Student Portal. Details about the influenza vaccination mandate as well as instructions for verifying a flu vaccination has been received can be found on the flu vaccination information page.
Campus Measures to Mitigate COVID-19
- A number of measures are underway to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on all UC Santa Barbara employees, those working onsite and those working remotely. In addition to the continued practice of physical distancing and the use of face coverings, they include required enrollment in the COVID-19 screening program and completion of the daily COVID-19 screening survey; completion of the “COVID-19 Returning to Work Training” course required by Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health, which is available through the UC Learning Center; and for employees working remotely, completion of a Temporary Remote Work Agreement. Additional information may be found in Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Garry Mac Pherson’s message to the campus community.
COVID-19 Budget Impacts
- The COVID-19 crisis and its accompanying uncertainties have profoundly impacted the financial health of universities across the country, including UC Santa Barbara. The Chancellor’s Committee on Budget Strategies is working to preserve the campus’s fiscal health. Details may be found in the Chancellor’s Campus COVID-19 Update: Addressing Budget Impacts.
Additional notices from the Chancellor and others may be found in Messages to Campus.
Campus Mitigation Protocols
For essential personnel 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. They include:
- Practicing physical distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Wearing face coverings in all workplace settings, and both indoors and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Per the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, exceptions apply in the following settings:
- Individuals in a car alone or solely with members of their own household
- Individuals working along in an office or room
- Individuals actively eating or drinking, provided they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others who are not members of their household
- Individuals who are outdoors and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others who are not members of their household. Those individuals must have a face covering with them at all times and must wear it if they are within 6 feet of others who are not members of their household.
- Individuals obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary.
- Workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.
- Individuals specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other California Department of Public Health guidance.
Per the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, the following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:
- Children under two years of age.
- Those with a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes individuals with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
- Those who are hearing impaired or are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, in which the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Those for whom wearing face coverings would create a risk related to their work, as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Cleaning/washing hands frequently.
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.
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.
To support the health and wellbeing of faculty, staff and students as well as our broader communities, the University of California, in consultation with UC Health leadership, has issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020.