Yesterday Governor Newsom said California will be “pulling an emergency brake” on reopening efforts in response to a recent surge of COVID cases. About 94% of the state, including Orange County, will move to the most restrictive purple tier outlined in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, effective today.
What does this mean for us?
The statewide restrictions affect some campus operations and practices, including:
In-person gatherings – including lectures, student programming and events – will be prohibited.
The ARC will remain open for outdoor activities but indoor offerings will not be available.
Study spaces in the Student Center and the libraries are now closed. Please consider using the outdoor study tents at Langson Library Plaza and Humanities Hall Plaza.
Food service, housing, childcare, athletics, The Hill Bookstore and the FRESH Basic Needs Hub continue to operate, although in some cases with limited capacity or additional restrictions, be sure to check the website or call before accessing in person.
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health issued a Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel, which triggers special travel restrictions contained in UCI’s Executive Directive on Travel. Until the state lifts the advisory, employees returning from travel outside of California should quarantine for 14 days. Residential students returning to campus from any travel, including within California, are required to quarantine for 14 days.
Supervisors and research plan owners are responsible for working with their teams concerning travel plans and ensuring that their team members follow this quarantine requirement. Please reach out to human resources or academic personnel if you have any questions.
The rise in COVID cases, coupled with the state’s travel guidance, reinforces the need for extra caution over the holidays. If at all possible, please refrain from traveling for Thanksgiving. If you are a student living on campus, please stay on campus or stay home if you travel. If you are one of our employees currently working onsite, please stay home or celebrate in small groups nearby. If that is not possible, please coordinate your work schedule with your supervisor before you leave for the holiday.
We recognize that these further restrictions may be difficult, especially as the holidays approach. If you need extra support to help you navigate this phase of the pandemic, please do not hesitate to seek out counseling resources and other campus services.
Your resilience and dedication continues to be impressive. Please remain diligent. Your hard work allows us to support more on-campus residents and activities than many of our peers. Thank you for helping us maintain the health and vibrancy of our Anteater community.
Hal S. Stern, Ph.D. Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics