COVID -19

Effective Date: 
Tue, 03/17/2020
Revised: 
Fri, 02/26/2021
Policy: 

Current and ongoing policies and procedures have been enhanced to address public health and public safety (i.e. masking and social distancing), handwashing, cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination, screening of staff, students and visitors, laboratory testing, expanded online services including Tele-Health, online visits and maintenance of clinical records (see policies on Tele-Health and COVID-19 Testing), vaccinating to prevent COVID-19, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other resource management.

In early 2020, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2,  pandemic quickly swept the globe and significantly impacted all UC locations.   UCSC quickly modified all areas of operations and implemented a comprehensive strategy to help protect students, faculty, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19.     Mitigation strategies were implemented under the direction of regulatory agencies including the CDC, Local and State Public Health Departments, OSHA, and the University of California Office of the President.  Examples of strategies to reduce spread of COVID-19 included:  decreasing campus population density, instituting distance learning and work, requiring facial coverings in public, promoting social distancing, mandatory screening and testing for students and staff.  Many of the special actions taken are included and summarized in the links and attachments in this Policy.  Appropriate links to COVID-19 resources are included in this Policy as a single locus for where to find appropriate, integral information.  As new data, best practices, and local conditions evolve, UCSC will change or modify strategies as indicated. 

UCSC Student Health Services (SHS) is one entity in overall campus services and is designated as an essential service.  As an essential service, UCSC SHS has remained open to provide access to care for students and as a resource for staff/faculty during the pandemic.  Under the direction of the UCSC SHS Governing Body, the UCSC SHS Medical and Executive Directors, along with their designees meet regularly with UC campus, Santa Cruz County, and UCOP COVID-19 Planning and Response committees and task forces to develop and lead the organizational responses to COVID-19.  Balancing delivery of healthcare and the safety of students and staff, required comprehensive changes to processes, care delivery, and the practical realities of managing operations. 

As the situation evolves, the most current process instructions can be accessed via the electronic medical record references and the shared documents.

The multi-pronged, comprehensive strategies included:

  • Mandatory symptom and risk screening and masking for anyone entering the SHS buildings
  • Mandatory masking at all times for all SHS staff while in shared spaces
  • 6 ft. Distancing markers for all SHS waiting areas, standing and seated
  • Separation of “sick” and “well” waiting and exam areas
  • Initiation of telehealth services and expansion of other online services including online visits and maintenance of clinical records (see policies on Tele-Health)
  • On-going, frequent inventory count and management of PPE supplies and other resources
  • Frequent staff meetings and trainings on changing protocols, including PPE use, infection control and management of isolation rooms, treatment and testing options
  • Development of COVID-19 resources for SHS staff to aid in processing, testing, and treating possible COVID cases
  • Self-collected  mass testing for students/staff/faculty with separate testing areas designated for asymptomatic screening testing and symptomatic diagnostic testing (see policy on COVID-19 Testing)
  • Designation and training of SHS staff for COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing
  • Implementation of EMR modules and creation of chart note templates to help facilitate efficiencies in the management of quarantine and isolation cases, Case Investigation, and Contact Tracing
  • Development of an SHS “COVID-19 Team” comprised of MDs, RNs, and Case Managers.  This team meets regularly to review and manage quarantine and isolation cases.  Additionally, per a Memorandum of Understanding with SC County, the team is responsible for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing of UCSC affiliate COVID-19 cases
  • Regular updates to the SHS website as a means of communication to the campus community