March 18, 2021 - Spring Break Update to Housing Residents

This message was sent to all housing residents from the Cal Housing Office.

Key Highlights:

  • We will now be implementing a mandatory self-sequester for all students living in the residence halls including those in suites and mini-suites from March 26 through at least April 8. Solo outdoor exercise is permitted during the sequester. 
  • The mandatory self-sequester does not apply to students living in apartments, though if you travel or engage in high-risk activities during spring break, you must still self-sequester for 10 days after you return. 
  • We continue to urge you to avoid non-essential travel, in accordance with state guidance. Follow surveillance testing requirements before, during, and after Spring Break. 
  • While the CDC recently released new interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, please note that these guidelines do not currently apply to students living in congregate settings such as the residence halls.
  • See below for Cal Dining meals information during Spring Break and after Spring Break.  

Dear student, 

We are writing with some critical updates about self-sequester policies after Spring Break to help keep our community healthy and avoid future surges of COVID-19 cases. 

In an effort to do everything possible to avoid another surge of COVID-19 cases after Spring Break, and another extended quarantine period, we have made the decision to implement a mandatory self-sequester for all students living in the residence halls including those in suites and mini-suites from March 26 through at least April 8. We recognize that this is a change in our previously stated guidance which may be frustrating for some of you—especially those of you who are not planning to travel. Based upon the results of our most recent pulse survey which showed a significant number of students planning to travel for Spring Break and return to campus, we ultimately decided that it would be better to implement a mandatory self-sequester rather than risk a surge in COVID-19 cases post-Spring Break. 

The mandatory self-sequester does not apply to students living in campus apartments, though if you travel or engage in high-risk activities during spring break, you must still self-sequester for 10 days after you return, and caution is always advised.

Read on for further instructions to follow before and after Spring Break. In short, we continue to urge you not to travel and it is critical that you follow surveillance testing requirements before, during, and after Spring Break. There is still significant local spread of COVID-19 and most are not yet vaccinated.

A reminder as well, that while the CDC recently released new interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, please note that these guidelines do not currently apply to those living in congregate housing, including students living in the residence halls. Fully vaccinated students are still urged not to travel and are required to follow testing requirements, self-sequester requirements, and best practices (such as wearing a face covering and physical distancing). Learn more about our expectations and guidelines for fully vaccinated students

Avoid travel and other high-risk activities during Spring Break
We strongly recommend that you avoid non-essential travel and other high-risk activities (such as indoor gatherings, spending time with others without face coverings, using mass transit, etc.) in accordance with state guidance. If you have planned to travel, we urge you to reconsider to help keep your fellow bears healthy. 

Watch a campus video about ways to reduce risk, visit the CDC’s resources for reducing risk in common activities, or find ideas for local, outdoor, virtual, and physically distanced activities you can join in this Spring Break.

If you plan to travel, notify Residential Life in advance
Again, we strongly recommend you do not travel. However, if you are planning to travel, please fill out this form to notify Residential Life so that they can account for your absence from your residence and provide you a short term exemption from testing compliance. Remember that even after you submit this form, you must still be tested the day you return from your travel. 

Whether or not you travel, you are expected to remain on your UHS testing schedule leading up to Spring Break. If you travel during Spring Break week, you are required to be tested the same calendar week that you leave campus, and then schedule a test for the first business day upon your return, then twice-weekly according to your usual schedule. UHS testing will be available during Spring Break week.

If you test positive, or have had close contact with someone who tested positive with COVID-19, you will be offered a space in the campus’s designated isolation/quarantine housing. Learn more about contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation housing.

DURING SPRING BREAK 

Residence halls will be open and dining locations will be open with slightly revised service
We encourage you to remain in your campus housing during spring break. Residence halls and apartments will be open, and Cal Dining will have meal service available for students. Read more about Cal Dining hours of operations during Spring Break.  

UHS testing: 
Surveillance Testing hours at all of our sites remain the same from March 22–25, on March 26, only Underhill walk thru will be open for surveillance testing from 8 a.m.–12 noon.

Our clinical testing for those with symptoms or close exposure will also be open normal hours March 22–25 and on Friday, March 26 will be open from 8 a.m.–12 noon.  Appointments can be made for all testing appointments on eTang.

AFTER SPRING BREAK 

Self-sequester after Spring Break 
There will be a mandatory self-sequester for all students living in the residence halls, including those in suites and mini-suites, from March 26 through April 8, whether or not you travel during Spring Break. 

If you live in campus apartments and you travel or engage in high-risk activities during spring break, you must self-sequester in your room for 10 days after you return. If you do not travel or engage in high-risk activities, you will not need to self-sequester, but please continue to use the mitigation strategies you are currently using (wearing face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, etc.). 

For those who must self-sequester (all students living in residence halls or students living in apartments who have engaged in high-risk activities or traveled during Spring Break):

  • Remain in your room as much as possible, and avoid gathering with others, even those in your residential household grouping. 
  • Solo outdoor exercise is permitted. 
  • Continue to do regular surveillance testing
  • Read our guidelines on self-sequestering

For all residents of campus residence halls including suites and mini-suites:

  • Meals: To reduce the risk of transmission in the dining commons, Cal Dining will again provide outdoor kiosks for you to pick up meals outside the residence halls from March 26–April 8 (do not use the dining commons during this time, regardless of whether you traveled). Read more about Cal Dining Post-Spring Break Operations
  • Shared spaces: Please use the bathroom to which you have been assigned as part of your residential grouping, whenever possible. In addition, only use the restroom when it is not occupied by another resident. Avoid congregating in or near bathrooms or other common areas. Only use the elevators one resident at a time.

For residents of campus apartments:
Meals: If you traveled, please plan for food supplies so you can remain at home as much as possible. If you have an off-campus meal plan, you may go to the dining locations. Please note that because we will need to arrange for food delivery to the residence halls, there will also be some changes to normal Dining operations. Read more about Cal Dining Post-Spring Break Operations.

Keep following best practices

  • As always, please continue to follow protocols such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings. 
  • Bears Protect Bears! Learn more about how you protect yourself and others.
  • Any student experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 (or any students with concerns), please call the University Health Services Advice Line 24/7 at 510-643-7197 for consultation. 

We truly hope you will partner with us to reduce virus transmission and avoid high-risk activities this Spring Break. Only with your help will we be able to turn a corner and return to the in-person student activities we all miss. Please reach out to UHS with any questions you may have.