March 19, 2020
We are in the midst of a continually evolving public health crisis for our region, the nation and the world. The emergence of novel coronavirus is presenting unprecedented challenges for higher education and health systems everywhere.
Campus leaders and hard-working staff at all levels across UC San Diego have spent many hours thinking through the complex issues presented by this quickly changing situation. I commend the entire community for thoughtfully demonstrating flexibility and resilience during this time, and I appreciate everyone’s cooperation in implementing new guidelines efficiently and effectively. We will continue to address new issues as they emerge.
CRITICAL FUNCTIONS STAFFING
UC San Diego is committed to ensuring access to services for those who need them. Many of these services have shifted to online environments. But some critical functions cannot be offered remotely, including housing, dining, health services, and critical operations such as UC San Diego’s medical centers, our police department, facilities, custodial, supply chain, information systems and technology, and maintenance of critical research specimens.
Communications containing safety protocols and guidelines for employees remaining on campus for critical functions have been circulated by department supervisors. Virtual training meetings for supervisors of these employees and front line employees are being conducted to ensure work processes are altered to adhere to social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. We are working diligently to ensure remaining staff have the information and resources required to help keep them safe and healthy while they complete their work.
To all critical functions staff and emergency operations employees, THANK YOU for your continued dedication and hard work. We appreciate your efforts and resolve.
REDUCING CAMPUS POPULATION DENSITY
We also appreciate the challenges presented as we follow public health guidelines to limit close contact with others to slow the spread of coronavirus. The health and safety of our community is the first priority, and I want to make sure we are doing all we can to ensure maximum social distancing.
In order to lower the population density on campus, we are requiring employees who can work remotely to do so, and we are urging students who can safely leave and live off campus to do so as soon as possible. These actions allow the remaining critical functions staff and the students who are not able to leave campus the recommended space for effective social distancing. For the latest information, campus employees should visit https://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/services/covid-19 and students should visit https://vcsa.ucsd.edu/news/covid-19-info.html.
Updated guidelines from the CDC strongly recommend the cancellation or postponement of events or meetings that are expected to have more than 10 people. Meetings or events with more than 10 participants should be moved to an online platform whenever possible. Technology tools for remote meetings are available at https://blink.ucsd.edu/technology/file-sharing/remote-work/index.html.
The changing nature of this crisis is stressful and anxieties are high. Counseling services and resources are available. Students can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (858) 534-3755. Campus employees can call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at (858) 534-5523. UC San Diego Health employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program provider aligned with your medical coverage or call (619) 543-3200.
In addition, UC San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness and the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion have joined forces with the Compassion Institute to provide daily streams and recordings of mindfulness and compassion sessions, offering resources and online support. The stream is available at https://go.ucsd.edu/3b21Aua.
We are all in this together. During this time of uncertainty, we ask that students, faculty and staff continue to adhere to our Principles of Community, as described at https://ucsd.edu/about/principles.html. UC San Diego is a diverse community of students, staff, scholars, faculty and researchers from around the world. We thrive when we respect one another and stay committed to one another’s well-being. Your continuing compassion and empathy will make a tangible difference on our campus and set an example for everyone.