LIVE: COVID-19 Updates at UCSD

CampusCoronavirusNews

Photo of the Revelle Plaza.
Rohan Grover / The Triton

In order to provide information on the coronavirus situation at UCSD as quickly as possible, we will be updating this page as we receive information.


Last Updated: April 1, 2020 at 7:42 p.m.

April 1

Three students have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a recent update via TritonAlert. The update does not specify if the third individual was in contact with the two students who tested positive on March 28 and March 23 respectively.

UCSD medical staff are in the process of contacting individuals who may have been in proximity with these three students. They are recommending that such people get tested for the virus and go into self-isolation. The university will not be publicly releasing the names and locations of the affected individuals per Student Health Services Notice of Privacy Practices.

The update also states that UCSD has contracted 350 rooms in “a new campus housing building” that does not currently house students to the County of San Diego. It is unclear as to which new housing the update is referencing. Furthermore, one building in Nuevo Mesa may be used by the county to treat patients who are recovering from COVID-19 or have mild cases of the virus.

Updates from March 28, 2020 at 7:17 p.m.

March 28

A second UCSD student resident has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a recent TritonAlert sent out today.

The student is described as a “close contact” of the first student who tested positive on March 23. As with the first student, this student is under self-isolation and is receiving care.

Updates from March 24, 2020 at 3:50 p.m.

March 27

Transportation Services sent an email last night with service changes for Spring Quarter. All permits (except V) will be interchangeable in every parking lot except Gilman and reserved spots. Weekend parking rates will apply on weekdays, so parking on campus will be $6 a day.

Parking permit holders can cancel their permit and receive a prorated refund from Transportation Services by cutting their permit in half and sending a photo to parking@ucsd.edu. People who cancel their permit before April 2 will be eligible for a full refund.

Triton Transit will have reduced service and campus ID will be required to access shuttles. The ADA cart will be fully operational, but the Patient Care Cart is suspended.

UCSD sent an email providing guidance on research activity. Under the new guidelines, researchers must conduct “as much activity as possible” remotely. If researchers need to work on site, UCSD recommends that only one person per research space. Students are not considered essential, and may only work in labs by exception.

March 24

The UCSD Academic Senate has approved greater flexibility around Pass/No Pass (P/NP) classes for Spring Quarter. Under the new guidelines, P/NP classes taken during Spring Quarter will not count towards the 25% limit and students will have until Week 10 to change their grading option.

Academic departments will have the power to offer letter grade only courses as P/NP for Spring quarter. Students are encouraged to reach out to their academic department and financial aid advisors before making any decisions to change their grading option.

Additionally, the course add deadline has been extended to the end of Week 3 and the deadline to drop a class without a W has been extended to the end of Week 5.

In order to encourage social distancing, students staying on campus will be reassigned to single bedrooms, but their housing fees will not change. Residents will be contacted after Spring Break with more information.

The university announced that a vacant residence hall has been designated for isolation housing.

The Student Affairs department will be hosting a webinar to help students find remote employment on March 26 at 5:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to check Handshake for remote employment opportunities.

Updates from March 23, 2020 at 6:15 p.m.

March 23 

One UCSD student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an announcement sent out via Triton Alert today. The student resident remains in isolation while receiving treatment. 

This marks the first student at UCSD to test positive for the virus. Two UCSD Health workers tested positive for the virus on March 14 and San Diego county experienced its first death from the virus on March 22. UCSD is working closely with the San Diego County Public Health officials to implement next steps regarding identifying other individuals who may have been in contact with the student.

Provosts and Deans of Academic Advising of all UCSD colleges announced that academic standing will not be assessed using Winter Quarter 2020 grades. Notices of academic probation or disqualification will no longer be sent out and it is advised that students contact advising with any concerns regarding grades, or in the event that a course may need to be repeated.

Updates from March 19, 2020 at 7:45 p.m.

March 19

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order telling everyone in California stay-at-home except for workers in the 16 sectors that the Department of Homeland Security has deemed essential. Food and Agriculture, Public Health, and Commerical Facilities (retail) are included as essential services.

According to the order, California residents may only leave their houses to access food, medicine, and healthcare. We are waiting to hear from university administration about how campus operations will be affected.

“To protect public health, I as State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health order all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure structures,” Newsom’s Executive Order says.

Updates from March 19, 2020 at 6:22 p.m.

The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs (VCSA) Alysson Satterlund sent out an announcement to student leaders today requiring all events and gatherings with a capacity exceeding 10 people to be cancelled until at least May 10. Satterlund encourages students to work on creative ways to connect online with each other and reach out to student organization advisors for support.

“We know this may be deeply disappointing to many of you who have worked long hours to create events and programs to enhance the Triton Student Experience,” Satterlund said. “Please know that Student Affairs units are working to identify creative ways to move campus engagement online.”

The announcement follows an update from the Office of the Chancellor reiterating CDC guidelines that all meetings and events that expect 10 or more people in attendance should not be held in-person.

The Chancellor’s office’s update also specifies the critical departments where workers are unable to work remotely. Departments providing critical services where workers cannot work remotely include housing, dining, custodial, medical, police, supply chain, facilities, information and technology systems, and researchers working with critical research specimens.

Updates from March 18, 2020 at 2:22 p.m.

March 18

UC San Diego Transportation Services suspended shuttle service and all permit and guest parking restrictions in a campus wide email today. All transit services except for Triton Mobility ADA and Patient Cart services will also be suspended.

These changes are being made to support social distancing guidelines. Transportation Services expects these policy changes to be in place until March 29 and intends to release an update early next week.

The Transportation Services Office will provide all services online or over the phone. If you do not have access to any other on-campus mobility option, on-demand transportation is available by calling 858-534-7422.

Updates from March 16, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

March 16

The Chancellor’s Office announced that all spring quarter instruction will be offered remotely. This includes previously exempt laboratory sections, studio classes, small group discussions and seminars. 

“There will be no exceptions,” said the Chancellor’s Office in today’s email update. “Students will participate in all courses remotely, regardless of where they reside.” 

The Chancellor’s Office also strongly recommends that instructors do not hold exams or assessments during the first week of instruction. Instead, instructors are expected to dedicate week one to familiarizing students with remote instruction tools.

UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) suspended all Japan study abroad programs effective today. This comes a few days before students were set to depart from the US. 

The email advised students under the quarter system to reach out to college advisors to enroll for spring classes, if desired. All fees already paid to UCEAP will be refunded and no withdrawal fees will be applied. UCEAP advises that all fees and other payment-related questions should be directed to either the UCEAP financial aid advisors or campus financial aid office.

Updates from March 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Chancellor Khosla sent an email encouraging students to move off campus to reduce density. It emphasized that students should only consider living on campus if they are unable to return home due to travel restrictions, high risk, or if they do not have stable housing.

In order to terminate contracts, students must do so no later than March 29. This includes officially notifying HDH and returning keys before then for a full refund.

Updates from March 16, 2020 at 11:20 a.m.

UCSD libraries are closed until further notice effective today in response to university and county COVID-19 policies. The UCSD Library will continue to provide remote services. They also advise students to renew items if possible and complete returns at the Gilman drive up dropoff or by mail.

Geisel University Librarian Erik Mitchell told The Triton that the library is in working with the university Emergency Operations Center to assess how the library can safely allow students back into the facilities.

UCSD Recreation announced yesterday that all facilities will be closed until further notice. Closures include RIMAC, Spanos, Main Gym, Rec Gym, Natatorium, Canyonview Complex. Additionally, all in-person Recreation programs and services are suspended at this time. UCSD Recreation plans on providing virtual programs.

Note: The library’s website previously said that it would provide 14 laptops for tech lending, but it has since removed that information.

Updates from March 14, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

March 14

Two UC San Diego Health workers have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to an announcement today from medical system officials

University officials said workers contracted the virus through community spread, not through travel or a patient. Both workers are recuperating at home and doing well, according to a statement from UCSD Health.

Updates from March 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

March 13

After a new update delivered this evening, UCSD announced that classes will be online for all of Spring Quarter. Housing Dining and Hospitality and recreation facilities plan to be fully operational.

UC San Diego announced that it does not plan to change student fees or tuition, however, students who choose not to return to campus can receive a refund for rent and dining dollars. This refund will be prorated based on the student’s move out date. Students have until March 29 to decide whether they would like to terminate their housing contract.

Students circulated a petition asking the university to refund students fees, and it now has 12,600 signatures.

UCSD will make decisions about commencement at a “later date.”

According to CAPS Director Reina Juarez, video appointments will be provided throughout Spring Quarter. CAPS Urgent Care will remain fully operational. However, only students residing in Arizona, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington will be able to access video appointments. Urgent phone consultations will also be provided for students who have gone home. 

Updates from March 13, 2020 at 1:25 p.m.

Associated Students Concerts and Events announced today that Sun God Festival has been cancelled. ASCE created a survey students can fill out to give input on alternative programming.

“While working to have students’ voices heard regarding Sun God, ASCE is also currently developing alternative programming for Spring Quarter 2020,” said the ASCE announcement on Instagram. “ASCE continues to strive towards building a sense of community through standout programming for all UC San Diego students and we would love to hear from you on what events we should have.”

Updates from March 13, 2020 at 11:40 a.m.

UC San Diego Athletics announced yesterday afternoon that all athletic activities have been suspended. This applies to athletics competitions, practices, gatherings, clinics, and camps. The NCAA also cancelled all basketball tournaments, including one that was scheduled to start at UCSD today.

According to The Daily Nexus, UCEAP has cancelled 37 study abroad programs in Europe. These follow the recent cancellation of study abroad programs in China, South Korea, and Italy due to designation of travel advisory level 3 or higher. You can find updates from UCEAP here.

Updates from March 12, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

March 12

UCSD Transportation Services announced this evening that the first-year parking ban will be suspended for Spring Quarter. Additionally, S permits will not be sold, instead students with D permits will be allowed to park in S spots. However, student residents will continue to be required to buy SR permits. Transportation Services also plans to pilot a $30 per quarter weekend parking permit.

Spring Quarter parking permits go on sale on March 16.

At this time, Triton Transit and MTS busses will maintain regular schedules, and will be sanitized each night.

Associated Student Concerts and Events told The Triton that it plans to make an announcement about the future of Sun God at noon tomorrow.

During a press conference, the San Diego County Health and Human Services department announced that there are now six cases of COVID-19 in the county. In response to possible community spread of the virus, San Diego city Mayor Kevin Faulconer declared a state of emergency, which enables the city to conduct business with fewer restrictions and seek state and federal reimbursement for emergency expenses. The county issued an order banning gatherings of more than 250 people effective tomorrow.

“With these new positive cases, the evidence is pointing to the very likely reality that we now have community spread in San Diego County,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said at a news conference Thursday, according to KPBS. “This changes both our posture and accelerates our action. We are moving forward with the assumption and operating under the premise that we do have community spread.”

UCSD is providing all students, staff, faculty, and teaching assistants with access to Zoom Pro. You can get more information here.

Updates from March 12, 2020 at 1:50 p.m.

ASUCSD President Eleanor Grudin sent an email over the public AS listserv today outlining procedures students can use if their professors are refusing to cancel finals. Students should email the department chair, their college’s dean of academic advising, and Dean of Undergraduate Education John Moore. Grudin included an email template so students don’t have to stress out about wording.

The University of California Washington Program (UCDC) will be cancelling its spring quarter, according to an email that went out to participants. All current students will have to return to California by March 20. According to an article by Roll Call, this could lead to an intern shortage on Capitol Hill.

Last night, the US State Department categorized Japan with a Global Level 3 Health Advisory, according to an email sent to students. As of now, UCEAP has not announced updates to the Spring 2020 program. Programs for Spring and Summer 2020 in Italy and Iran were cancelled following a Level 3 Advisory. 

ASUCSD has approved a new constitutional amendment in lieu of COVID-19 related closures to salvage the upcoming election. The amendment creates a committee consisting of AS Executives and the Elections Manager to implement temporary elections rules changes during a campus emergency. 

The amendment does not specify what a campus emergency is, how AS declares a campus emergency, or when the committee dissolves. The amendment now goes to the college councils for ratification.

March 11

The Office of the Chancellor sent out a campus wide notice mandating that Winter quarter finals will not be held in-person or on-campus. 

While campus, including the library and various classrooms, will remain open, all instructors must either provide an online, take-home, or exam-equivalent assessment. 

The email concludes saying that an announcement will soon be made regarding operations, including classes, housing and financial aid. The decisions are being made in conjunction with Academic Senate, Associated Students, and Graduate Student Association leadership.

California Governor Gavin Newsom called for all events of more than 250 people to be cancelled. We have not yet heard from UCSD administration about the future of Sun God Festival, Triton Day, or Transfer Triton Day.

March 10

Scripps Green Hospital in Torrey Pines announced yesterday that it was treating the first local COVID-19 patient in isolation. Identified to be a woman in her 50s, the presumptive positive test was considered to be due to overseas travel.

The Grand Princess cruise ship that was docked in Oakland will be releasing a subset of the 962 Californian passengers to be quarantined at Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) Miramar for 14 days. At least 21 people aboard the ship were tested positive for COVID, 19 of which were crew members. As of now it appears those tested positive will remain on the ship. 

March 9

Chancellor Khosla sent an all campus email announcing that Spring Quarter classes will be held online except for studio and lab classes. Read our article here.

Winter Quarter classes and finals may continue in person, but professors cannot use attendance based points.

Khosla also recommends the cancellation of campus tours and events with more than 100 people. Sports events will continue, but they will be spectator-free.

February 28

UCEAP announced that study abroad sessions to Italy, China, and South Korea are cancelled for Spring 2020.

UC Study Abroad has more information about study abroad programs here.

Sahana Narayan is an Assistant News Editor for The Triton. You can follow her @saharadesert00. Ethan Edward Coston is the Managing Editor of The Triton. You can follow him @Ethan4Books. Mo Al Elew is a Senior Staff Writer for The Triton. You can follow him @solomune.