Fall 2020 housing information

What to Expect Living on Campus

Recommended Actions - Pre Arrival

COVID-19 PCR Test: Have a pre-arrival COVID-19 PCR test to confirm a negative test result prior to traveling to campus. Contact your medical provider or visit your county’s website to see what testing options are available. If you test positive, do not come to campus until your medical provider issues a clearance for you. If it is not possible for you to obtain this test in advance, know that all students will be tested shortly after arrival to the campus and on a regular basis thereafter.

Sequestration: Students moving into UCSC residential facilities are asked to observe a 10-day sequester period before traveling to the campus.

Required Actions - Post Arrival

Sequestration: Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, you will be required to sequester for 14 days prior to engaging in campus activities, including on-site classes.

Sequestering means minimizing in-person interactions between students, faculty, and staff, whether in the residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, or other campus locations where students congregate. Students may leave their residences only to participate in essential activities (e.g., to purchase food, participate in low-risk outdoor recreational activities, employment or obtain health care services).

During your sequestration time, residential students will be able to pick up three meals per day — breakfast, lunch and dinner — plus snacks. Juice will accompany breakfast, and water will be provided with other meals. You are encouraged to stock up on a favorite beverage and bring that with you. Please note that there will not be an additional charge for these meals. The first meal will be provided at dinner on Saturday, September 26th. Please bring with you any additional items you may wish to consume prior to 5 pm.

We ask you to please plan to remain on the campus for these first two weeks of your being an in-person Banana Slug. Once those two weeks are over, you will be able to move more freely about the campus and its locale, within local COVID-19 guidelines.

We know that 14 days sounds like a long time but we’ll do our best to keep you occupied, involved, and engaged to help make this time fly by.


Important Health Information:

COVID-19 PCR Testing: You will be required to have a COVID-19 PCR test and to participate in on-going COVID-19 PCR testing during the fall quarter. You'll be notified when it's time to schedule your first COVID-19 test. The first test dates after move-in will be Monday, September 28 – Wednesday, September 30.
Note to students observing Yom Kippur: to avoid the need to be tested during Yom Kippur, appointments will be available September 29–30. If all appointment times on these dates fill, accommodations will be made for additional testing appointments.
The PCR test program will be available through Student Health Services at no cost to students. You will need to present your UCSC student ID card in order to be tested. Continuing students should be sure to bring their ID with them to campus. New students -- or continuing students who are unable to locate their student ID card -- should follow the instructions from ID Card Services as soon as possible to ensure the ID card will be ready upon arrival to campus.
COVID-19 Training: You will be required to take an online COVID-19 safety training course and complete a daily symptom check screening. Please continue to check your UCSC email for updated information in the coming days.
Daily Symptom Screening: UC requires all on-campus students to complete a daily COVID-19 symptom screening survey and get regular COVID-19 tests. This applies to students living on campus or taking in-person classes. Students will receive a daily email or text reminder to track symptoms using the online patient portal, Health e-Messenger. With Health e-Messenger, you'll do daily symptom surveys, schedule COVID-19 tests, and see your Clearance Badge. more »
Flu Immunization: You will be required to receive an influenza immunization before November 1, 2020. On July 31, 2020, the University of California issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization. You may wish to be immunized before your arrival. Flu shots will be available through Student Health Services at no cost to students. more »

Move-In Information

See the Move-in page »

Keeping Yourself and Others Well

We look forward to the day when all students can enjoy a more robust and active in-person campus life. We also know that in this time of COVID-19, physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent handwashing are critical to limiting the spread of infection. All members of the UCSC community are expected to take responsibility for their own health and well-being, and act with respect and consideration for those around them. Our intention is to provide a positive on-campus experience while abiding by county, state, and campus public health practices and protocols, including asking all residents to agree to:

  • Comply with university, local, state, and national public health directives.
  • Participate in all required pre-arrival protocols, vaccination requirements, daily symptom check protocols, and testing protocols as instituted by the university.
  • Avoid congregating, gathering, or hanging out in common spaces.
  • Wear face coverings in common areas and public spaces, in campus offices, dining halls, and retail locations.
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
  • Adhere to physical distancing protocols, which means maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others at all times. This includes when leaving your room to do your laundry, getting food in a dining hall, etc.
  • Follow the “no guest” policy. All living areas are considered “residents-only” communities. Additionally, residents may not visit each other’s rooms in-person, even if they live in the same residential facility.

Protecting our community of Banana Slugs by following these guidelines is a great way to support our Principles of Community.

We will continue to monitor and implement recommendations and guidelines from the appropriate authorities.

Requesting an Exception for Campus Housing

Already significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Cruz campus and its surrounding community is now profoundly affected by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. In order to prioritize the health and well-being of all students and the surrounding community, the campus made the difficult decision to severely limit campus housing accommodations beginning fall 2020. Students who can complete their courses remotely have been encouraged to do so, and not plan to come to the UCSC campus.

Currently, campus housing is being approved by exception for new and continuing UCSC students who meet one or more of the following exceptional criteria:

  • A permanent or alternative housing accommodation does not exist for me
  • Personal health or safety considerations prohibit staying in my current residence
  • My permanent residence does not have and cannot obtain the infrastructure needed to support remote learning.

Students with an exceptional need for university housing can apply for housing and request an exception in the Housing Portal.


How will students get mail during the on-campus sequester period at the start of the fall quarter? 

Will dining halls be open? 

Will a gym or work out facilities be open? 

What are the expectations for shared spaces like the bathroom, laundry room, etc.?

What type of COVID-19 testing method will be used?

How long does COVID-19 testing take?

What is the frequency for getting regular COVID-19 testing?

Who will be tested?

Will apartment residents/students living on-campus without meal plans also be provided meals free of charge?

Will student movement about campus be limited to a particular area of the campus?

Will the cafés on campus be open?

Will the libraries be open?

How will sequestering be enforced?

Will students be able to leave campus for trips during the quarter? / Will residents be allowed to spend a night off-campus? 

You can find additional information on the following sites:

UCSC Main Site: Roadmap to Recovery recovery.ucsc.edu

Dining: dining.ucsc.edu/covid-19/