SHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

April 01, 2020

Read Full UCSC Campus COVID-19 Updates

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The COVID-19 updates below are about Student Health Services.

For full UCSC Campus COVID-19 updates, see



April 1, 2020


Student Health Services, UC SHIP, and CruzCare While Off-Campus

SHS is open and committed to protecting your health. You can now access SHS services on-campus or off-campus through phone, video, email, or in-person appointments. UC SHIP covers students no matter where they are. Learn how to use UC SHIP and CruzCare benefits from anywhere, or cancel if needed. 

Be Serious About Social Distancing

Going to college has probably meant meeting and being with new people, but social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is importanteven for young and healthy people. Here are some common misconceptions about social distancing, and how these beliefs can be a real danger.

  • COVID-19 won’t hurt young people like me.” The CDC reports that 20% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States are among people aged 20-44. So yes, it can hurt young and otherwise healthy people. Social distancing reduces that risk.
  • “I’m not sick, so I don’t need to socially distance myself.” You could easily spread the diseasewithout knowing you have itto grandparents, older neighbors, and your friends and family with health conditions like diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, etc. Social distancing reduces this possibility. 
  • “I’m healthy, so strain on the healthcare system won’t affect me.” If medical providers and staff are overwhelmed treating an increasing number of COVID-19 patients, they may not be able to treat people with “ordinary” emergencies like a car accident, appendicitis, or a broken leg. Social distancing reduces the spread of the disease and lessens burden on the healthcare system, so you’re more likely to receive care if you have an emergency.
  • “I’m not going to let a virus stop me from partying.” You may have seen the news stories about students on Spring Break refusing to socially distance. Some of these same students are now sharing apologies. Other students sick with COVID-19 are posting warnings to their peers. Please seriously consider these warnings from other students who were not initially concerned about social distancing.

See “How To Argue For Social Distancing If Your Friend Won't Take It Seriously” for more student-friendly tips.

Vaping and COVID-19 Risk

New research shows that vaping and smoking may increase risk of COVID-19. Now is a great time to quit. Contact SHOP for free personal support to quit vaping or smoking.

Get Up-to-Date on Testing for COVID-19 Symptoms

Many medical facilities test only those with high-risk conditions or very severe COVID-19 symptoms. For those with milder symptoms, the treatment for suspected COVID-19 cases is to isolate at home and monitor your symptoms. Students can call our 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 831-459-2591 if they have questions about symptoms. 

Learn the COVID-19 Terminology

Social distancing, quarantine, “flatten the curve.” What do all these terms mean? Check out Harvard Health’s COVID-19 glossary to find out.

Wind Down from COVID-19 Stress

Students and parents are feeling the stress of COVID-19. UCSC CAPS put together guided meditations, articles, and app recommendations to help you relax. Don’t forget that in most areas, you can still go outside if you stay six feet away from others. De-stress with a walk in the park, a jog, or other outdoor activity.

Two people on park benches, smiling at each other and sitting 6 feet apart.



March 23, 2020

Santa Cruz County and the State of California are under a Shelter in Place order. This means that everyone must stay in their homes and only travel for essential needs. Read the County's Shelter in Place FAQ to learn more, or see the FAQ section below for suggestions.

Student Health Services is open with limited services.  Our in-person visits cover acute injury, illness, mental health crisis, or sexual assault/dating violence/stalking crisis. See our Available Services List to learn what's available and how to get healthcare.

Not on campus, or have a non-urgent concern? We have several new phone or online options!

We care about your health and well-being, and we're still here for you no matter where you are! Stay strong and healthy, Slugs. 



Q. Is Student Health Services open? 

A. Yes. We're still committed to your well-being and healthcare needs! See our Available Services page for details about healthcare services at the Student Health Center, CAPS, SHOP, and CARE.

Additional online care options:
  • LiveHealth Online: Have secure, online video visits with licensed medical and mental health professionals for any healthcare needs. LiveHealth online has a co-pay and no referral is needed.
  • Therapy Assistance Online and WellTrack: Use interactive tools and self-care exercises for mental health concerns.

Q. What does Shelter in Place mean?

A. The County of Santa Cruz issued a “Shelter In Place” directive to avoid the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The entire State of California is now under a similar Shelter in Place directive. "Shelter in Place" means that everyone must stay in their homes and only travel for essential needs. Read the county's Shelter in Place FAQ (including an updated FAQ issued on March 31) to learn more, and to see what counts as an essential need.

This order is a way to use strict social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19. Orders like these have been shown to lessen the burden on our local emergency rooms, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. These restrictions are to keep you, your family, the UCSC community, and the county of Santa Cruz safe. Many cities and counties across the nation are taking similar action. 

Many local businesses are closed or have limited services. It's important to practice social distancing. This means that you must stay six feet away from anyone who doesn't live in your household.  If you live with others, do your best to keep six feet away from each other. Of special interest to students:

  • Do not have parties or invite friends who don’t live with you into your residence. 
  • Do not travel outside your home. Limit travel only to essential needs. This includes when you are on public transit, walking, driving a car, or using a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle.
  • You can go outside for outdoor activity while maintaining at least six feet of social distancing, including walking, taking a pet outside, running, or hiking. However, you cannot have a social gathering or celebration at a beach or park.
  • You can travel to or from educational institutions to get materials for remote learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
  • You can travel to return to your residence from outside the county, or to return to your residence inside the county

Q. I'm young and healthy, so why should I take COVID-19 and social distancing seriously?

A. COVID-19 is not a normal cold or flu. The virus sometimes causes serious health consequences even among young and healthy people. Even if you don't notice any symptoms or feel only slightly ill, you can easily spread the virus to at-risk people in the community, such as the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. These people can get seriously ill and even die. Stay home so you don’t infect professors, classmates with chronic health issues (like asthma or diabetes), parents, grandparents, etc. Staying home also slows the spread of the virus. This is important to make sure our emergency services and medical facilities don't get overloaded. If emergency services are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, they cannot treat other types of emergencies like car accidents or appendectomies. Stay home, practice social distancing, and slow the spread of the disease.

Q. Is it ok to travel for Spring Break?

A. We do not recommend traveling for Spring Break during a Shelter in Place order. Travel increases the spread of the virus and puts you and your loved ones at risk. Also, travel restrictions are changing rapidly and could complicate your return.

Q. What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 or feel sick? 

A. Do not go to an urgent care facility without first speaking to a healthcare provider. Students can call the Nurse Advice line at 831-459-2591. Your healthcare provider will have instructions for you about how to care for yourself and avoid spreading the virus. See more information from the CDC about what to do if you think you have COVID-19 or use the CDC's COVID-19 self-checker to get information on your symptoms. For now, the most important thing to do is stay home and contact your healthcare provider if you’re feeling sick, especially if you develop a cough or a high temperature.

Q. What should I do if I've been diagnosed with COVID-19 or my healthcare provider told me I have it?A. If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to 1) stay at home, and b) notify campus. Here's how:

  • Students: please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that we can be aware and coordinate care if needed.
  • Faculty and Staff: If you worked on campus following an exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or have tested positive yourself, please let the campus know by emailing
Q. What should I do if I think I've been exposed to someone with COVID-19? 
A. If you think you may have been exposed but you have no respiratory symptoms or fever, then you do not need a COVID-19 test. Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms, practice social distancing, and contact your health provider only if you develop symptoms. If a household member was in contact with someone showing symptoms related to cold or flu, monitor the member of your home for symptoms.  In the meantime, practice good hygiene. Wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content, avoid large gatherings, avoid touching your face, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home when you’re sick.

Q. How do I self-quarantine?
A. See guidance from the CDC on how to care for yourself at home. 

Q. What should I do if I'm currently traveling abroad or will soon return to UCSC?
A. Any students returning from high risk level 2 or 3 countries should contact SHS at 831-459-2519 for information about required self-quarantining, health monitoring and other support. If you're diagnosed with COVID-19 while away from campus, please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that we can be aware and coordinate care if needed.
UCSC Global Engagement has updated their websites to provide guidance around COVID-19 and travel for:

Please check these sites for the most current requirements about self-quarantine and travel restrictions. Travel requirements and restrictions are changing rapidly, and these two sites will have the most updated information.

Q. What is the UCSC campus doing to manage COVID-19?
A. UCSC is working hard to keep campus safe. See all campus updates, including news from beyond Student Health Services, at the official UCSC COVID-19 website.

Q. Who can I talk to if I have questions about COVID-19 and my health?
A. The Santa Cruz County Call Center is available at (831) 454-4242 from 8am - 6pm everyday. Outside of these hours, call 2-1-1 (United Way of Santa Cruz County), text: "covid19" to 211211, or visit the 211 website.    UCSC students may call the Nurse Advice Line at 831-459-2591 with health concerns. Staff and faculty should call their healthcare provider.