SHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

April 09, 2020

Read Full UCSC Campus COVID-19 Updates

Get full UCSC COVID-19 Campus Updates

The COVID-19 updates below are about Student Health Services.  For full UCSC Campus COVID-19 updates, see

SHS IS OPEN and committed to protecting your health!  See our Current Services list to learn about new telehealth services and how to use UC SHIP and Cruzcare while off-campus (or cancel if needed). You can also see current services for Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), Student Health Outreach & Promotion (SHOP), and Campus Advocacy Resources & Education (CARE).



June 16, 2020

The CDC published some helpful guidelines on how to stay safe when you're out in public. Please take a look. Many counties are easing lockdown restrictions and you might go outside your home more often now. However, COVID-19 is still here and the risks are still very real. If you go out, make sure you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones.


June 4, 2020

Santa Cruz County has modified the Shelter in Place order. Many restaurants, hair salons, and other businesses are open in a limited way. Visit the County's Health Services Agency website to see the latest press releases. If you're living outside of Santa Cruz, visit your county's health department web page to stay informed of changing rules and guidelines. Please continue to socially distance and practice good hygiene. COVID-19 is still here, so remember to:

  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Wear a mask when in public places
  • Stay six feet away from people outside your household
  • Stay home when you're sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces
  • Monitor your health and call the SHS Nurse Advice Line at (831) 459-2591 if you're concerned about symptoms
  • Schedule a COVID-19 test with SHS (see our COVID-19 Testing page) or with your healthcare provider if you're concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

May 8, 2020

Get Tested for COVID-19 in the SHC Parking Lot Starting 5/11

Concerned that you were exposed to COVID-19? Now you can get tested for COVID-19 in the SHC parking lot! It’s quick and convenient, and you can schedule online.

How it works: Schedule an appointment on Health e-Messenger and complete the questionnaire. You can also call the Student Health Center at (831) 459-2500. Come to the Student Health Center parking lot at your appointment time. We’ll swab your nose, send the swab for testing, and you’ll get results within one week through a Health e-Messenger secure message or phone call.

Eligibility: All registered students are eligible. Students with severe symptoms (trouble breathing, high fever) should immediately go to an urgent care or emergency facility.

Costs: No fee

Location: Student Health Center Parking Lot, on McLaughlin Drive across from Colleges Nine and Ten. To protect our staff and the UCSC community, please do not enter the building.

Hours: 10 am to 12:30pm Monday through Thursday. Starts May 11.

More Information: See the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory’s site at

May 1, 2020

Shelter in Place extended. The County has extended the Shelter in Place order. The order will "become effective at 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer." The County also updated their restrictions on beach and park use and has limited access during the peak hours of 11 am to 5 pm. Surfing, paddleboarding, swimming, and other ocean activities are allowed. 


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

A. 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.

Q. How do I avoid COVID-19? 

A. The CDC has a great list of things you can do to avoid COVID-19 and a Symptom Checker for a self-assessment. In general, you want to stay home ("shelter in place") and avoid close contact with others, practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of six feet from those outside your household, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask when in public, and clean and disinfect your home and possessions regularly.

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). "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 to learn more, and to see what counts as an essential need. The rules for Sheltering in Place vary by county and can be different from week to week depending on the amount of COVID-19 cases. Check your county's health department website for the most current information. Santa Cruz county residents can visit the Santa Cruz's Health Services Agency website.

Q. Should I wear a mask or face covering? How do I make a mask?

A. Santa Cruz County requires staff and customers at essential businesses to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read the full order, a helpful face covering FAQ from the county, and some face covering tips in English and Spanish. You can make your own masks with materials you have at home. You don't need to sew. Learn how with these links:

Face coverings can be homemade masks, bandanas, scarves, or other permeable materials without holes. Make sure it fits snugly and allows you to breathe easily. Wash them regularly and be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when taking it on or off. And remember, a mask does not offer 100% protection, so continue to stay 6 feet away from others.


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
  • See guidance from the CDC on how to care for yourself at home. 
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. 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. See the UCSC Global Engagement websites below for the most current requirements about self-quarantine and travel restrictions

Q. Does vaping increase my risk of COVID-19?

A. 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.

Q. Should I take hydroxychloroquine or consume disinfectants?

A. New research has shown that hydroxychloroquine can cause dangerous heart issues. The Food and Drug Administration asks that you avoid this medication unless instructed by your healthcare provider. Do not try to kill coronavirus by injecting or ingesting household disinfectants or cleansers. Bleach, Lysol, etc. are not safe to consume. Putting them in your body can kill or seriously harm you. Use them on household surfaces only.

Q. How should I clean and disinfect my residence hall room?

A. If you live in a residence hall, check out these new tip sheets by UCSC Student Housing Services. Learn how to clean your room and laundry with COVID-19 in mind, and get some safety tips, too.

COVID-19 Cleaning Tips (click to enlarge)
Safety Advice and Tips (click to enlarge)


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.


  • Campus COVID-19 Upates: Full campus updates on COVID-19 at
  • What to Do If You're Sick: Guidance from the CDC about what to do if you're sick and how to care for yourself at home. We recommend that you call your healthcare provider before you visit the Student Health Center or other medical facility. They will have instructions for you on how to care for yourself and limit the spread of illness.
  • CDC's COVID-19 self-checker: Answer some questions about your symptos to get advice about what you should do next. 
  • 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.
  • 211 Phone or Text: Questions about coronavirus? In Santa Cruz County, you can dial 211 or text "COVID19" to 211211 for more coronavirus information:
  • Proper Handwashing Technique: Learn how to wash your hands the right way.
  • Fighting Stigma and Discrimination: The CDC released a helpful resource called COVID-19: What is Stigma and What Causes It? The page includes frequently asked questions and answers about stigma related to COVID-19 and how to stop stigma and provide social support. Campus community members who are experiencing discrimination or harassment on the basis of their nationality or race are encouraged to report incidents by going to or
  • Overcome Coronavirus Stress: CAPS shares guided meditations, articles, and app recommendations to help you relax.
  • Music Video: If coronavirus stress has got you down, get ready to laugh and hum along with the Vietnam Department of Health's super-catchy "Jealous Coronavirus" music video.