In order to help UC Santa Barbara students and Isla Vista residents keep up with the Nexus’ coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and how the university has changed its day-to-day operations in response, below is a summary of the coverage surrounding the coronavirus. It will be updated daily.
March 27: For some high school seniors, the first step toward choosing what college to go to begins with setting foot on the campus. But for the high school class of 2020, who is graduating amidst a global pandemic, the choice of what college to attend feels more complicated than those of students before them.
March 26: UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced in a campus-wide email Thursday evening that this year’s commencement ceremony will be postponed, but that the university will hold an in-person ceremony “when it is safe to do so.”
March 24: The spread of the coronavirus, and resulting mandates for social distancing and self-isolation, shattered the possibility of in-person lectures, which will now be replaced by alternatives such as Zoom meetings and video lectures. Faculty were tasked with piecing together curriculum for online courses in only two weeks’ time.
March 22: Despite the hope that students will choose not to party due to coronavirus concerns, the university and police will continue to implement their usual Deltopia-related restrictions in preparation for possible crowds.
March 20: As of Fall Quarter 2019, there are 3,261 international undergraduate students attending UCSB — composing 14% of the campus population — as well as 914 international graduate students. Many of these international students are unable to return to their home countries, but are also unable to remain in the dorms without paying the $300 spring break housing fee.
March 19: UC Santa Barbara is aiming to curb the number of employees on campus, following Governor Gavin Newsom’s order that California residents stay at home in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
March 16: In Photos | Three days after Chancellor Yang announced that spring quarter would be conducted entirely online, the campus appeared nearly deserted, signifying how seriously students were taking the warnings to move home and stay inside amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
March 14: Chancellor Yang announced that the university would be continuing remote instruction for the entirety of spring quarter. Previously, UCSB was only expected to conduct classes remotely until the end of April.
March 14: Now that instructors will be teaching classes remotely, their challenge for the next few weeks is transitioning from their in-person course materials to online formats with the help of Instructional Development, an organization that consults, evaluates and produces instructional technology at UCSB.
March 13: As the university shifted to remote instruction and exams, the UCSB Faculty Association sent a letter to Chancellor Yang urging the university to “rescind its contract” with ProctorU, a digital proctoring service that the association’s letter says “implicates the university into becoming a surveillance tool.”
March 13: Community events such as The Warm Up, an annual concert put on by A.S. Program Board on the evening of Deltopia, have been postponed until further notice. The All Gaucho Reunion and all UCSB Arts & Lectures events have also been postponed or canceled.
March 12: The Big West Conference announced it would suspend all spring sports, as well as the Big West Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament. This follows other sports conferences across the country — including the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — that are canceling their respective tournaments for the rest of the school year.
March 12: After the university first announced it would be transitioning to online classes for the near future, administrators advised UCSB students not to return to campus if they were leaving for spring break or to stay in the area over spring break if they intended to remain in Santa Barbara during spring quarter.
March 11: Associated Students executives released a statement clarifying which A.S. operations would continue to remain open and what each executive would be able to help students with.
March 8: While there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Isla Vista or on campus so far, the Nexus spoke with Ali Javanbakht, UCSB’s interim Student Health Service executive director and medical director, to discuss the university’s preparation for when a case occurs.
March 18: Many businesses in Isla Vista have reduced their hours, shifted to takeout or delivery only or temporarily closed down altogether as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. This link contains a map that reflects how businesses have reacted to the coronavirus epidemic. It will be updated.
March 18: Isla Vistans looking to break their leases in light of UC Santa Barbara’s decision to make all spring quarter instruction remote will find it nearly impossible without facing repercussions from their landlords.
March 18: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced just after 2 p.m. Wednesday that the five UCSB students under quarantine in Isla Vista had all tested negative for coronavirus. They will remain under mandatory quarantine until March 22.
March 15: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said five UCSB students living in Isla Vista were under a mandatory quarantine order after coming into contact with someone in San Diego County who later tested positive for coronavirus.
March 12: After Chancellor Yang’s announcement that classes would be online, the Isla Vista Community Services District — I.V.’s main governing body — postponed plans for an alternative festival scheduled to be held on the same day as Deltopia.
Santa Barbara County:
March 24: Six additional coronavirus cases in Santa Barbara County were confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 24
March 22: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed five new cases of coronavirus on Sunday evening, bringing the total number of cases in Santa Barbara County to 18.
March 21: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced four new cases of coronavirus Saturday evening, bringing the total number of cases within the county up to 13.
March 19: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed six new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, adding to the three cases that were confirmed earlier in the week.
March 18: The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District announced on March 18 that it will be reducing bus services to and around UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College and will also begin providing free fares for all passengers as well as changing procedures to practice social distancing.
March 17: On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department asked all bars, pubs, wineries and breweries within the county to close “immediately” and requests that all restaurants with onsite dining switch to delivery or takeout services to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
March 17: Two individuals in Santa Barbara County have tested positive for coronavirus, according the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. As of March 16, 128 tests had been administered throughout the county.
March 16: 128 coronavirus tests had been performed within Santa Barbara County; 31 have come back negative, one has come back positive and there are 96 tests pending results.
March 15: The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed the county’s first positive case of coronavirus, a North County resident in their 60s.
UC Across the Globe:
March 19: During its monthly meeting held earlier this week, the University of California Board of Regents heard from health experts and concerned workers about how coronavirus will continue to impact the UC.
March 16: All University of California employees, including student workers, are now eligible for up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave to help them address any challenges they may face due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an executive order released by UC President Janet Napolitano.
March 12: Across the globe, study abroad programs being run through the University of California Education Abroad Program have been suspended as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel advisories jumped to Level 3, or “Avoid Nonessential Travel.” So far, over 30 programs have been canceled, with at least 980 students impacted by the cancellations. Before March 11, only three programs — in China, South Korea and Italy — had been canceled due to concerns about coronavirus.
March 10: The University of California, Washington Center academic internship program canceled its spring term on March 10 and asked winter quarter students to return home by March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.