With UC Santa Barbara students moving on campus for the upcoming year, the university has set a series of COVID-19 protocols that students must follow to access campus resources and buildings beginning Fall Quarter 2021.
The university is yet to announce when the protocols will no longer be required.
Daily Student Protocols
Students must log into their Student Health Service (SHS) portal to take a daily COVID-19 screening survey, which is sent via text message and email every morning at 1 a.m. Students are required to take these surveys every day prior to accessing campus resources and campus buildings.
All faculty, staff members, students and visitors to campus are required to wear face masks in all shared indoor spaces in response to the Delta variant.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by UCSB’s COVID-19 Medical Response Team and given advice on how to proceed through the required 10 days of isolation after their positive test or when their symptoms began.
Those living in the residence halls and needing to be separated from their roommates can be moved into the quarantine and isolation (Q & I) housing in two facilities separate from campus residence halls. There is space for up to 60 students in Q & I housing, with the ability to expand if necessary. These rooms are also offered, if space is available, for students living in university apartments or in Isla Vista who need to quarantine. Alternatives can also be explored with students if needed. All rooms dedicated to Q & I housing have their own bathrooms.
An alternative to Q & I housing for students is returning to their parents’ home, but this is not recommended by the university, according to UCSB Spokesperson Andrea Estrada, as they may spread COVID-19 at home. Regardless, students choosing to return home will be followed up by UCSB’s COVID-19 Medical Response Team to assess whether they need any campus services during their time in isolation.
Q & I housing is only available for students, while staff and faculty who test positive for COVID-19 must work with the county to gain additional support, Estrada said.
As per UC’s severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19 Vaccination Program Policy, all faculty, staff and students must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption from vaccination to access any UC or campus facilities, attend classes and participate in university programs. Students must upload their vaccination documentation through their SHS Patient Portal Gateway.
On Sept. 10, the university emailed the campus community about classroom ventilation for the academic year. Since the beginning of COVID-19, the university has done the following: completed an inspection and repairs on over 100 major air handling systems connected to campus instructional spaces with the assistance of an outside engineering contractor, inspected all indoor spaces and air handling systems on campus, inspected all classrooms with mechanically supplied ventilation and identified about 20 instructional spaces that will be used for fall quarter that do not use forced-air ventilation.
The university is currently working on ensuring that ventilation systems are running continuously, from an hour before rooms are expected to be occupied to an hour after the end of instruction. The university also created a list of instructional spaces and their ventilation information in order to perform risk assessments of classrooms with mechanically-supplied ventilation.
As of Sept. 13, the University Library fully reopened its main and music buildings to the campus community. Students, staff, faculty and community members can access all eight floors of the facility, and the bookable and drop-in study rooms will once again be available for groups. The Services Desk is now back in operation. However, pickup and mailing service, as well as the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, will be discontinued.
UCSB’s Recreational Center is also open to students, faculty and staff — along with their spouses — and no reservations are required as of June 24.
A version of this article appeared on p. 11 of the Sept. 23, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.