March 17, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I am writing with additional updates on our campus’s response to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and to share the results of the COVID-19 test our Student Health team conducted on our student in Isla Vista.

Isla Vista COVID-19 Test
The one student tested by Student Health, who had been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, has tested negative. While this is good news, Santa Barbara County Public Health has directed all five of the students in Isla Vista who Public Health identified over the weekend to remain in quarantine. We are in close coordination with county Public Health officials, and will share with our community any information the county releases as soon as it becomes available.

We continue to strongly urge everyone, especially our students on campus and in Isla Vista, to follow best practices related to social distancing and other health practices to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. All of us being community-minded, making sacrifices, and doing our part will ultimately help save lives.

Updated Administrative Leave Guidance
Finally, I want to share updated guidance regarding emergency and administrative leave. Yesterday evening, UC President Janet Napolitano issued an Executive Order allowing up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave for all employees, including student workers, to help them address the particular challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19.  

The new guidance stipulates that “the hours may be used at any time during the period of this Executive Order, including intermittently, either before or after the use of any accrued leave or other paid leave, at the request of the employee, in consultation with the supervisor, provided that such use shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential university service.”

Additional details about the new policy, including the purposes for which the administrative leave may be used, were sent in an earlier message this afternoon to our staff. We are once again asking managers to exercise maximum flexibility to help our dedicated staff colleagues and student workers during this challenging time.

We are extremely grateful to our community for all the hard work all of us are doing during this complex and difficult campus transition. We realize that many of us are overwhelmed and struggling. Please know we are working to provide services and support to those in need, and to provide as much timely information and clarity as possible in these times of uncertainty.    


Henry T. Yang