COVID-19 Update: Test Results and Library Services

March 18, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I am writing to provide an update on our campus’s response to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Isla Vista COVID-19 Test and Social Distancing
First, I want to share the news that all five of our students who were identified over the weekend in Isla Vista have tested negative for COVID-19, according to information just released by the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health. Our students are no longer in mandatory quarantine, but were directed to self-quarantine by Health Officer Order and to practice social distancing.

We strongly urge everyone – our students, staff, and faculty, especially those who remain 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. The situation is very serious, and it is up to all of us to take the necessary precautions to help keep ourselves and one another safe. 

While our experts tell us that most people who acquire COVID-19 will not develop severe disease, the related health risks to those with underlying conditions and to our aging populations are extremely high. If any one of us becomes infected, it will pose a potentially life-threatening risk of infection to other people. The virus, our experts say, can be transmitted by asymptomatic patients, or days before symptoms begin. This makes social distancing and similar health practices vitally important to saving lives.

Library Services 
To protect the health and welfare of everyone who works in and uses our Library, and to be consistent with the directives of state public health officials and recommendations by health experts, we have made the difficult decision to close our UC Santa Barbara Library to patrons starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Our Music Library will be closing today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 6 p.m.

Our Library provides essential and important services for our students and faculty, and we know that closing the Library to patrons poses another significant challenge. Our dedicated Library staff will do everything possible, taking into consideration social distancing requirements and other health safety measures, in order to continue to provide services in support of remote instruction, learning, and research. Available Library services and updates will be posted on the Library’s website.  

We will continue to send timely updates to our community regarding our campus response in order to provide as much information and clarity as soon as possible during this time of uncertainty. We remain deeply grateful for everyone’s community-mindedness and willingness to make self-sacrifices in support of the well-being of our entire community. 

Sincerely,

Henry T. Yang
Chancellor