April 18, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

We were informed today by a private company with access to our Nanofabrication facility in the Engineering-Sciences Building, that one of their employees who was in our facility on April 8 and 9, carrying out approved essential research, may have had COVID-19. The person did not have symptoms until April 10 and was tested several days later, and then informed their employer of testing positive. We wish them a fast, healthy recovery.

The company reported that the individual, who is not affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, was only in our Nanofabrication facility and has not been back to campus since April 9, which was prior to the onset of symptoms. We were also informed that the individual followed all of the Nanofabrication facility’s safety and health protocols while in the building.

This facility, which provides access to both campus and outside users, has strict physical distancing requirements and requires the use of masks and gloves at all times while in the facility. As a cleanroom facility, the Nanofabrication facility protocols also include regular extensive cleanings and large air exchange volumes.

While there is a low risk that anyone in our community was exposed, out of an abundance of caution and concern for our community, the facility area where the individual was working will be deep cleaned, and we will follow all CDC procedures. Individuals who may have been in the area at the same time as this person are being contacted and the campus is issuing a timely warning as required by the Clery Act. To keep our community informed, we will be posting information about future confirmed COVID-19 cases on our COVID-19 information page.

Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our community. Our campus facilities will continue to follow strict laboratory safety protocols and existing guidance allowing access only to individuals conducting approved essential research or providing essential services.

This case reminds us of just how important it is continue to follow longstanding public health recommendations: 

  • Individuals who feel sick should stay at home.
  • If you develop flu-like symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for medical advice.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms and you are a member of the UC Santa Barbara community providing essential services, notify your supervisor and self-quarantine for 14 days in consideration of your health and that of others.
  • Most campus employees continue to telework. Only specific individuals who have been notified that they are designated as providing essential services are authorized to be on campus.
  • Continue to follow the California “Shelter-in-Residence” order, practice physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and cover your face when you must be away from your residence.

We care deeply about our community and visitors to our campus. We will continue to keep our campus community updated through email messages and posting information to our COVID-19 information page.

Please stay safe and look out for each other.


Henry T. Yang