June 17, 2020
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
I am writing to share that our campus has been notified of two additional positive COVID-19 tests in members of our community.
Last week, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Garry Mac Pherson wrote to campus concerning two positive COVID-19 tests in members of our Dining Services. Since that time, we have been notified that two students, including one who worked in Dining Services, have tested positive as well.
Our thoughts are with all of our community members who have received positive test results and their families, and we wish everyone a full and speedy recovery.
Dining Services has notified staff members and others who may have had contact with the newly reported case, and campus officials are working with Santa Barbara County Public Health officials, who have determined whether anyone in the community with close contact with either of the new cases will require additional follow up. Neither student lives in campus housing.
The student working in Dining Services who recently tested positive was not involved in food preparation and has not been at work for more than a week. As Vice Chancellor Mac Pherson wrote last week, Dining Services’s health protocols make it unlikely that students receiving meals have been exposed. Dining Services team members are required to wear face coverings at all times while on campus, wear gloves while working, and practice physical distancing, even while on breaks. Students receive their pre-prepared meals at an outdoor satellite location equipped with protective shields, and all tables and surface areas are cleaned and sanitized following every transaction.
Dining Services also has designated monitoring teams to ensure compliance during work hours, and managers perform daily verbal wellness screenings with team members.
We encourage any members of the UC Santa Barbara community who would like to be tested to take advantage of free testing made available by the County. Students with health questions may also contact Student Health at (805) 893-3371 or (805) 893-7129.
Questions regarding Dining Services should be directed to Jill Horst, Director of Campus Dining Services.
These four cases in our community over a short time span are a reminder of the importance of continuing to follow prescribed protocols to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including the use of face coverings, frequent hand washing, and practicing physical distancing as well as other steps recommended by public health experts to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and your community.
Henry T. Yang