autumn leaves frame the UC Davis water tower with cloudy skies
(Photo: Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Winter quarter outlook: Reduced operations expected to continue

Ratliff: With few operational changes expected, many employees to continue working remotely

Profile photo of Kelly Ratliff.
Vice Chancellor Kelly Ratliff

It’s been five months since I last issued a statement about the status of campus operations — and in that time UC Davis employees were able to get campus ready for students to return and for fall classes to begin. Thank you for the hard work and flexibility that got us to where we are with the fall quarter. I know this pandemic has challenged us all to adapt to changing circumstances — and you have accepted those changes with grace, creativity and redoubled dedication to our Aggie mission. I am routinely impressed with our community’s commitment to taking care of each other. Thank you.

As we move toward winter quarter, I want to let you know that we do not expect campus operations to change substantially, as in-person classes will continue to be offered on a very limited basis. We will continue to monitor public health guidance from Yolo County and seek ways to smooth the course for our gradual return to normal operations.

If you have been working remotely, we expect you will continue to do so until at least the end of the winter quarter in late March. Please continue to work closely with your supervisor on your specific circumstance.

Before winter quarter begins, most of the UC Davis campus will be closed for two weeks for winter break. In this campuswide curtailment, certain essential functions will continue, but most operations will be closed or substantially scaled back. This will require that most staff members take six days off from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2, in addition to the existing paid holidays.

One new addition to the winter quarter will be routine COVID-19 screening for all employees and students who use university facilities. Our saliva testing process has now been fully validated, after getting started as a pilot project when students moved into residence halls. Beginning next week, select employee groups will begin weekly testing at the ARC testing kiosk. When you become eligible for testing, you will receive information about how to schedule your appointment using the Student Health and Counseling Services portal.

We expect testing will be available to all employees who need to access campus facilities by December. Appointments are available 7 days a week through Dec. 20, and release time will be provided. I think having access to no-cost, rapid COVID-19 testing could be a great benefit to our employees in and around Davis particularly with the winter break and holidays approaching. If you will be using university facilities, then the testing will be mandatory.

I know that through all of this, many of you have had to adjust to major changes in how you work — from face coverings to Zoom meetings and even temporary reassignments to new roles. Every week it seems like there is a new challenge, but for all the newness, this situation is starting to feel a little old. Thank you for staying the course. Thank you for taking care of yourself, your colleagues and our campus. I continue to be so grateful to be serving the university with this team.

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