Update and Clarification of Sequestration Requirement
November 24, 2020
Yesterday, in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our community, we announced that sequestration will be required for those residing on campus through the end of the fall quarter.
The notice, included below for your reference, indicates that exceptions will not be made for work. After hearing comments and feedback, we understand that many of you must work to make ends meet – so we have reconsidered this requirement. Those who are currently employed may leave your sequester to go to work and then immediately return to sequester, assuming you are able to do so within public health guidelines that include facial coverings and physical distancing. We encourage you to take every possible precaution to keep yourself, your co-workers and your community healthy.
All other restrictions and guidance outlined in the message remain in place.
Throughout this pandemic, our top priority has been your health and well-being. We always try to strike the right balance between public health, a fulfilling student life and economic need. In yesterday’s case, we missed the mark.
Please be safe, remain thoughtful and diligent, and make the best of the break.
Nov. 23 message
As you may have heard in news reports last week, COVID-19 cases are on the upswing nationally and regionally. California imposed statewide restrictions to slow the spread and “flatten the curve” – a term we haven’t used much since the spring.
UCI also experienced an increase in the number of cases last week. Many of the infections occurred in small gatherings among friends, when it’s easy to let our guard down. Many of those who spread the virus were asymptomatic and unaware that they were contagious.
Given this environment, we strongly encourage you to limit your travel over the Thanksgiving holiday. If you plan to go home, please stay there and finish the fall quarter remotely. If you plan to remain on campus, please celebrate the holiday in your residence. You may also find guidelines for travel and Thanksgiving from the CDC helpful. Whatever you decide to do for the holiday, please register your plans with us.
For those who remain or return to campus, new regulations will be instituted to help us prevent viral spread. Effective Wednesday, Nov. 25, undergraduate students living on campus will be sequestered until the end of the fall quarter (Dec. 18). There will not be in-person instruction except for extremely limited exceptions (students will receive additional information from their program). During this time, students are allowed to pick up meals, receive their weekly COVID-19 test and enjoy the outdoors in a physically distanced way, but guests, indoor gatherings and traveling off campus are not allowed. Exceptions may be made for essential services such as health appointments, but not for work or socializing. Housing staff will continue to provide some virtual programming and allowable activities for those who are available during this study-heavy end-of-term period.
We’ve done a good job of controlling the spread within our community – our positive cases are generally lower than most college campuses – but we have entered a new chapter in the fight against the virus. We sincerely thank you for your sacrifices so far, and encourage you to keep up the hard work. While we understand further restrictions are difficult and disappointing, your health and well-being are always our top priority.
We hope you and your loved ones have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving holiday.
Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
University of California, Irvine