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Coronavirus News Briefs: 6 Feet, Please

By Dateline Staff on March 24, 2020 in University



The Aboretum and other outdoor areas of the Davis campus drew crowds over the weekend as people got out of their houses for a while.

Such excursions are permitted under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home order — so long as people practice social distancing. Unfortunately, that was not always the case on campus, observers said. The weekend visitors also left a bit of a mess.

As a result, the campus is working on signs urging people to maintain 6 feet of separation, and if that does not appear possible, due to crowd size, visit another time. Officials also are telling people UC Davis cannot ensure the adequate disinfection of railings, benches, picnic benches, water fountains and other facilities.

Further, the campus is asking people to use the bathroom at home (campus restrooms are closed) and to please take their trash with them when they leave, to ease the burden on the reduced staff.

Advise and educate

Police Chief Joe Farrow says people who come to campus to perform essential functions need not worry about being stopped by police, as such travel is allowed under the governor’s stay-at-home executive order.

“Officers will be more concerned with some type of group event and not individual travel,” the chief said. “All of the chiefs in Yolo County are operating on the same page, that we are here to advise and educate rather than strictly enforce in a punitive way.”

Housing refunds

Student Housing and Dining Services is encouraging its residents to return to their permanent residences for the all-remote instruction spring quarter, if feasible. Although modified, housing and dining services will remain open to serve residents who are unable to vacate their campus residences.

Students who are canceling their housing contracts will receive full or prorated refunds for their room and board/housing, depending on the timing of their cancellation and move.

Coming to campus to move out is not a violation of Yolo County or state of California shelter-in-place directives, officials said. The county exempted travel that facilitates remote learning (thus permitting students to retrieve their belongings, for the purpose of continuing their education at home). The state order considers higher education among critical functions to be maintained.

See Student Affairs’ COVID-19 FAQ.

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees for spring quarter remain the same, given that the remote instruction program fully supports continuing progress toward students’ academic degrees. Payments were due March 15; students unable to pay the full amount have until April 10 to sign up for the Deferred Payment Plan. The university has suspended the $110 late fee for spring quarter.

All undergraduate and graduate Course Materials and Services Fees that are tied to specific courses also have been suspended. See the list of fees on this PDF, which is included as a report on the Tuition and Fees website.

Buses, trains and Jump

Unitrans service continues, on a limited basis, fare-free and with this caveat: bus rides are for essential travel only. Further, passengers should board buses at the rear, to maintain social distancing between themselves and drivers, said Jeff Flynn, general manager of the campus-city bus service.

Buses start running at 7 a.m. daily on seven lines: G, K, M, P, Q, O and V-MU, all serving the Memorial Union Terminal. There is no service to the Silo Terminal.

This schedule will continue until at least Tuesday, April 7. Service levels for the remainder of spring quarter are being reviewed.

Amtrak California has cut its Capitol Corridor service due to declining ridership. Effective last Saturday (March 21), the Capitol Corridor offers five round trips daily, seven days a week, between Sacramento and Oakland, with four of those trains continuing to San Jose. All other trains are canceled until further notice, including Sacramento-Auburn. Bus service is available for Roseville, Rocklin and Auburn passengers.

Jump bikes and scooters are not running at all, after parent company Uber announced last Wednesday (March 18) a suspension of rentals in the Sacramento-Davis area until further notice, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Deliveries pile up

While campus is suspending operations, deliveries are quickly piling up at Central Receiving. Deliveries can be picked up at Mail Services will-call at 615 Hopkins Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

If items are not picked up, they will be held there until normal operations resume. However, with the current operational status expected to continue for weeks, Distribution and Logistics is asking customers to please work with vendors to hold freight items that have been ordered if those items are not already in the transportation chain and not of immediate need, and, please do not place orders for supplies at this time, unless there is an immediate need. This will help ensure that Central Receiving does not become filled to capacity in the coming weeks.

Please contact with questions. More information on on-campus services is available on the FOA Operational Status Updates page.

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or