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Coronavirus News Briefs: Thank-You to Staff

By Dateline Staff on March 31, 2020 in University



President Janet Napolitano in a statement Friday (March 27) thanked “all of UC’s dedicated medical and clinical professionals, researchers, and those who are keeping our education enterprise running at this very difficult juncture.”

“Though it will take time, we will weather this storm and come out much stronger on the other side,” she said.

Napolitano’s acknowledgement of employees’ efforts accompanied her comments on the $2 trillion CARES Act approved Friday in Washington, D.C. “The unprecedented spending bill will allow the University of California to begin to meet extraordinary challenges during this pandemic,” she said.

“The CARES Act provides much-needed fiscal relief and funding to UC’s health centers treating COVID-19 patients, allowing the  so that they will be able to purchase additional masks, gloves and other equipment desperately needed to protect the nurses, doctors and other medical professionals on the frontlines of this fight,” Napolitano said.

“The law will also help ensure that UC students receive the necessary financial support to continue pursuing their education, while providing our researchers additional resources to combat this virus by further exploring possible treatments and a vaccine.”

Career resilience workshop

Staff Development and Professional Services will present a workshop over Zoom: Career Resilience in Turbulent Times. “Turbulent,” as in campus operations have been suspended.

“Our current environment of uncertainty and change can trigger anxiety about what the future holds for our jobs and career development,” the workshop announcement states. “While this can feel overwhelming, you can take steps to build your career resilience, be better prepared and be ready to navigate whatever lies ahead.

This career counselor-led workshop will provide an overview of proactive, practical steps you can take right now to feel more in control of your career destiny, and offer ideas and resources to boost your career resilience, especially in turbulent times.

The workshop is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday (April 1). How to participate:

  • Zoom online
  • Phone: 669-900-6833
    855-880-1246 (toll-free)
    877-369-0926 (toll-free)
  • Meeting ID: 132 292 780

Ergonomics at home

The Ergonomics and Body Mechanics Program has posted “Ergonomics Tips for Telecommuters,” with guidance on how to create an ergonomic workspace at home, encompassing everything from monitor height to lighting.

Working remotely during disruptions.

Pantry and Aggie Compass team up

Food distribution at the Memorial Union

Besides bags of groceries on the Quad, last week’s food distribution also included fresh produce, distributed here by Mary Thai, left, and Rebeccah Martin. Thai is a co-coordinator of the Fruit and Veggie-Up! program, and Martin is a junior manager at The Pantry. The Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center is working with The Pantry on weekly food distributions. More information is available here.

Advisories from campus police

The Police Department issued the following announcements:

  • Don’t let thieves in while the campus is quiet. When you enter or leave a building, lock the door behind you. Don’t prop doors open and don’t let someone tailgate behind you. Please report suspicious activity by calling 530-752-1727. 
  • The department has temporarily suspended its Safe Rides service, as a safety measure.
  • The Mobility Assistance Shuttle, also operated by the Police Department, is still available.

Manetti Shrem Museum at Home

David Hockney painting of flowers
Featured in the newsletter: A new painting by David Hockney.

Join Annabeth Rosen, the Robert Arneson Endowed Professor, in her ceramics studio. Design a family mosaic with educators from the Frist Art Museum. Hear from Alexandra Sofroniew, assistant professor of art history, about her favorite element of the periodic table.

All of these video treats were featured in last week’s inaugural edition of Manetti Shrem Museum at Home, a newsletter from the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

The newsletter, to be delivered Fridays by email, is dedicated to bringing the museum’s art, artists and ideas to the community while the museum is closed and the state is under a stay-at-home order.

“Expect long reads and videos about UC Davis artists, ideas to keep your creative juices flowing, and links to open your mind and heart with art,” the first issue declared.

Sign up to receive Manetti Shrem Museum at Home.

Mail and packages held up

Mail Services has asked staff and others to stop ordering supplies unless there is an immediate need. The goal is to keep packages from stacking up along with the regular mail.

For orders already placed, Mail Services asks the campus to see if vendors can hold off on shipping freight items unless they have already gone out or are needed immediately.

Campus customers can drop off mail and-or retrieve mail at Mail Services will call, Hopkins Service Complex, 615 Hopkins Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Outgoing U.S. mail deposited in drop boxes by 2 p.m. will be processed the same day.

Special Messenger for urgent mail is available at this time. Requests will be considered on an ad hoc basis, based on staffing and other considerations. 

Mail delivery is unchanged on the Sacramento campus.

See the operational status of all Finance, Operations and Administration units.

Accounts Payable by email

With most of the Davis campus’s mail being held at the Hopkins Service Complex, Accounts Payable has asked campus personnel to tell vendors to send their invoices, including purchase order numbers, by email to

Accounts Payable also encourages suppliers to use the electronic invoicing platform, Transcepta, which helps ensure that suppliers provide all necessary information, automatically sending it to the invoice team. Suppliers can register directly at

Retirement processing

UC is still processing retirements, but there is important new guidance for employees on how to get it done during the coronavirus outbreak.

“While the transition [to remote operations] is going smoothly, we have altered our operations to best serve our members given the circumstances,” says the Retirement Administration Service Center. “During this time, however, we will be unable to answer calls as usual, and our ability to process physical mail will be severely limited.”

In light of these changes, UC Retirement Plan members can initiate and process their retirements electronically through UC Retirement At Your Service, or UCRAYS.

“Mailing in your Request for Retirement Initiation Packet is not currently a viable option,” Kyle Urban, director of the UC Davis Retiree Center, said in an email last week to people who took the center’s recent Transitioning to Retirement workshop series.

Instead, you should download the Request for Retirement Initiation Packet, fill it out, save it as a PDF or Word document, and submit it either electronically, as a secure message attachment through your UCRAYS account, or by fax to 800-792-5178. (Learn more about UCRAYS and how to register.)

Urban added: If you previously mailed in this document in March and did not receive your personal retirement profile in the mail, we strongly recommend you resubmit following the above instructions.

If you received your retirement profile in the mail and completed the election worksheet, please submit the completed version via secure messaging on UCRAYS or via fax, 800-792-5178.

Please note: If you plan to retire on July 1, it’s recommended that you start this process as early in April as possible.

Stebbins trails closed

UC Davis’ Stebbins Cold Canyon Natural Reserve is closed to the public during the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials implemented the closure last Tuesday (March 24) at the request of the Solano County Office of Emergency Services, which has jurisdiction over most of Stebbins’ popular trail system.

Outdoor excursions are permitted under the statewide stay-at-home order, but people are asked to practice social distancing. “Narrow trails in Stebbins Cold Canyon make it impossible to maintain the required social distancing, especially given large crowds that have accessed the site in recent days,” the closure announcement states.

In addition, Solano County is concerned that wildland area rescues in places like Stebbins Cold Canyon could put a strain on first-responder resources amid the pandemic.

Social services in 4 counties

Contact information for social services in our region, for employees and their families who may be in need of assistance:

Regardless of your county of residence, you can apply for aid through the state’s MyBenefits CalWIN website (all programs) or the CalFresh program’s GetCalFresh website, for food stamps.

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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