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Campus Closed Through Thanksgiving Break Health Care Facilities Remain Open

By Dateline Staff and UC Davis News Service on November 21, 2018 in University News

Updated 4:35 p.m. Nov. 21:

As approved by the Office of the President, fall quarter final exams will not be moved and instructional days will not be added.


Updated 3:30 p.m. Nov. 20:

A package of stories offers a roundup of information on the campus closure and the scheduled reopening and resumption of classes on Monday, Nov. 26. The main story and links to others address:

  • Support for students
  • Academics
  • Help for international students and scholars
  • Compensation, paychecks and open enrollment
  • Bus service
  • Libraries reopen Saturday
  • Ways to help
  • How art exhibits and shows will go on
  • And more

Updated 2 p.m. Nov. 19:

The UC Office of the President announced today that it is not considering, at this time, an extension of the open enrollment deadline, which is 5 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 20). However, Aaron Locquiao, benefits manager for UC Davis, said employees may reach out to him directly, by email, if they are unable to complete their transactions by the deadline.


Updated 12:15 p.m. Nov. 18: 

Fall Commencement will remain scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15.


Updated noon Nov. 18:

Reduced service and free rides on Unitrans will continue the first half of the coming week. Here is the schedule for Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 19-21: Weekend Service on the G, K, M and V-MU lines (buses every 60 minutes); Regular Service on the P and Q lines (every 30 minutes); Break Service on the Z line (every 60 minutes); and no service on the A, B, C, D, E, F, J, L, S, T and W lines. 

No service Thanksgiving Day (as per usual) and Weekend Service will begin Friday, Nov. 23.

All service subject to change, including the scheduled shuttle service to Sacramento International Airport, Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. Check back here for updates, or check the Unitrans website or Facebook page.


Updated 11:15 a.m. Nov. 18: 

For students whose families have been directly impacted by California wildfires, case managers at the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs help to connect students with helping resources on and off campus including but not limited to course arrangements, academic advising and housing. If you would like to explore how a case manager can help, please visit ossja.ucdavis.edu and complete a form for student assistance and support or send an email to aggiecare@ucdavis.edu.

Aggie Compass provides a webpage of Crisis Support Resources.


Updated 9:15 a.m. Nov. 18 with this message from Chancellor Gary S. May:

Dear UC Davis Community,

While we had hoped to reopen our Davis and Sacramento campuses on Monday, Nov. 19, the air quality forecasts are not showing enough improvement toward the healthy categories. In addition, the Academic Senate leadership has recommended that classes be canceled Monday through Wednesday. Based on this and other input, we have decided to close both campuses through the Thanksgiving break. The campuses will reopen and classes will resume on Monday, Nov. 26.

In consultation with the Office of the President, our provost, the Academic Senate and Academic Federation are working on details about how the remaining days of the quarter will be handled. We’ll communicate about that as soon as possible.

The UC Davis hospital, clinical sites, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, residence halls and Student Health and Wellness Center will remain open. Fire and police services remain open. Additional guidance will be provided later today about how essential and nonessential employees should report to work.

The Butte County fire has taken a horrific toll on many people and communities. The scale of this disaster is unlike anything we’ve seen in Northern California. Many of you have communicated your concern and sorrow, and many of you have found ways to help families recover.

In this season of giving thanks, I hope each of you will consider how you can contribute in meaningful ways to communities, people and animals in need. The Aggie community is a generous one, and for that I’m grateful.

Gary S. May 
Chancellor


Updated 10 a.m. Nov. 17:

In a video posted this morning, three UC Davis Health physicians address critical topics about living amid the wildfire smoke that is blanketing the region, answering these questions: “How do I protect my health when the air quality is poor?” “Is it safe to go to work or school?” “What do I need to know about masks?” and “Who should take special precautions?”

The physicians:

  • Timothy E. Albertson, professor and chair, Department of Internal Medicine
  • Nicholas Kenyon, division chief, Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
  • Amir A. Zeki, associate professor and co-director, Asthma Network Clinic

Updated 11:55 a.m. Nov. 16:

The UC Davis campuses in Davis and Sacramento will remain closed over the weekend, and classes scheduled for Saturday and Sunday are canceled. Decisions about whether to proceed with events that are scheduled for the weekend will be made by the respective events’ organizers.


Updated 10:15 a.m. Nov. 16:

Tomorrow's Causeway Classic football game between UC Davis and Sacramento State has been moved from Aggie Stadium to Mackay Stadium at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kickoff will proceed at noon as scheduled.

“The game is being relocated to prioritize the health and safety of student-athletes from both schools," Intercollegiate Athletics said in a statement. “The decision to switch venues was made in consultation with officials from Sacramento State and the Big Sky Conference.”

Existing tickets will be honored at the new location, which will be entirely general admission seating. Donations will be accepted at the gates for those who didn't buy tickets in advance, with the money going to the American Red Cross’ Camp Fire relief efforts.


Updated 7 a.m. Nov. 16:

Unitrans is scaling back further today (Nov. 16), General Manager Jeff Flynn said this morning. The schedule for today (with rides still fare-free): Weekend Service on the G, K, M and V-MU lines (buses every 60 minutes); Regular Service on the P and Q lines (every 30 minutes); and Break Service on the Z line (every 60 minutes). No service: A, B, C, D, E, F, J, L, S, T and W lines. 


Updated 8:45 p.m. Nov. 15:

Unitrans, the city-campus bus system, is shutting down at this hour. General Manager Jeff Flynn said the air is bad and ridership is practically nil. “In the interest of our students and career staff, we’re pulling in the buses and sending people home. There is no more Unitrans service for the evening.”


Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov. 15:

The UC Davis campuses in Davis and Sacramento will remain closed on Friday, Nov. 16, due to continued poor air quality from the Butte County fire. 

The UC Davis hospitals, primary care clinics, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Student Health and Wellness Center will remain open. Fire and police services remain open. Only essential staff should report to work on Friday. Please consult with your supervisor to determine if you are essential personnel.

We remain concerned about the impact campus closures are having on classes and research; however, the health and safety of our community comes first. 

This is new territory, and we acknowledge that we don’t have hard and fast guidelines in place for these types of extreme conditions. We are making the best decisions for the community that we can on a day-to-day basis, using the best available data and input from public health experts. The forecasting and trending data can change rapidly, as many of you have seen today. Once we are back in normal operating conditions, it will be a priority for us to establish guidelines for operations during disruptive events. At the moment, there are no easy solutions and we are not making decisions lightly. 

We know you have questions about class schedules, finals and impacts to work schedules. We are working with the UC Office of the President and our Academic Senate and Academic Federation to provide clear instructions to the community. 

We anticipate reopening the campus on Monday, Nov. 19, and returning to our normal schedule. We will make a determination by 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, about campus operations for Monday.  

Information for faculty, staff and student employees can be found on the Finance, Operations and Administration website.

Information on class cancellation and instructional policies for faculty and instructors can be found on the Academic Senate website.  

See frequently asked questions.


Updated 9:30 a.m. Nov. 15:

Important class cancellation information and instructional policies for faculty and instructors.


Updated 4:20 p.m. Nov. 14:

Chancellor Gary S. May’s leadership team met with faculty, staff, students, administrators and university health care officials today for input and feedback about ongoing and predicted air quality from the Butte County fire. Based on their recommendations and consistent with other area closures and forecasts, the Davis and Sacramento campuses will be closed Thursday, Nov. 15, and classes will be canceled. The UC Davis hospitals, primary care clinics, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Student Health and Wellness Center will remain open. Fire and police services remain open. Only essential staff should report to work on Thursday. Please consult with your supervisor to determine if you are essential personnel.

We will continue to monitor the air quality. The forecasts are trending toward air quality improvements by Friday, which means we anticipate the campus would be open on Friday. We will provide further updates by 5 p.m. Thursday about the university operational status for Friday, Nov. 16.

We recognize that these closures have caused significant disruptions to the UC Davis community. We will share information shortly about how class schedules and finals will be handled for the remainder of the quarter. 

Information for faculty, staff and student employees can be found on the Finance, Operations and Administration website.

See frequently asked questions.


Updated 1 p.m. Nov. 14:

Frequently asked questions for faculty, staff and student employees can be found on the Finance, Operations and Administration website.


Statement posted at 6:50 a.m. Nov. 14:

Chancellor Gary S. May and other campus leaders have heard the community’s concerns. The chancellor regrets any stress or inconvenience our previous update caused. We are all learning together. The Davis and Sacramento campuses will be closed today and classes canceled. The UC Davis hospitals, primary care clinics, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Student Health and Wellness Center will remain open. The N95 masks will be available at the Memorial Union and the UC Davis Fire Department later today. The UC Davis Police and Fire departments are continuing normal operations. We will provide further updates later today.


Statement posted at 9 p.m. Nov. 13:

After consulting with our UC Davis health and fire experts and monitoring updated guidance from other public health experts regarding air quality, UC Davis classes will resume on Wednesday, Nov. 14; however, all outdoor physical education classes are canceled. In order to encourage people to refrain from excessive outdoor physical activity, Unitrans will offer free rides for students, faculty and staff throughout the day, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

UC Davis Health pulmonary specialists recommend tracking the air quality index (AQI) in your region. When the AQI is over 100 (unhealthy for sensitive groups) or over 150 for everyone, please follow these guidelines:

  • Minimize outdoor activity and stay inside whenever possible
  • Keep all windows, doors and vents shut
  • If you exercise, only do so indoors

Students, faculty and staff who have chronic cardiopulmonary diseases such as asthma, COPD and coronary artery disease, or those who are pregnant or do not feel well due to the smoke, should monitor their symptoms and consult with their health care provider, or seek care at an urgent care center or emergency department if symptoms increase.   

UC Davis will have a limited supply of N95 masks for students and employees, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks will be available beginning Wednesday midday at the Memorial Union and the UC Davis Fire Department on the Davis campus, and at Employee Health, UC Davis Health on the Sacramento campus.

Please note that prolonged use of N95 respirator mask can exacerbate symptoms in those with respiratory problems. N95 respirator mask use by those with heart and respiratory diseases can be dangerous, and should only be done under a doctor’s supervision. Please see links to public health advisories from Sacramento and Yolo County public health officers regarding mask use and consult with your health care provider about the benefits and risks of mask use.

Our concern for the health and safety of our community is our priority. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed. 

Frequently asked questions

Can the academic quarter be extended to make up for the closure? 

No, the quarter will not be extended. Doing so will impact existing plans of faculty and students and would require prior consultation with the American Federation of Teachers because of our represented faculty.

Are there N95 masks available on campus for students and staff?

We will have N95 masks for those with high medical risks available midday Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Memorial Union (information desk on the first floor, East Wing) and the UC Davis Fire Department on the Davis campus, and at Employee Health, UC Davis Health on the Sacramento campus.

What if I have asthma or don’t feel well with the smoke outside?

Students, faculty and staff who have chronic cardiopulmonary diseases such as asthma, COPD and coronary artery disease, or those who do not feel well due to the smoke, should take precautions and consult with their health care provider.

UC Davis Health pulmonary specialists recommend tracking the air quality index (AQI) in your region. When the AQI exceeds 100 (unhealthy for sensitive groups) or 150 (unhealthy for everyone), please follow these guidelines:

  • Stay inside
  • Close all windows and doors
  • If you exercise, do so only indoors

Those with chronic lung conditions should closely monitor their symptoms and consult their health care provider if shortness of breath increases. If symptoms worsen and don't respond to medication, don't delay getting to an urgent care center or emergency department.

Are there plans for future class cancellations, since the air quality isn’t looking to improve over the next couple of days?

UC Davis is carefully monitoring the air quality reports and forecasts and continuing to consult our many air quality and health experts across campus. We will let the campus community know of any additional announcements.

Whose decision is it to cancel classes and what logistics are needed to close classes?

The decision is made by campus leadership in coordination with the Academic Senate. UC Davis and regional health and fire experts also are being consulted.

Is Unitrans available when the campus is closed?

Yes, Unitrans continues to serve the city of Davis and the campus — although you should check the Unitrans website or Facebook page for schedule and fare adjustments. Nov. 17-18: Weekend Service (no schedule or route changes, but no fares will be charged). Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 19-21: Weekend Service on the G, K, M and V-MU lines (buses every 60 minutes); Regular Service on the P and Q lines (every 30 minutes); Break Service on the Z line (every 60 minutes); and no service on the A, B, C, D, E, F, J, L, S, T and W lines. 

No service Thanksgiving Day (as per usual) and Weekend Service will begin Friday, Nov. 23.

All service subject to change, including the scheduled shuttle service to Sacramento International Airport, Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. Check back here for updates, or check the Unitrans website or Facebook page.

What about parking and enforcement?

During the campus closure, a permit is not required to park on campus unless a special event is in progress and attendants are on site. Transportation Services (TAPS) is not enforcing regular parking permit regulations (although violations such as parking in red zones, sidewalks, disabled, etc., may be enforced). The TAPS office/lobby is closed for business; online services are not affected. Motorist assistance (battery jump, tire inflation, lockout, etc.) is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. by calling 530-752-8277. Please check the TAPS website for updates.


Will the Causeway Classic be canceled? Or any other athletic activity?


Practices have been moved to times when the air quality is within NCAA guidelines. Determination about playing the Causeway Classic will be made later this week in consideration with those same guidelines.

Will there be further updates about this issue?

We will be updating this site with any additional or new information. 


Statement posted at 7 a.m. Nov. 13:

UC Davis classes in Davis and Sacramento are canceled on Tuesday, Nov. 13, due to poor air quality as a result of the Butte County fire. 

The campuses are open. All employees should report to work; however, those who work outdoors should limit activity. Please be safe. 

For air quality information, visit the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District or the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District


The latest university announcements related to the Camp Fire will be posted here and on the News & Information page.

Media contact(s)

Melissa Blouin, News and Media Relations, 530-752-2542, cell 530-564-2698, mlblouin@ucdavis.edu

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