To the UC Davis Community:
I hope you are enjoying the summer and some downtime following the busier days of the academic year. Let me begin with some COVID-19 reminders:
Vaccine compliance for new and returning students — Now is the time to ensure you are up to date on COVID-19 vaccine and booster requirements. All Davis campus students must be in compliance with the UC Vaccine Policy by September 21 or they will receive a registration hold on their account. For more information on how to comply, visit the Students and Families page on the Campus Ready website.
Voluntary testing on the Davis campus — As previously announced, we ended the COVID-19 testing requirement in June, but please know you have the option to continue testing. Asymptomatic testing is available on a voluntary basis at our new testing kiosk in the Human Resources Administration Building. It’s just a short walk across La Rue Road from our previous location in the Activities and Recreation Center. This testing will be provided to UC Davis employees and students through December 2022 (and possibly longer if public health conditions dictate). This includes matriculated students and faculty/staff who are paid through UCPath. The kiosk is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Schedule appointments via the Health-e-Messaging portal as walk-in testing is not available.
Davis campus employees and students can also go to the asymptomatic testing kiosk on the Sacramento campus, open from 6 to 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 6 to 11 a.m. Friday. Schedule appointments in Health-e-Messaging. The kiosk is in the Administrative Services Building at 2450 48th St.
Community testing —Healthy Davis Together and Healthy Yolo Together ended testing in June, but testing is still available in Yolo County at the OptumServe test-and-treatment site in Woodland. Free, at-home antigen test kits are available in limited supplies at county libraries. See “Where Can I Get Tested?” on Yolo County’s COVID-19 website for more information.
The city of Davis received 8,000 antigen test kits from Healthy Davis Together and added some of them to the county supply at the Mary L. Stephens Branch Library, 314 E. 14th St., while making others available to children enrolled in the city’s summer camps. See more information here.
Free test kits also are available by mail from the federal government.
In addition, Yolo County has a plan to distribute free testing kits from vending machines, to be installed in locations accessible at all hours in West Sacramento, Woodland, Esparto, Winters and Davis.
Daily Symptom Survey — Employees (including student employees) are still required to complete the Daily Symptom Survey, or DSS, before arriving to work at a university-controlled facility. This helps us meet a Cal-OSHA requirement that employees self-check their symptoms prior to arriving at work each day. In addition, employees who fill out the DSS will receive the daily potential exposure report when applicable. Students are no longer required to complete the DSS. However, it’s a useful tool for students who want to continue monitoring their symptoms or verify that they cannot access campus facilities.
Continued vigilance — We are monitoring new subvariants, positivity rates, and other factors such as the seriousness of COVID-19 illnesses and the presence of the virus in wastewater. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we will update our protocols accordingly. For more information, refer to the Summer Guidance page on Campus Ready.
We’re in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of spring 2022 commencement events with a variety of campus stakeholders. We’ll use this information to ensure that we do better in the future. I can’t make up for the disappointment that many of our students and their families felt on what should have been one of the most exciting and rewarding days of their academic journeys. But I am committed to making amends. We sent a survey to all of those students who were impacted and unable to walk during commencement, to get their suggestions about the timing for a makeup commencement ceremony. We’ll share information on both of these efforts in a future communication.
There’s much good news to report, even in these quieter summer months. Case in point: Earlier this week we shared exciting news about a new National Center for Interventional Biophotonic Technologies we are creating thanks to a $6.3 million grant from federal government’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The center will use two optical imaging technologies developed at UC Davis, along with artificial intelligence-informed technologies to improve the quality of surgical procedures and brain monitoring. I’m thrilled that the new center will be located at Aggie Square and will leverage UC Davis discoveries.
Last week, one of our UC Davis alumni received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor, at the White House. Sister Simone Campbell ’77 received the award in recognition of her decades-long commitment to social justice activism.
Finally, if you missed the story about the Chancellor’s Innovation Awards for 2022, we honored Professors Ermias Kebreab, Delmar Larsen and Jan Nolta, and our community partner, AgStart. I encourage you to learn more about our honorees and how they’re moving UC Davis — and the world — forward.
Gary S. May