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September 30, 2020
The purpose of this weekly newsletter is to provide the campus community with important updates and recent news related to the Return to Learn program. If you have specific questions or would like to submit feedback about the program, please email

In Case You Missed It

Required and Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing

All undergraduate and graduate students coming to campus, including all students living in university-owned housing, are required to participate in free asymptomatic testing for SARS-CoV-2 at least every 12 days with no more than 16 days between tests. All students residing in the San Diego area, as well as faculty and staff, are also encouraged to participate in voluntary, no-cost asymptomatic testing twice monthly, even if they are not coming to campus.  

Remote Instruction Resources

Educational Technology Services and the Teaching + Learning Commons hosted the annual EdTech Showcase on Sept. 21-25. All sessions were recorded and are available online, covering topics such as broadcasting in-person lectures to remote students, community building strategies, video equipment recommendations as well as tutorials on using Zoom and Canvas. In addition, faculty can reference a Welcome Packet and a Week-by-week Checklist for remote instruction.

Campus Visitor Policy

All vendors, contractors and other visitors entering the campus must wear a face covering and practice physical distancing of at least six feet. Nonessential visitors will have limited access to the campus. In-person activities or meetings involving external groups or organizations are not allowed at this time.

Upcoming Town Halls

Student Town Hall

Oct. 8, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Join us as campus leaders share updates on the Return to Learn program and address your questions related to campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faculty Town Hall  | Oct. 14, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

Staff Town Hall | Oct. 22, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Video about whether masks lead to oxygen deficiency.

Your Top Questions Answered

Question: What happens if I receive a notice of a possible exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus via the California COVID Notify app?
Answer: We strongly encourage people with possible exposures to call the testing support lines. Early information will allow us to take care of you sooner and provide testing during the right intervals until we are sure you are healthy. UC San Diego students can call the Student Health Services Testing Support Line at (858) 534-3300 and UC San Diego Campus and Health employees can call the UC San Diego Health Testing Support Line at (619) 543-8260. When you contact the testing support line, let them know you are a California COVID Notify app user. In the meantime, as a precaution, stay home except to get medical care and separate yourself from other people in your home. More information about responding to an exposure notification can be found here.
Question: Can instructors of record or TAs who are instructing in-person require students to show their “green thumb” from the daily self-screening checker prior to attending in-person classes or labs?
Answer: While there is no campus requirement or expectation that instructors or TAs ask students to show proof of a green thumb before entering a lab or classroom, campus policy does require students to show proof of a green thumb designation if and when a university representative asks them to do so. Therefore, instructors and TAs are permitted to ask students to present their green thumb result on their smartphone, computer or a printout before being allowed to enter the classroom. Note, however they should not require the green thumb to be emailed in advance. 
Question: How is the SARS-CoV-2 virus transmitted?
Answer: The science about how the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted is rapidly evolving and advancing as scientists around the world study and learn more about the virus. While the science about SARS-CoV-2 transmission develops, public health officials recommend face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing as simple and easy precautions people can take to reduce their chances of catching the virus. From what we think we know now, there are three ways the SARS-CoV-2 virus—which causes COVID-19—can be transmitted.
  1. Large droplets: particles of saliva or respiratory fluid that are expelled from infected individuals when coughing, sneezing, and to a lesser extent, talking. They fly through the air and can infect by landing on the mouth, nostrils or eyes. If they don’t land on someone, they usually fall to the ground within three to six feet. 
  2. Aerosols: particles of saliva or respiratory fluid that are very small. They can linger more in the air, from seconds to hours, and can travel longer distances. They infect by being inhaled through the nose or mouth, or (less likely) by deposition on the eyes. Depending on their size, they stay longer and travel further in the air, and they also reach different parts of the human respiratory tract. 
  3. Fomites: touching a surface that contains the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as a light switch, a door handle, or someone else’s hand. That can transfer the virus onto your hand, and then you can infect yourself by touching your mouth, nostrils, or eyes. Newer data indicate that, while fomites can transmit the virus, the vast majority of transmission occurs by airborne routes.