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November 18, 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

Courses Must Transition to Remote or Outdoor Teaching

Based on new guidance from the state and the San Diego County Public Health Department, all courses that have an in-person element must now transition to remote or outdoor teaching no later than Nov. 23. 

Students Must Mask in Residences

Effective immediately, students living in campus-operated housing are required to maintain distance and wear masks at all times within their apartments and suites, except in their own private bedrooms and in the shower. 

Now Available: Student Self-Administered Testing Kits

Undergraduates and graduates may now take part in a pilot program for self-administered asymptomatic COVID-19 testing by using test kits that can be picked up and returned within 72 hours—allowing you to test at a time and location of your choosing. 

Holiday Travel Guidance

All students, faculty and staff should consider whether any mode of personal travel is essential. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Learn more about travel advisories as well as how to stay safe before, during and after your trip.

Apple iOS Update Needed to Receive Exposure Notifications

Apple iOS users must update their iPhone to iOS 14.2 to ensure seamless participation in the CA COVID Notify pilot.

Swiss Cheese Model

No layer is perfect, so every layer is important. Help protect yourself and your community from COVID-19 with multiple layers of defense.  
The Swiss Cheese Model

Upcoming Town Hall

Faculty Town Hall

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 3:00 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.

Your Top Questions Answered

Question: What do residential students need to know if they participate in an off-campus activity without a mask?
Answer: Any student who resides in campus-operated housing and who engages in any off-campus unmasked activity (sharing a meal, recreational activities, gatherings, etc.) is required to sequester for 14 days within their residential unit upon returning to campus. Sequestration requires the individual not only to be masked and distanced within the residential unit (with the exception of their personal bedroom and the shower) and to complete the daily screener, but also undergo additional COVID-19 testing on days 1, 5 and 10 after returning to campus. In addition, residential students needing to leave campus for a period of more than 18 hours or overnight will have to notify their Residential Life staff by clicking on the Housing Portal and going to the Returning Home After Move-In link. More information can be found on the HDH FAQ website.
Question: How does learning and studying outdoors contribute to greater safety?
Answer: COVID-19 infections occur through the transmission of virus-containing droplets and aerosols exhaled from infected individuals during breathing, speaking, coughing and sneezing. The risk of becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is lower outside because the concentration of the virus is diluted. Breezes and winds can help transport infectious droplets and aerosols away instead of lingering in the air. They can be further dispersed by attaching to other particles such as dust and pollution. Additionally, the virus can be inactivated by ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, and it is likely sensitive to ambient temperature and relative humidity. UC San Diego's outdoor teaching tents are intended to offer greater ventilation—and when combined with masking and physical distancing—help keep our students and faculty safe. 
Question: What activities and situations can increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19?
Answer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), examples of activities and situations that can increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19 include: 
  • Being in an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19, including destinations with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. You can check the Travel Health Notices for recommendations for places you have traveled, including foreign countries and U.S. territories.  You can also check states, counties, and cities to determine if these areas are experiencing high levels of COVID-19.
  • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
  • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
  • Being in crowds — for example, in restaurants, bars, airports, bus and train stations, or movie theaters.
  • Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat.
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