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Community Updates

December 17, 2020

Recent reports about college campuses around the country that have suffered significant outbreaks of COVID-19 have been troubling. UC San Diego wants to assure the entire community that we have taken tremendous care both in planning and in practicing—our strategies to mitigate risk, detect the virus and intervene when positive cases occurred during the spring and summer were successful.

Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, thousands of graduate and undergraduate students and employees have been living and working on campus with little incident. Our screening, testing and clinical care have been successful in early detection and in caring for those impacted as they are identified.

Winter 2021 Plan

UC San Diego welcomes new and returning students for Winter Quarter 2021, with classes starting on January 4. Throughout fall, the campus’ proactive strategies to detect and prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 proved effective—the campus’s positivity rates have remained far below average. The multifaceted Return to Learn program combines risk mitigation, viral detection and public health interventions to help safely resume on-campus activities.

For the majority of campus staff employees who are currently working remotely, they will continue to do so at least through May 31, 2021. There will continue to be a low-density population on campus to provide plenty of space for effective physical distancing. While we cannot remove all risk, we are dedicated as a community to make our university an exemplar of caring and responsible behavior. Our plan is designed to be flexible and offers the university the ability to respond quickly should state and county public health guidelines or conditions change.

The success of our plan is dependent on the full support of our community in following campus safety requirements, including wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing, completing the daily symptom and exposure screening, and washing hands often. In addition, a plan has been established so that UC San Diego can respond rapidly to emerging COVID-19 trends.

This page includes information for students about SARS-CoV-2 screening and testingwinter instruction, student-housing, student dining and student services, as well as updates for staff employees and researchers.

Approach to student conduct

Our campus is also implementing a progressive engagement and student conduct approach that is in alignment with appropriate policies and processes for students. While our focus is on educating students about applicable policies and procedures and helping them engage in responsible decision making, egregious behaviors, such as demonstrating an intentional disregard for the health and safety of the community, are grounds for suspension or expulsion from the University of California. The Office of Student Conduct will be following up on neighborhood concerns, providing relevant updates and supporting off-campus students. For more information about the student conduct process, please visit the Office of Student Conduct website.

UC San Diego is unique in the amount of space available on our campus; our expertise in prevention, viral monitoring and healthcare; and in our socially responsible scholarly community. We cannot remove all risk, but we can remain vigilant and flexible, and committed to detecting potential outbreaks early and mitigating them as they occur. Our plan is designed to be flexible and offers the university the ability to respond quickly should state and county public health guidelines or conditions change.

Regular updates are shared on the Return to Learn website, including detailed information on UC San Diego’s Winter 2021 Plan. Reports related to student conduct can be submitted via the Office of Student Conduct website, please send any questions to