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COVID-19: Guidance on Large Gatherings; Updated Campus Efforts

March 12, 2020

To Our Campus Community,

We know that social distancing will be important should we face any COVID-19 outbreak. But we must re-emphasize that as of today we are not aware of any confirmed cases at UC Merced or in Merced County.

In our ongoing efforts to keep our campus informed about COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments, we are issuing new guidance and direction about campus events and meetings, effective until April 20, and also greatly broadening our campus cleaning efforts

  • Effective immediately, events expected to draw more than 100 attendees should be cancelled or indefinitely postponed unless they can be moved to an online platform.
  • Non-essential meetings and campus visits involving groups of more than 15 people should be cancelled or postponed unless they can be held online. This includes, for example, campus tours.
  • Campus faculty and staff should consider using Zoom or other tools to hold internal meetings.
  • If conditions change in our region, event organizers should discuss plans for smaller events with Merced County health officials in advance. 

For those living, learning and working on our campus:

  • Dining services has added crews on disinfecting shifts, has ordered and is placing disinfecting dispensers at the front of all dining halls, has placed orders for 10 weeks’ worth of cleaning chemicals and has purchased masks for staff members to use during food preparation.
  • All food service workers are being reminded to be extra diligent about regular hand washing.
  • We will retain cleaning crew members over spring break for additional heavy cleaning and disinfecting. 
  • We are providing a higher level of sanitation for campus public areas such as building entries, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, teaching laboratories, libraries, dining halls and other spaces where a large number of people are present or pass through daily. 
  • In addition, we are expanding the locations and number of hand-sanitizing stations across campus.
  • Finally, we are also sharing educational information across campus outlining the actions all members of the community can take to promote sanitary environments, including by email, postering and table-top cards.

Please continue to check our COVID-19 information page for updates and links to sources of credible information.

Thank you,

Emergency Management Committee