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UPDATE: What You Need to Know About COVID-19

February 28, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. While we are all aware of growing concerns about COVID-19 (also called the coronavirus), as of today, no one in Merced County or on the UC Merced campus has tested positive for COVID-19.

Campus administrators are discussing this issue every day, gathering information from a variety of sources and considering new measures we might take to keep this campus safe and healthy.  

All students seeking care at the Student Health Center are being asked about recent travel and contact with people with known COVID-19, and we have recently broadened our screening practices in line with updated guidance from medical authorities. Additionally, we continue to work closely with and follow the guidance of the Merced County and California public health departments. Staff and faculty seeking care should consult their primary care provider.

You may have heard there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Solano County resident who is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. This case is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as possibly the first with no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual. Because of the precautions in place since this patient’s arrival, UC Davis believes there has been minimal potential for exposure at the medical center.

We would encourage you to keep yourself informed with credible information. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Practice daily preventative care:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school.
  • Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • If you have not received your annual flu shot, please schedule one with your provider to help protect yourself against the flu.

While the progression of COVID-19 is still emerging, the CDC is reporting that for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low.

Again, we are taking all necessary precautions and are working with public health officials. We ask you to be kind and respectful to one another, as our Principles of Community guide our behaviors and interactions. We will continue to provide you with updates as more information becomes available. 


Laura Rodriguez-Mascorro
Emergency Manager

Michelle Brinkop, M.D.
Staff Physician