While it’s disconcerting that the county had to join the regional stay-at-home order, I am proud of the School of Veterinary Medicine and university community for our excellent overall track record in preventing COVID-19 spread. The instances we have seen in on the Veterinary Medicine area of campus have been from community infection; to date, Occupational Health reports that we have no clusters of spread. We are encouraged by the low rate of infection on our campus as reported by the UC Davis COVID-19 dashboard.
As the chancellor noted in his Friday email, the health and safety protocols that the university put in place have been working well and require minimal modifications to accommodate new county and state health mandates. This means, for instance, that we will stay in the 2x phase for research.
Last Wednesday we welcomed our COVID-19 mobile saliva-testing unit, which will be operating from 9-4 on Wednesdays except during the campus pause in testing from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1. During these hours, there will be five testing stations located on the south-side of the Vet Med Admin building by the Scrubs café. The appointment system is configured to permit you to set up an appointment specifically for our site. The estimated capacity for these stations is 500 tests per day, and we had steady but not overwhelming traffic during our first day of operation.
The Daily Symptom Survey will not include the question about whether you have tested or have a test scheduled for COVID-19 from December 19th through January 7th, to permit employees to enter campus buildings while the testing service is paused.
If you should need to get tested during the campus testing pause, the ARC testing station will be open a single time from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 26. Also, employees and students may use the Healthy Davis Together testing kiosks at the Davis Senior Center (downtown Davis) or in the lobby of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Appointments for these kiosks must be arranged through the Healthy Davis Together website.
Before and after the winter break, the Healthy Davis Together kiosks are for Davis community members only.
The ARC kiosk will reopen Saturday, Jan. 2. Employees regularly accessing campus facilities will have until Thursday, Jan. 7, to resume weekly testing in order to comply with campus policy.
My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly though family or friends. I remind you that the campus has support services for students (including counseling through the school), and faculty and staff.
You should have seen by now that the campus added flexibility to the December curtailment program. If you have any questions, please check with your supervisor.
For those of you who are still coming on campus, as we get closer to the holiday period, please be extra vigilant for the security and safety of yourself and for property that may be the target of thieves. I recommend that you take a moment to review the campus’ safety tips.
Thank you to our students for persevering in their studies and to our faculty and everyone else involved in helping to ensure the continuity of their education. Our Office of Professional Education is currently updating resources and providing example scenarios as our students navigate the didactic and clinical curriculum during the pandemic.
Finally, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your continued dedication to the mission of the school. I especially want to thank those who are working over the holidays—it’s an additional sacrifice in a year in which we’ve already given a lot up that we didn’t expect.
I wish you and yours a happy, safe holiday season and hope that we all have a better 2021.