covid-19 information

COVID-19 Information

For important updates on UC Santa Barbara campus safety precautions and associated information from county, state, and federal public health officials, please visit UCSB's COVID-19 information page and the CDC's COVID-19 website
The information below represents our current Winter 2021 plans and is subject to change. (Updated December 7, 2020)
We understand how difficult this uncertainty has been for you and your family, and we are grateful for your patience as the campus works to find solutions. The pandemic situation remains very fluid and accordingly, our current plans continue to evolve and are subject to change.
Please review our COVID community guidelines handbook for more information regarding our residential communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Campus leadership has decided that all undergraduate residence halls will remain closed but we will accommodate up to 1000 residents in the undergraduate apartments beginning Winter Quarter, 2021. We are currently working on allocating these limited spaces.
  • First priority offers will go to students that already completed apartment contracts and have not cancelled.
  • Any remaining spaces will be allocated to students that already completed residence hall contracts and have not cancelled.
  • Newly opened spaces will be in San Joaquin, Sierra Madre, and Santa Ynez.
  • All rooms will be single occupancy.
  • New apartment contracts beginning Winter Quarter, 2021 will include a mandatory meal plan with a choice of either 7 meals per week ($1040/month) or 10 meals per week ($1142/month).
  • Meal service will be take-out provided at Portola Dining Commons. Check out the How to Dine video! It shows how to navigate the Portola Dining Commons while picking up your meal.
  • Winter Quarter move-in will take place mid-January, tentatively set for January 14-18, 2021 (students will need to complete the start of the quarter remotely).
Before Arrival: 
Upon Arrival:
  • Obtain a COVID-19 test on campus immediately, available at no charge to students living on campus.
  • Getting tested should be one of the first things you do.
  • Further information on how to schedule this appointment at our campus testing sites will be emailed to you.
After Arrival: 
  • SEQUESTER in your room (leaving only for essential activities) for at least 7 days.  In person social interactions should be minimal to none. 
  • Obtain a second COVID-19 test on campus after 7 days, available at no charge to students living on campus. 
  • Follow our campus COVID-19 mitigation measures:
    • Always wear face coverings in public
    • Maintain appropriate physical distance from others
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Observe all public health orders, including the prohibition of social gatherings beyond those in your immediate household
  • REGULAR TESTING THEREAFTER: Minimally, weekly testing after arrival or on a schedule to be determined BY CAMPUS. (COVID testing is provided for students living on campus, funded by the University.)
Resources for further information:
Cancelling Contracts
If a student that has a valid contract amended to begin Winter Quarter needs to cancel, they may do so without penalty until December 21, 2020. 
Future Considerations
If, during the academic year, there are significant changes related to COVID-19 and the public health concerns subside and/or a vaccine is available, we reserve the right to re-evaluate density levels. Students who are living in campus residences may be assigned a roommate. Please know that this would only be done with extensive consultation of health officials, and plenty of notice. Additionally, if there is another COVID-19 spike and the university must restrict on-campus operations, then, we may cancel your contract and you may be required to leave.
Community Rentals
University & Community Housing Services can also assist students in securing privately-owned accommodations in the community. For more information, visit our Rental Listings page and click on "Community Housing Guide." If you are contemplating living in Isla Vista, please do so with extreme caution and be aware that signing a lease for privately-owned accommodations is legally binding, and private landlords are not likely to cancel contracts if your plans change or you need to leave. Additionally, make sure you are comfortable with the density level of the rental units you are exploring and that the people you live with will strictly adhere to social distancing and face covering requirements. There has been a rising number of COVID cases in Isla Vista this summer and density has played a role in that increase.