From the Desk of Willie Brown

July 29, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Fall Planning

The outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe has created unprecedented challenges to our campus. We continue to monitor the evolving situation, adjust accordingly, and prepare for in-person operations. 

I know there are many unknowns at the moment. I want to assure everyone that our HDAE values of WE CARE are guiding the decisions being made as we work through the challenges presented by COVID-19. Our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of our community as we adapt to our current reality.

I would like to share some of the initiatives that our Residential Operations unit has been working on. These efforts include researching, purchasing, and installing equipment and implementing new operating procedures. A summary follows below. 
 
  • Installing hands-free faucets and paper towel dispensers in public restrooms and the large shared restrooms of the residence halls.

  • Installing hands-free door openers for building entrances and high-use doors so that residents and staff will be able to step and pull open doors without using their hands.

  • Implementing physical distancing aids in common areas such as signage, floor decals, controlled entry ingress/egress, and protective shields and queue markers at front desks and transaction counters.

  • Removing, storing, and modifying furniture, specifically upholstered soft furniture in lounges and outdoor furniture.

  • Placing touchless hand sanitizer dispensers in all residential communities and dining commons.

  • Sharing best practice procedures across campus and the UC on personal protective equipment and cleaning products that are safe, efficient, and recommended by the EPA.

  • Implementing enhanced cleaning protocols as recommended by the CDC and other public health officials. This includes frequent disinfection of all high-touch areas such as door handles, elevator buttons, front desks and all restroom surfaces multiple times each day. 

Residential Operations staff are keeping our high service level standards for those facilities still occupied in family student housing and our apartment communities. They have also initiated an extensive preventative maintenance program for our unoccupied buildings, including a water management program of flushing and testing all plumbing systems, annual testing all fire protection systems, and performing much-needed deferred maintenance on vacant units.
 
The teamwork, leadership, and daily contribution each and every one of you provide is valued. We will share more information in the coming weeks and, as always, please wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay healthy. If you have any thoughts or concerns, please feel free to send me a note at willie.brown@ucsb.edu.
~Willie Brown