Learn to surf at one of the most popular beaches in Southern California. Don your disco outfit and lace up your skates for an outdoor skate party. Or delve into research on the science behind cheese, including a taste test. The best part—you can do it all at UC San Diego during Spring Break!
Nearly one year ago, on March 13, 2020, San Diego County issued a two-week stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The gravity of the situation was growing quickly. Within nine months, the first vaccines were offered, an incredibly quick timeline for vaccine development.
UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers develop an automated process to test city sewage for SARS-CoV-2, allowing them to forecast the region’s COVID-19 caseload one to two weeks ahead of clinical diagnostic reports.
UC San Diego has conducted 100,000 COVID-19 student tests since the start of winter quarter, a 98 percent increase in testing compared to fall quarter. Student participation in the campus’ Return to Learn weekly mandated testing protocols has helped keep the positivity rate at 0.2 percent.
In an effort to help schools reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks as they resume in-person instruction, UC San Diego and the County of San Diego are testing the Safer at School Early Alert system, an evidence-informed program to detect SARS-CoV-2 at schools and child care centers.
In November 2020, a new variant of COVID-19 was identified in the United Kingdom (B1.1.7). In December 2020, it was announced another variant had been uncovered in South Africa (B1.351). Yet another emerged in January in Brazil, known as P.1. A virus can mutate when it copies itself as it spreads.
Known as Triton Health Ambassadors, a team of 400 UC San Diego undergraduates, have been recruited to reinforce healthy behaviors among students on- and off-campus, from wearing masks to maintaining physical distance and participating in weekly COVID testing.
With the third week of winter quarter underway at the University of California San Diego, COVID-19 case rates have fallen dramatically since classes resumed on Jan. 4. The current test positivity rate on campus has reduced to pre-break levels of less than 1%.
There’s no doubt 2020 has been a year unlike any other, forcing each of us to rethink how and, often, why we do things. Yet in the face of so much disruption and uncertainty, the UC San Diego community forged ahead and continued to do what we do best—innovate and inspire change.
In September 2020, UC San Diego students and employees became the first participants of the CA Notify smartphone tool, which works behind-the-scenes to automate exposure notification among people who have been in close proximity of each other, augmenting traditional contact tracing.