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3/20: COVID-19 Update #10

The following message was emailed to students and parents on March 20, 2020.

Dear Santa Clara University community,

Today marks the 55th day since we sent our first update to the Santa Clara Community about COVID-19. So much has changed in the past eight weeks – in our campus community, state, nation, and world. We are blessed to have a community of caring students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends, who exhibit grace, flexibility, understanding, and support in these uncertain times.    

This week continues to bring more unsettling news and unprecedented developments on the national and local front as our community responds to the COVID-19 health crisis. In both Fr. O’Brien’s March 16 communication and the update to students (March 17), we outlined specific information regarding the move to virtual classes for the remainder of the academic year, residence hall move-out instructions, and more. However, as we all adapt to a very fluid situation and direction from our state and local authorities, please note some updates in several critical areas: 

California statewide ‘stay at home’ executive order: Last night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide executive order requiring all California residents to stay home or at their place of residence until further notice. To comply with the more restrictive nature of this order (compared with Santa Clara County’s shelter-in-place order), we have adjusted our move-out information accordingly and sent an email update to all resident students and parents earlier today.

Confirmed Case- SCU Law student: We have received notification and have verified that a Santa Clara University School of Law student, who lives off-campus, has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We are in contact with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. This student was last on campus in Charney Hall on March 6. We are also in direct communication with the student, who is currently self-isolating at home under the guidance of medical and public health officials. The University is personally reaching out to all individuals who we know had exposure to this student. 

As the spread of the virus enters a new phase and in the coming weeks as COVID-19 testing becomes more widely available, all SCU students, faculty, and staff are advised to shelter-in-place, be vigilant practicing the various precautions for prevention and help stop the spread of the virus. We will continue to update our campus, including our now-dispersed community on any suspected or confirmed cases. 

Move-out Information for student residents: We had originally hoped to provide two extended periods during which move-out could occur. However, given the March 19 executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom, on March 20, Auxiliary Services reiterated that students currently on campus must vacate by March 28 (limited exceptions apply). Also, given the statewide order, most students should not expect to return to campus to pack up their rooms—unless it is to retrieve critical belongings—for the time being. Those students needing to return to their residence to retrieve critical belongings should plan to do so before 5 p.m., Monday, March 23. Students may not return to campus after 5 p.m., Monday, March 23 to retrieve belongings. Please visit the 3/17 campus message for the full message.

The later move-out window (originally stated as May 1–8) is subject to change pending guidance from Santa Clara County and the State of California. Updates and additional information will be forthcoming as soon as we have them.  

Spring Quarter Room and Board Fees: For those who have already made spring room and board payments, the University will credit Spring Quarter room and board fees for students not approved to continue living on campus. Calculation and processing of these credits will happen in the next several weeks. For students who are approved to remain in campus housing, room, and board charges for their original assigned space will remain due. Students will not be charged for leaving their belongings in their residence halls during this extended period of time. Please note that information on fees are updated on our FAQ page.

Cowell Center hours, Bronco Corner Bookstore information and more: Please note that our COVID-19 website has the latest information on revised Cowell Center hours, the Bookstore, reflecting the current situation in our COVID-19 FAQ page.

Commencement: We know many of you, especially our graduating students and families, are anxiously awaiting an update on Commencement. We are thoughtfully and carefully reviewing all options, with input from students. Know that we will communicate with the University community and families regarding Commencement 2020 and related events before March 30. 

Questions or Concerns: If you have questions or concerns, please consult our COVID-19 website and its regularly updated “frequently asked questions” section. You may also email any questions to

As Father O’Brien said in his homily yesterday at Santa Clara’s Founders Day liturgy, “Amid all the disruption, we see signs of so much goodness, so much patience, so much generosity, wrapping friendships in a blanket of protective assurance that says: ‘All will be well.’” Know that we are especially grateful to the many, many unsung heroes during these trying times in our community and beyond as our world deals with this crisis.

Our Bronco spirit is alive and well, and together, we will get through this. Thank you as always for your flexibility and patience. Continue to take care and remain safe.

Jeanne Rosenberger
Vice Provost for Student Life

John Ottoboni
Chief Operating Officer