Increasing density in research spaces

Jul 9, 2020 | Divisional Announcements

To: UC Santa Cruz Research Community
From: Vice Chancellor for Research Scott A. Brandt
Subject: Increasing density in research spaces

Dear UCSC Research Community,

The safety of our research community remains our top priority as we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time all of us are eager to move forward with the ramp-up of on-campus research.  With all of that in mind and based on the best available information, we are now prepared to move to the next stage of the research recovery process by increasing the allowed density in our lab and studio spaces to one person per 250-300 square feet (with 250 square feet being the absolute minimum). We ask all PIs to take into consideration traffic flow patterns in their research space and make decisions about density based on proper social distancing and pinch points, recognizing that not all spaces will be ideal for maximum densities.

Building committees must update the building plan spreadsheet with the new numbers about how many individuals will be working in each space at a given time to allow facilities to make adjustments to the cleaning and other schedules that might be required to support the increased densities.

PIs must submit amended ramp-up plans only if new individuals will be returning to the laboratory as a result in the change to the density.  If you submitted a research ramp-up web form and do not have a link to edit it, please contact Michele Chamberlin at to receive instructions on how to edit your plan.

We have been genuinely pleased with the adherence to the safety guidelines and the respect the community has demonstrated for keeping each other safe.  While we are increasing densities, Santa Cruz County and the surrounding areas are experiencing the highest number of positive cases since the pandemic began. Going forward, it will be even more important for all of us to continue following the guidelines and remain prepared for the possibility that we will need to ramp research operations back down should conditions warrant it.


Scott A. Brandt
Vice Chancellor for Research

If you have any questions or comments, please contact