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Davis City Council meeting April 7th needs to address how UCD can help with the COVID-19 outbreak

GunRockBy Eileen M. Samitz

This Tuesday, at 7pm the City Council meeting will include a presentation by Dr. Ron Chapman the Yolo County Public Health Officer.  The meeting will be televised and public comment will be allowed via voice-mail in and email since public attendance cannot be allowed due to COVID-19 precautions (details below).

What needs to be addressed at this meeting is the need for UCD to help with the control of the COVID-19 outbreak like UCLA is doing by planning now, ahead of a surge in the disease spread.  This needs to include utilizing campus facilities including UCD vacant dorm and student apartment spaces. Several weeks ago, Governor Newsom stated that he was communicating with UC and the State Universities to plan ahead for use of their student housing and other campus facilities to help with space needed for quarantine and hospital overspill.

That planning is now happening as Governor Newsom is working with UCLA in case that is needed and the same planning needs to be done here at UCD before we find ourselves in the middle of running out of capacity. Sutter Davis Hospital is a small hospital with limited facilities relative to UCDMC and other large hospitals. A March 22nd article covering Governor Newsom with UCLA currently is at:

A relevant section of the article states:

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference Saturday that the state is working with the University of California and California State University systems to convert dormitories into hospitals in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.”

This subject was touched on in an earlier Op-ed in the Davisite which was published today in the Davis Enterprise with additional information and is on line at:

Yet, none of this seems to be happening yet at UCD. Given that our Sutter Davis Hospital is limited in capacity, and that many UCD students are returning to Davis to live in the city and on-campus as the new quarter starts, planning between the City, County and UCD needs to happen now, before the need potentially explodes as it has in other larger cities like New York and Seattle. We cannot afford to waste precious time now, to do this planning and be caught unprepared if a surge occurs here. We need to have capacity available to handle caring for those who are sick or who need to be quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.

Given that Chancellor May has called for us to “help each other” in his recent monthly Enterprise article:  there was no mention of how UCD can help with the use of its many vacant student housing units and other facilities like UCLA is doing. UCD has large food preparation service which may be needed as well.  The supplement al help of campus police and firefighters to help if and when our small Davis police and firefighting services become overwhelmed. Further the UCD Student Health Center needs to remain open thought the summer and the rest of the year to help with any service it can provide including testing for COVID-19.

Finally, given that UCD failed to have a UCD representative available (although they agreed to) during the last Yolo County Board of Supervisors special COVID-19 meeting on March 31st, UCD needs to have a UCD representative available to answer these and other questions at the coming City Council meeting. The City Council needs to make that request to UCD known now, and start a planning process with our Yolo County authorities and UCD to avail UCD facilities and services to help with dealing with the coming increase of COVID-19 cases locally.

I encourage readers to contact the City Council, as well as the County including Dr. Chapman, and Chancellor May at the following email addresses regarding these issues before this Tuesday April 7th City Council meeting:,, and

The weblink for the April 7th Council meeting agenda includes information of how to email or call in via voice mail at:


  1. Televised live on City of Davis Government Channel 16 (available to those who subscribe to cable television)
  2. Livestream online at
  3. Join via Zoom: a. From a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device with high-speed internet:(If your device does not have audio, please also join by phone.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:   or

By phone: Webinar ID: 105 163 710

Dial:1-669-900-9128 or

       1-346-248-7799 or

       1-253-215-8782 or

       1-301-715-8592 or

       1-312-626-6799 or



Eileen Samitz

Additional information important to share is that public comments (limited to 2 minutes) via voicemail called in, before or during the Council meeting, will be played on the air during the meeting, however emails will not be read. The phone number to call in voice mail public comments is (530) 757 -5693 and more specific instructions regarding remote public comments from the on-line City Council agenda are listed below.

1. Submit written public comments to Emails are distributed to City Council and staff. To ensure the City Council has the opportunity to review information prior to the meeting, send emails by 5:00 p.m. on the meeting date.

2. Submit comments by voice mail prior to and/or during the meeting: Call the city’s dedicated phone line (530) 757-5693 to leave a voice mail message for public comment. Staff will play comments during the appropriate agenda item. Speakers will be limited to no more than two minutes. Note: You must leave a separate voice mail for each item you wish to comment on. Please indicate your name and which item you are speaking about.

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