By Flor Sanchez
DAVIS — In a collaborative meeting between the City of Davis, UC Davis and Yolo County on March 3, many representatives from respective organizations gave an update on various projects.
Mayor Gloria Partida, Chancellor Gary May and Jim Provenza, Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair, attended the meeting.
Chancellor May gave a brief, but much awaited, update on the return of in-person classes.
“Given the development of COVID-19 vaccines and our outstanding asymptomatic screening program for all UC Davis faculty, staff, and students. We are preparing for a return to in-person instruction in the fall,” he said.
As plans for in-person instruction are underway, Chancellor May added, “In the meantime, as conditions improve locally, we expect to offer about 85 courses in-person during the spring quarter. And this is up from about 60 courses right now in the winter. Our hope is to phase in a few more courses in person over the summer, as well.”
Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson gave other updates regarding the vaccine and the county’s goal for herd immunity. Dr. Sisson reported on COVID-19 vaccine rollout and current vaccination statistics in Yolo County.
According to reports from Dr. Sisson, 40,982 or 19 percent of Yolo County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 69 percent of Yolo County residents ages 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose.
As for the City of Davis, 26 percent of residents have received at least one dose.
Moving from Phase 1B, eligibility will expand to include ages 16-64 with certain underlying medical conditions or disabilities. This shift will be starting on March 15.
The impact of COVID-19 on students has been seen clearly by Leslie Kemp, Director of Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center.
Kemp reports that since the pandemic began there has been a spike in the number of students requesting rental assistance.
In response to this spike, there have been efforts to help the student population through various resources.
“We also, in the fall, launched a rapid re-housing program in partnership with Tandem Properties and Lutheran Social Services. This is a program that helps homeless students access safe and stable housing, with case management along the way, to help these students reach graduation,” she said.
Additionally, during this annual meeting, County Supervisor Don Saylor and City Manager Mike Webb discussed various transportation projects.
Webb mentioned the recent completion of the Russell Boulevard multi-use pathway. This was a partnership between UC Davis and the City of Davis that allowed for the pathway to be upgraded from its previous state.
UC Davis was able to fund a portion of the project through a contribution of half a million dollars.
This updated pathway is an improvement from when it was originally built in 1981. Now it is twice as wide and much smoother for bike riders.
The pathway is now open to the public.
Flor Sanchez is a third-year student at UC Davis, currently double majoring in Communications and Managerial Economics. She is from Patterson, CA and enjoys traveling.