COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

  • At registration and check-in, all Dickens Universe conference participants must 1) show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination; or 2) have an approved medical exemption and submit to regular COVID-19 testing every four days.
  • Please note: If a person requests a medical exemption, the participant must show documentation from their medical provider evidencing that they are not medically advised to be vaccinated for COVID-19. No other kinds of exemptions–including undocumented medical exemptions–are allowed.

Required COVID Testing:

  • All Dickens Universe conference participants are required to show proof of a negative test taken anytime within one calendar day of arrival. Participants who cannot show proof of a negative pre-conference test upon arrival will need to take a rapid antigen test before they are permitted to check in. Anyone who tests positive upon arrival (or whose pre-conference test is positive) will not be allowed to check into their housing or to participate in the conference in person.
  • For pre-conference testing, participants are free to take a monitored test or rapid antigen self-test. If you take a monitored test, proof of a negative test will be the email notification you receive from the testing site. If you administer your test yourself, we will accept as proof a photograph of your negative at-home next to your phone or a newspaper showing the date the test was taken. The date shown in your photograph MUST BE the day before you travel to the Universe. Please notify us immediately if your pre-conference test is positive, and DON'T TRAVEL TO CAMPUS.
  • Unvaccinated participants must test every four days while on campus.

Required COVID Mitigations: 

  • The Dickens Project requires N95 or KN95 masks during our indoor events for everyone, at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
  • No drink or food is to be consumed in classrooms or seminar spaces to eliminate the removal of masks indoors.
  • Conference participants may not come onto campus or go into university facilities or physical areas if they have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Required Actions in the Event of a COVID Positive Case:

  • Should a Dickens Universe participant test positive upon arrival to UC Santa Cruz, they will be unable to check into campus housing and may not participate in-person in any portion of the conference.
  • Should a Dickens Universe participant test positive during the week of the Universe, the Dickens Project staff will do everything they can to help arrange transportation off-campus and secure off-campus isolation space for the positive individual. Please be aware that July is high tourist season in Santa Cruz and quarantine hotel rooms may be difficult to reserve and cost $250+/night. Arrangements to help cover these costs will be made on a case-by-case basis, but we strongly suggest that any COVID-19 positive individuals who are able to return home choose to do so.
  • In the event of a positive test during the conference, the Dickens Project will implement contact tracing, notification, and any subsequent testing, following CDC and local health authority guidance.


  • Up to date: An individual is considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations when they have received all recommended vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.
  • Not up to date: Individuals who are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations include: (i) individuals of all ages, including children, who have not completed a primary vaccination series to protect against COVID-19; (ii) individuals <2 weeks post-primary vaccination series; (iii) individuals with an approved exception or deferral to the UC Policy: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program; (iv) individuals who have completed a primary vaccination series and are booster-eligible, but have not received a booster dose.

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