UC Davis offers money to students who opt for a spring-break staycation

Do a spring-break staycation, and get paid. That’s the deal being offered to students at the University of California at Davis, as part of efforts to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases at the school.

UC Davis offers $75 incentive to keep students from traveling during the upcoming spring break.

Under the Healthy Davis Together Spring Break Grant program, students would receive $75 if they refrain from traveling during the upcoming break, which starts on March 22.

The university partnered with Davis businesses for the program, giving students opportunities to spend the extra money locally during their staycation. 

UC Davis offers $75 incentive to keep students from traveling during the upcoming spring break.

"If we want them to stay here, we need to help provide them with some opportunities to engage in activities that will be safe, but something to do while they’re here," explained Sheri Atkinson, UC Davis Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.  

To get the money, students were required to apply for the grant, which were limited to the first 750 qualified entries.

UC Davis said the incentive served as a reminder to all students to avoid non-essential travel, saying, "staying local is a good way to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19."

Some colleges were taking other approaches to discourage traveling amid heightened concerns about infection rates rising on college campuses following a break traditionally known as a time when students gather in large groups for spring break partying. 

Schools like Texas A&M University have scaled back its break, making it a three-day weekend instead of giving students a whole week off. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have moved to cancel spring break altogether and will instead give students time off later in the semester.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued to advise Americans to wait to travel and hold off on that springtime getaway. "Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19," the CDC said. "Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19."

UC Davis reminded students who do decide to go somewhere for their break, that they'll need to follow steps to protect themselves and those on campus.  

"While strongly discouraged, if you do travel for spring break, UC Davis students are expected to get tested every 3-4 days before and after they return," the school posted on Facebook on Tuesday. "As always, remember to wear your required face covering and follow public health guidance."

KTXL and The Associated Press contributed to this story, which was reported from Oakland, Calif.