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Implementing COVID-19 protocols to support our return to on-site operations

As planning progresses to return to on-site operations, we want to give everyone a preview of the COVID-19 protocols we are implementing to support a healthy office environment. The effectiveness of these COVID-19 protocols will depend on all of us working together.

As a reminder, employees will return to the office in phases. In UCOP Level 2 – Priority Facilities Occupancy, most staff will continue to work from home.  Employees returning to work will include select staff whose work is more difficult to achieve from home and elect staff who request to work on site and are approved to do so. Employees will be given advance notice prior to their return date.

Phase 2

A successful Phase 2 return depends on employees following these five important components:

  • Physical distancing: Stay six feet away from others, follow posted maximum occupancy guidelines, queueing protocols and directional travel, and reduce time and contact with others.
  • Face coverings: Wear a face covering that properly covers the nose and mouth while in the building’s open or shared spaces.
  • Hand hygiene: Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and thoroughly throughout the day.
  • Self-reported symptom checking: Returning UCOP employees will soon be required to use an online self-reporting screening tool that will help determine whether to enter the building or remain home.
  • Culture and personal accountability: Our success depends on all employees adhering to our COVID-19 protocols. Staff will complete an online training on these protocols prior to coming back to the office.

In addition, the facilities team has taken several steps to ensure a healthy and supportive workspace.

Common areas

  • All common areas, including elevators, stairs, lobbies, entry points and corridor space, conference and meeting rooms, kitchens, break rooms and copy rooms will have signage clearly indicating maximum occupancy and directional traffic.
  • Spaces will be stocked with sanitation supplies such as disinfecting wipes and hand hygiene supplies
  • Increased cleaning will be taking place during the day.



  • Designated standing areas in the elevators and markers showing where to wait for an elevator will be identified.
  • Buildings with elevators will limit elevator occupancy to the maximum allowed by physical distancing.
  • Staff will be asked to limit their use of elevators during the workday to manage the limited occupancy standards.


  • Stairwells are encouraged for transit between 1 or 2 floors.
  • Signage will indicate directional travel for each stairwell (one stairwell to go up; one stairwell to go down).



  • Restroom use will be limited to alternate fixtures as shown in the picture (e.g., every other stall and sink taped off).
  • There will be waiting areas with queue signage and floor indicators when restrooms are at capacity.

Sanitation stations

  • Sanitation stations will be set up throughout the office with additional supplies for staff as needed.
  • Please be mindful and take only what you need. There is a national shortage of sanitation supplies and UCOP has limited ability to restock these critical items.

HVAC and plumbing

  • Building HVAC systems at UCOP have been adjusted to meet special engineering (ASHRE) guidelines to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, including increased ventilation flow rates, increasing the amount of outdoor air, and installing higher level filtration in UCOP-owned facilities.
  • Water systems are operated on a regular basis to avoid the accumulation of bacteria that can cause illness.

More details will be shared in future Link articles. We will schedule Town Hall meetings to share more information and address staff questions. In the meantime, please send questions to

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