Rachael Nava issues reminder on travel during COVID-19
The following message was issued by EVP/COO Rachael Nava on Aug. 6, 2020:
Since January, the University has been at the forefront of monitoring and continuing to address the effects of COVID-19 on nearly every aspect of UC operations and the personal lives of our community as well as society at large. Every location has been undeniably impacted, and staff and faculty are working harder than ever to deliver upon our core mission even in the face of the unparalleled challenges created by a pandemic that shows no signs of abating.
As COVID-19 infections spread worldwide, including in the United States, this is an important time to remind our community that the University remains under the President’s directives to limit non-essential travel.
Beginning in January, the University issued a series of executive directives that restricted non-essential, University-related travel internationally including to China, and subsequently to all CDC Level 2 and 3 Travel Warning countries. These directives remain in effect and defer to individual campuses to define essential versus non-essential travel.
For the well-being and safety of those who must travel internationally, it is important that travelers register their travel plans with the UC Travel Insurance Program in order to ensure appropriate travel coverage. Registration is an important step in reducing the risks of traveling abroad while keeping the UC community safe, especially in environments with heightened health risks such as COVID-19.
Additionally, all travelers, including those traveling for personal purposes, must follow the CDC’s guidance for returning from international travel – including the requirement to quarantine for 14 days (if applicable) before returning to a UC facility. Asymptomatic health care workers returning from international travel are exempted from the quarantine requirement.
With regard to travel domestically, work-related trips within the United States remain a campus-level decision. However, it should be noted that, currently, the United States has some of the highest numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the world, with infections and deaths per day outpacing China and countries in Europe. California, in particular, leads the nation in the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Given the widespread rate of COVID-19 infections across the country, domestic travel is now considered a risk factor in diagnosing COVID-19. CDC U.S. travel guidance recommends staying home as the best way to protect from getting sick and provides additional guidelines for those who are considering traveling within the U.S. Those approved to travel for work domestically should take appropriate precautions while traveling and upon their return to work.
We are committed to the health and well-being of our community – including all of our students, staff and faculty, and continue to prioritize the safety of the UC community as we look ahead for the remainder of this year.
We will overcome these challenges. In the meantime, please do your utmost to keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible by wearing a mask, washing hands and staying at least six feet from others.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer