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UCOP COVID-19 testing program update: Interim Oakland program began Dec. 15

The UCOP COVID-19 response team sent the following message to all UCOP staff on Dec. 14

Dear colleagues,

As more staff return to working on-site, and as we prepare for UCOP’s phased return to on-site operations beginning in late January, the health and well-being of all staff remain our and leadership’s highest priority. The UCOP COVID-19 Response Team continues to monitor the pandemic situation closely, including information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local public health officials, our own UC infectious disease experts, and other scientific sources.

Regular COVID-19 testing is essential to supporting everyone’s well-being, now and as we prepare for more staff to return next year. We’re writing to update you on current, new and future testing protocols for UCOP locations.

Current and future testing requirements

The following outlines the testing requirements for staff in the following categories:

  • Staff scheduled to return starting late January 2022
  • Staff currently in Sacramento, Washington, D.C. and Riverside offices
  • Staff currently in Oakland – New interim testing program launched Dec. 15 (see details below)

Staff scheduled to return starting late January 2022

We are working with a third-party testing company to develop an on-site interim testing program for all UCOP locations to support our return to on-site operations beginning in late January. The interim program will include testing of vaccinated staff, and increased testing of unvaccinated staff who are in compliance with the UC COVID-19 vaccination policy. We may adjust this interim program as circumstances warrant.

Staff in Sacramento, Washington, D.C. and Riverside offices

Staff in these locations should continue to follow the interim testing program for their location, as follows:

  • UCPath – Staff should continue to test weekly at the Curative testing site.
  • UCDC – Staff have access to free local county testing locations. Information about these testing sites has been provided to staff by UCDC.
  • Sacramento – Staff are not currently on-site due to the ongoing work to earthquake retrofit the building.

We are exploring interim on-site testing programs for these offices and will provide updates when we have more information.

Oakland staff currently working on-site

Due to an increased on-site presence in Oakland, we are launching an interim testing program for Oakland staff working on-site to bridge the gap between now and when the third-party testing program is in place at the end of January.

The interim testing program launches Wednesday, Dec. 15, and will be mandatory and monitored for compliance starting Monday, Dec. 20. The interim program uses rapid COVID-19 tests and provides a convenient and consistent approach. It will require:

  • All on-site staff who are in the office for more than one hour weekly to conduct a rapid test at least twice weekly (staff stopping in for less than an hour a week to pick up items, etc. are not required to test)
  • Staff who are unvaccinated and in compliance with the UC COVID-19 Vaccination policy to conduct a rapid test three times weekly
  • Staff to document their results and show proof of testing and test results if requested
  • Staff currently enrolled in the UC Berkeley testing program to switch to the interim on-site program instead (UCOP’s participation in the UC Berkeley program is being discontinued).

Following is a summary of how the interim Oakland testing program works. More detailed guidelines and instructions are available in the UCOP Interim COVID-19 Testing Guidelines – Oakland.

  • The interim testing program will be available Monday – Thursday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Please note that the Lobby 2 Business Center will be closed during those times to accommodate testing.
  • Fill out the interim testing program Smartsheet either at home on your laptop or cell phone or on the laptop in the Franklin building Lobby to obtain a test kit.
  • Obtain a COVID-19 rapid test kit from the Work Management Center.
  • Self-administer the test in a designated testing station and wait 15 minutes for the result. Several testing stations have been set up in the Lobby 2 conference room with plexiglass dividers and sanitation supplies at each station.
  • If the test result is negative, date and photograph the results, share if asked, and proceed to your workspace.
  • If the test result is positive, date and photograph the results, then leave immediately and follow the required notification steps and instructions provided.

Current COVID-19 protocols

As a reminder, testing is only one component of our COVID-19 protocols. We continue to follow the recommendations and guidance of public health authorities regarding effective transmission mitigation strategies. Our current COVID-19 protocols require vaccination, screening, masking, physical distancing and strong hygiene practices. Our current space use plan, which spreads staff throughout a larger than usual area as much as possible, allows for effective physical distancing.

If you have questions, please email

As always, please continue to take care of yourself and stay safe.

COVID-19 Response Team



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