Update on return to on-site operations, COVID-19 protocols and upcoming town hall
EVP/COO Rachael Nava sent the following message to all UCOP staff on Jan. 24, 2022.
Dear UCOP colleagues,
When I wrote to you earlier this month, I informed you that our phased (“slow-build”) return to on-site operations would begin on Jan. 31. After additional consultation with UCOP leadership and others, we have decided to delay our start by at least several weeks. Among other things, this will allow everyone more time to prepare for their eventual return to the office, and next month we will update everyone on our timing. We also will continue to be in touch regularly as the situation continues to be very dynamic.
Additionally, we will be holding a town hall for UCOP staff this Thursday, Jan. 27, to share additional updates and answer questions. Details on the town hall, and information on how to register, are available below.
Although we are pushing back our start date, the overall structure of our phased return plans has not changed significantly. We will start with alternating on-site and remote workdays to limit the number of people in the building, achieve maximum physical distancing between workstations, and be sensitive to employees’ needs to readjust their schedules and personal commitments. As mentioned previously, we have tailored each UCOP location’s plan to meet specific local operational needs.
Updated COVID-19 protocols
We are also updating our COVID-19 protocols for face covering, testing, isolation and quarantine requirements, in alignment with CDPH and Cal/OSHA workplace rules. As a reminder, all other COVID-19 protocols such as compliance with the UC COVID-19 Vaccine policy, use of UCOP Screen, hand hygiene, cleaning and high-grade building air filtration, are still in place.
Please review the UCOP Updated COVID-19 Protocols information sheet for full information regarding changes in COVID-19 protocols. At a high level, changes include:
- Revised face-covering requirement: Effective immediately, anyone coming to a UCOP location must wear an approved face covering. Under the new Cal/OSHA workplace rules, a cloth face-covering alone no longer meets the requirement. Masks with higher filtration and better fit are required, such as authentic N95 and KF94 respirators and KN95 and medical masks. Please consult the information sheet for details on approved mask types, proper fit and caring for your masks. You may use your own face covering if it meets the updated face-covering requirement. UCOP has face coverings that meet the new requirement available at all locations for staff who do not have them.
- COVID-19 testing:
- UCOP is adding a “test to return” requirement and moving most testing to at-home testing before arrival to the office. UCOP will provide test kits for employees working on-site. The Oakland and Washington, D.C., locations already have on-site testing and UCPath and Sacramento on-site programs are in progress. Additional information and instructions regarding the new process will be provided by each location.
- Testing frequency differs by vaccination status and days on-site. Please see the information sheet for specific testing requirements.
- CDPH and Cal/OSHA isolation and quarantine guidance: During our last town hall, some participants asked how we respond when someone working on-site is exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19. UCOP continues to meet CDPH, Cal/OSHA and local county requirements to respond to COVID-19 incidents. Section IV of the information sheet outlines what to do for both exposure and positive cases.
- UCOP COVID-19 booster reminder: Per the UCOP booster mandate, UCOP employees eligible for a booster vaccination must obtain one by January 31, 2022. Employees who are not yet eligible (due to timing of original vaccine dose(s)) must get a booster shot within 30 days of eligibility. We are updating the UCOP COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker to accept information about boosters, and we will notify everyone when the tracker is available to upload an updated copy of your vaccination card and booster information.
- Opt in to the CA Notify or DC CAN COVID-19 exposure notification systems: Another way to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19 is to add your phone to CA Notify or DC CAN: These systems are easy, private, secure and 100% opt-in. From launch to Dec. 2021, approximately 15.5 million people activated CA Notify and approximately 620,000 users received exposure notifications.
Save the date – January town hall
On Thursday, Jan. 27, from 1:00-2:15 p.m. (PT), we will hold a second town hall for UCOP staff to discuss UCOP’s Future of Work efforts, COVID-19 response and return to on-site operations plans. We heard your feedback on the December town hall and have extended our time together with a longer live Q&A period during which panelists will answer questions submitted by UCOP staff. I will lead the event, and be joined again by Executive Vice President, University of California Health, Dr. Carrie L. Byington, Executive Director, UCOP Operations, Thera Kalmijn, and members of the UCOP Future of Work and COVID-19 Response teams.
Register online here. Before the town hall, please take time to review the recordings, presentations and Q&As from the previous town hall. Many of your questions may already be answered there.
If you have questions, please talk with your manager or email UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.
As always, please continue to be safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer