The UCOP face-covering requirement is still in effect
The following message was sent to all UCOP employees on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Dear UCOP colleagues,
I am writing to provide you with an update on our UCOP-wide masking protocols.
As you may know, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) last week announced new guidance for the use of face masks that takes effect February 16. In addition, the Washington, D.C., Public Health department (DC Health) is lifting its mask requirements effective March 1.
At this time, for everyone’s well-being we are keeping our existing face-covering protocols in place for all UCOP-operated buildings in California and Washington, D.C. This means that all employees and visitors must wear a face covering when at a UCOP location.
Since we are at the beginning of our phased return to on-site operations for most staff, we believe it is important for the well-being of all employees to continue to require face coverings and maintain other COVID-19 protocols during the transition. This will allow us to enroll all on-site staff in our COVID-19 testing program, verify mandated booster status and assess other existing COVID-19 protocols. This approach was also used by UC campuses as they brought students and others back on-site. Many of our campuses are also maintaining indoor masking requirements for the time being.
As a reminder, the following additional COVID-19 protocols are in place to support everyone’s health and are required to enter or work at any UCOP facility:
- Physical distancing – Whenever possible, maintain six-foot physical distancing (unless close contact is for less than 15 minutes, such as riding in an elevator or passing in the corridor). We have made every effort to temporarily rearrange space assignments to allow physical distancing. Conference room capacity has also been temporarily reduced to allow for physical distancing.
- Facilities – As a courtesy to all employees, we will continue to provide cleaning supplies. Please wipe down surfaces, touchpoints and equipment in personal workspaces and common areas before and after use.
- UCOP Screen – Complete the UCOP Screen survey each day before entering the workplace and follow guidance if NOT APPROVED to enter the workplace. UCOP Screen now includes a summary of the COVID-19 testing protocols and a place for employees to attest that they are following them, in addition to attesting to flu vaccination status.
- COVID-19 testing – We are updating our testing program to include a test-to-return/test-to-stay approach by moving most testing to at-home testing before entering a UCOP facility. The updated COVID-19 testing program starts this week in Oakland and will continue to be mandatory. The UCOP COVID-19 Response Team is working with leadership for the Riverside and Sacramento locations to implement similar testing programs in the near future. Our Washington, D.C. testing program is also operational. Read details on the updated testing program here.
- UCOP COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Be in compliance with the policy, including boosters. Per the UCOP booster mandate, UCOP employees eligible for a booster vaccination should have obtained one by Jan. 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. The updated UCOP COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker to accept booster information is in development and will be available soon.
- UCOP isolation and quarantine guidance – Follow UCOP protocols when you test positive for COVID-19 or are notified that you have been a close contact. UCOP continues to meet CDPH, Cal/OSHA, and local county requirements to respond to COVID-19 incidents. The UCOP Updated COVID-19 Protocols information sheet (Section IV) outlines what to do for exposure and positive cases.
When more of us are back on-site and we’ve had a chance to monitor testing, protocols, and other factors, we will reevaluate our mask requirements and provide an update. If you have questions, please email UCOP-COVID19-Response@ucop.edu.
As always, thank you for your ongoing flexibility and partnership, and please continue to take care of yourself and be safe.
Executive Director, UCOP Operations