UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.


Frequently Asked Questions

Section 2

This FAQs page is regularly updated to reflect campus operations as well as the latest advice and information from county, state and federal authorities. You can access specific information by using the search option above, clicking on each bucket below or scrolling down to all the FAQs.

If you have a question that isn't answered in these FAQs, please submit it by clicking the button below:

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Winter 2022

If a student tests positive on a home or off-campus test, is it mandatory to report the result to UCI? Also, what are the recommendations for self-quarantine, and will UCI provide help with quarantining and medication?

UCI asks that students who test positive share the result through their Student Health Portal, and follow the new guidelines for Isolation and Clearance provided at: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/testing-response/quarantine-isolation.php

This page explains the process for isolation, retesting and clearance. For students living on campus, arrangements and communication will be provided if they need to relocate to a room separate from roommates. 

And students always have access to medical support if their symptoms are worsening or if they need medication, which many times can be delivered to them while in isolation.

What are UCI’s requirements on vaccination for students who planned to come to campus in winter quarter (after doing online learning during fall quarter)?

Students who were online only during the fall and are coming to the UCI campus for winter quarter are expected to meet all of the requirements for vaccinations that apply to other students (COVID, flu and others). https://shc.uci.edu/new-student-information/immunization-requirements

They must upload their current vaccine record and obtain any other vaccines required to become compliant. 

They may schedule vaccinations at the Student Health Center, or through other vaccine resources in the Irvine area, such as: 

Will remote instruction be extended beyond the first two weeks of winter quarter?

Chancellor Gillman has extended the period of remote instruction through Friday, January 28. Campus leaders continue to evaluate the situation and will communicate updates.

If classes are going to be online for the first few weeks, when can I come to campus?

The campus opened Jan. 3 with modifications to services. Although instruction will be remote through January 28, you may come to campus but you must start the "Test, Sequester, and Re-Test" regimen. For on-campus residents, this will require returning to campus at least seven days prior to your first in-person class.

Can I sequester at home before going to my off-campus residence?

You must begin the sequestration process when you arrive at the campus. If you live off-campus and plan on coming to the campus, you must sequester for seven days at your off-campus residence. Test within 72 hours after your return to campus by scheduling an appointment at a Campus Testing Site through the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal.

What setup is needed if separation from others is necessary and if a separate room is not available for isolation or quarantine?

A separate sleeping area. If a sleeping area is shared with someone who is sick, consider the following recommendations:

A separate bathroom or one that can be disinfected after use.

How do I know which services are available on campus during the remote instruction period?

While it is best to directly check the resource and department’s website for the most up-to-date information, a list of campus services and operations has been modified for the duration of the remote instruction period.

Can I go to an in-person club meeting or athletic event?

From Jan. 3 to Jan. 28, you should not attend gatherings or large events. We will continue to evaluate public health guidance throughout to determine if we can return to in-person instruction and advise you on attending events and activities.

I am uncomfortable testing at the campus testing sites because they are for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people.

The test sites operate using infection control standards for testing locations. We ask that all people using the test sites follow directional signs and instructions from test site staff. Remain masked at all times while at the test site, including in line waiting for testing, and only remove your mask when instructed to do so by test site staff for specimen collection. Following these protocols greatly reduces risk.

Campuswide Policies and Protocols

UC COVID-19 vaccination policy

The UC COVID-19 vaccine policy requires all UCI students, faculty and staff, with few exceptions, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before physically accessing the university’s locations and programs. Compliance is required no later than two weeks before faculty, staff and students are expected to be on campus. 

For information on the UC vaccination policy, exemptions and accommodations, and answers to frequently asked questions, please see:

For more information on the where and how to get vaccinated, visit our vaccine information page.

Vaccine Info

Booster

COVID-19 boosters will be required of all eligible individuals – students and employees – by January 31, 2022. 

The approved mix-and-match policy means that any of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. can be taken as a booster shot, regardless of which vaccine a person had for their primary vaccination. 

More information is available in the Booster FAQ.

Testing

Regular, weekly testing is required for all unvaccinated students, faculty and staff.

In accordance with the UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy, students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated and who are entering or physically present on UCI-controlled property must undergo weekly testing. This requirement also applies those who have an approved exemption, exception or deferral.

Testing is for students and employees with or without symptoms. An individual who is symptomatic on their scheduled weekly test day should still report to the testing site to keep the appointment (at least during the surge period).

Students, faculty and staff may receive a test from the campus testing site by making an appointment on the Student Health Center portal or by dropping by the test site.

A sampling of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will test weekly. Students, faculty and staff will be contacted directly if they are required to test in a particular week. Sample groups will be composed of:

  • 25% of fully vaccinated undergraduate students living in on-campus housing
  • 5% of the remaining fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff

COVID-19 testing is currently completed via a supervised self-administered nasal swab or saliva test that takes about 7-10 minutes, is cost-free to eligible groups on campus, and results are available within 24 to 48 hours.

Testing

Executive Directive: Testing

Executive directives

A number of Executive Directives and policies have been enacted that allow the university to authorize certain community practices.

Executive Directives

Daily Symptom Check

Each day before coming to campus, students, faculty and staff are required to screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. Human Resources is providing easy-to-use software for desktop computers or mobile devices, along with a dedicated phone number, to facilitate this symptom check. As individuals return to campus, they will receive a screening check-in email or a mobile app notification. This process is already working well at UCI Medical Center, and we expect everyone to use the screening software daily in consideration of others.

Employees must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19. Any employee exhibiting any symptoms must have had evaluation and clearance by the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) to be eligible to report to work.

State and county guidelines indicate that employees should assess themselves each morning PRIOR to coming into an office where others will be present. To assist employees in their daily assessment, the UCI Working Well Daily Health Check-In application has been developed as part of the new Working Well program.

Faculty and staff who have been instructed to return to the workplace are expected to conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. Employees must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19. Any employee exhibiting any symptoms must have had evaluation and clearance by the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) to be eligible to report to work.

At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Fever (99F+)
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough (new)
  • Shortness of breath (new)
  • Unexpected fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea, vomiting or nausea
  • Other cold symptoms

After employees have gone through testing, they must refer to the link below per new UCI policy for self-clearance:

If you already tested positive for COVID-19, please call Contact Tracing at 949-824-2300 to report your test result.

Living Well Program for Students Working Well Program for Staff

Executive Directive: Daily Symptom Check

Required safety training

All employees (faculty and staff) who plan to be on-site are required to view a training video titled “Returning to Campus,” which explains what COVID-19 is, how it is transmitted, the steps we’re taking to reduce potential exposure, and how you can protect yourself and others. This training is required by Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health. Even if you will continue to work remotely, but may need to come to campus occasionally, you must complete this training. Additionally, completing the training is only one step of the process to being approved to return to on-site work. The training video is available through the UC Learning Center and can be searched by title using the Find a Course function.

Preventative measures

At UCI, we have a number of risk reduction measures that layer together to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. These include:

  • A COVID-19 vaccine policy requiring all students, staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exception or deferral in order to access university property or programs. Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
  • An executive directive requiring universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status for all students, staff, faculty and campus visitors.
  • Mandated daily symptom checking and reporting for all students, staff and faculty, with COVID-19 testing arranged for those who are symptomatic.
  • Mandated weekly testing for those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
  • A sampling of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will test weekly. Selected participants will be notified directly.
  • Onsite case investigation and contact tracing services to quickly identify cases. and close contacts, with isolation and quarantine arranged as appropriate.

Preventative Measures

Physical distancing

  • Unvaccinated employees eating or drinking indoors must be at least six feet apart from other people.
  • If unvaccinated individuals cannot wear a face covering, they must continue to stay physically distanced at least six feet from other individuals or be tested once a week for COVID-19 during paid time and at no cost to the employee.

Outbreaks and quarantines

  • If an outbreak of three or more cases occurs in an exposed employee group, UCI must evaluate whether physical distancing or barriers are necessary to control transmission of the virus. If an outbreak of at least 20 cases happens, masks must be worn by all workers indoors and outdoors where 6-foot distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Fully vaccinated workers with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined if they are exposed to the virus.

Face coverings

In alignment with Cal/OSHA’s latest standards, the updated rules require anyone who is indoors in a public space on university-controlled property to wear a higher-quality face covering that doesn’t let light pass through when held up to a light source. (An exception is made for instructors wearing masks with clear plastic panels to communicate with the hearing-impaired.)  UCI Environmental Health & Safety has updated its Face Coverings guidance and created an FAQ. For more information, contact EHS at safety@uci.edu.

  • All individuals on campus are required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space.
  • Unvaccinated individuals are recommended to wear a face covering when outdoors if six feet of physical distance between people cannot be maintained.

Executive Directive: Face Coverings Face Coverings and Voluntary Use Respirators (N95s)

How do I obtain a face covering?

Students living in Student Housing, including at ACC Housing, can obtain face covering from the front desk of the main office at each Student Housing complex. Students not living in Student Housing can obtain face coverings from the Information Center, located inside the Student Center across from Student Center Parking Structure.

Faculty/Lecturers should contact their school or unit’s Buildings Facilities Manager to obtain a supply of face coverings for their own use or for their class. To request face coverings with clear panels used for lecturing purposes, please contact EHS at safety@uci.edu or at 949-824-6200.

UCI will provide voluntary-use respirators to unvaccinated or vaccinated employees. 

If you require a back-up face covering...

For your safety and the safety of others, additional face coverings are available at select locations.

  • Please only take one
  • Text or email safety@uci.edu if container is empty or running low

Here are the select locations:

  • Pippen Dining Commons - entrance
  • Brandywine Dining Commons - entrance
  • Parking Structure Kiosk across from Student Center; contact parking attendant
  • Anteater Learning Pavilion - entrance of building
  • Engineering Tower - loading dock; contact Mike Kennedy or Dennis Aldridge
  • School of Law – contact Garth Revtyak
  • Med Sci C – stack; contact Jeff Dillon
  • McGaugh Hall - loading dock, room 1439F; contact Robyn Stifler
  • Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) - front desk
  • FRESH Hub on Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.

Are visitors allowed at the university?

We recognize that visitors, contractors, vendors and other non-UCI personnel may need to come to campus. Non-UCI-affiliated individuals coming to campus for essential work must abide by these visitor guidelines.

Campus Requirements

UCI Self-Attestation

  • UCI will deem visitors/non-affiliates who enter a campus building without wearing a face covering to have self-attested to meeting the face covering exemption.

UCI COVID-19 Visitor Guidance UCI Contractor/Vendor Guidance Executive Directives

CDPH Guidance Face Coverings FAQ UCOP UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

Reporting COVID-19 cases

What is the criteria for reporting?

  • A pending symptomatic test result.
  • A lab-confirmed symptomatic positive test result.
  • Experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
  • Close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual (within six feet and ≥ 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period).

Report the case

Students & Student Workers

Visit the Student Patient Portal and complete the "COVID-19 Yes Responder Screening Request," or contact UCI’s Student Health Center (SHC) at 949-824-3870 to report a case.

Employees

Staff and faculty may report a case using the COVID-19 Case Reporting website.

Remote workers do not need to report a case. Visit COVID Reporting Resources for guidance.

Need help? Contact the UCI COVID-19 Response Center (CRC) at covid19@uci.edu or call 949-824-9918 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After-hours instructions are provided to callers.

If you are a confirmed or suspected case, experiencing symptoms or a close contact:

A. Review and respond to Daily Symptom Check (If experiencing symptoms, respond YES).

B. Do not go to work, class or anywhere else on campus. If you are a student on-site, stay in your living unit.

C. Immediately inform your supervisor, department chair or most accessible university official (e.g., Resident Advisor, PI).

D. Seek medical advice through your primary care provider, COEH or SHC.

E. Take the Call. If you are a confirmed case, or a close-contact, UCI COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program (CT) will be calling you to interview you and provide guidance on isolation or quarantine. When you see 949-824-2300 on your caller ID, take the call.

If you are a supervisor, department chair or other university official informed of a confirmed, suspected or exposure case:

A. Contact EH&S at 949-824-6200 or safety@uci.edu for a decontamination strategy and post-decontamination occupancy approval.

B. Unless directed by EH&S as part of their decontamination strategy, do not close the workspace or send other people home. UCI's Contact Tracing team will call the confirmed case and their close contacts and provide them with isolation/quarantine instructions if applicable.

C. Contact your departmental/unit HR or a responsible university official to inform them of the current circumstances. Do not share the COVID-positive individual’s name with anyone other than Human Resources, CTVNS, SHC, or COEH. The individual’s illness is individually identifiable health information.

D. For case guidance involving a student/student worker, please contact the Student Health Center at 949-824-5304.

E. For guidance involving staff and faculty/academics, please contact the Center for Occupational & Environmental Health (COEH) at 949-824-8685 or coeh-clinic@hs.uci.edu. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Report COVID-19 Case

For assistance and questions regarding COVID-19, processes and reporting steps, contact the UCI Coronavirus Response Center (CRC) at covid19@uci.edu or call 949-824-9918 from Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After-hours instructions are provided to callers.

Reporting COVID-19 safety concerns

Injuries, safety concerns and/or COVID-19 concerns or near-misses occurring on campus or while participating in University business should be reported within 24 hours.

Report COVID-19 Safety Concern

Non-Compliance Guidelines and Response Procedures

COVID-19 related campus procedures and executive directives are intended to keep the UCI community healthy by limiting the spread of COVID-19. Members of the UCI community are expected to behave in ways that respect the health of others.

While it is expected that each individual will assume personal responsibility to help protect the UCI community, it is also understood that mistakes and lapses in compliance or intentional non-compliance may occur. Generally, issues with compliance should be addressed with care and understanding. The overarching goal when addressing non-compliance is to de-escalate rather than intensify a situation.

Non-compliance Response Procedures

For assistance and questions regarding COVID-19, processes, reporting steps, contact the UCI Coronavirus Response Center (CRC) at covid19@uci.edu or call 949-824-9918 from Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After-hours instructions are provided to callers.

Booster

Is the booster required at UCI?

Yes, as shared in President Drake’s letter, University of California policy requires students, faculty and staff to keep their COVID-19 vaccination status up-to-date. This includes COVID-19 boosters for those who are eligible.

Who is eligible to get a booster?

Everyone age 16 and older is eligible for a booster shot. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on booster recommendations. To be eligible for the booster, recipients must be five months past the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. UCI community members are required to get boosted once eligible and must upload their proof of booster vaccination as soon no later than Jan. 31, 2022.

What booster should I get?

UCI Health recommends the Pfizer and Moderna boosters. If you received Johnson & Johnson as your first vaccine, it is recommended that you select either Pfizer or Moderna as your booster.

Where can I get a booster?

COVID booster vaccinations can be obtained from medical offices, pharmacies and community-sponsored venues. Check California’s MyTurn website to find vaccination sites.

Can I get a booster shot on campus?

Yes, the Student Health Center offers COVID-19 booster shots by appointment. However, the appointments are limited and filling up quickly. Students should use all resources available for receiving COVID boosters, which can also be obtained from medical offices, pharmacies and community-sponsored venues. Check California’s MyTurn website to find vaccination sites.

Once I have a booster, then what?

  • Obtain verification of your booster on the CDC card you received for your initial vaccinations (or on its foreign equivalent in the case of covered individuals who received their vaccinations abroad); official documentation issued by a state vaccine registry; or an official medical record. If you were vaccinated in California, you may request a digital COVID-19 vaccine record.

  • Take a photo of the verification document and upload the photo to the appropriate portal along with the required data from the record. Use Occupational Health for faculty and staff or Student Health for students. (Students who are also employees should upload to the student site.)

I do not plan to be on campus before Jan. 31. Do I still need a booster?

YES, you are required to receive a booster once you are eligible, based on CDC criteria.

I was vaccinated less than five months ago. I will not be able to fulfill the requirement to get a booster by Jan. 31. What should I do to avoid being considered non-compliant?

To be eligible for a COVID-19 booster, recipients must be five months past the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna or two months past the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Everyone age 16 and older is eligible for a booster shot. Those who become eligible after Jan. 31 must be boosted and upload their documentation no more than 15 days after they are eligible.

Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on booster recommendations.

Does the booster shot mandate apply for international students who have received WHO-approved vaccines that are not available in the U.S.?

YES, the booster policy applies to all students.

View the FAQ for International Students below.

Can I apply for an exemption to the booster if I am vaccinated?

Anyone may apply for an exception, exemption or deferral. Each application will be considered on an individualized basis.

You may view the message the details all possible booster exception scenarios or in a table format by visiting the COVID-19 Booster Exception page.

Can I self-attest that I have received the booster?

No. Everyone is required to upload documentation of their booster shot to the appropriate portal - Occupational Health for employees and Student Health for students.

If someone catches COVID-19 before receiving a booster shot, how long should they wait to get boosted after their symptoms end?

Wait two to four weeks after clearance from COVID and symptoms. This enables your body to completely recover from the infection and prepares your immune system to mount a strong response to the booster.

Does UC SHIP cover booster shots?

Yes, UC SHIP covers COVID booster vaccines if received at an “in-network” (Anthem) pharmacy, clinic or other provider. Additionally, vaccinations are covered if received at SHC, Gottschalk Plaza or any other UCI Health-affiliated clinic. UC SHIP students have no out-of-pocket costs for vaccinations. In an effort to encourage COVID (and flu) vaccinations, COVID boosters and testing, SHC is not charging fees to non-SHIP students.

Students

Are students required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The UC COVID-19 vaccine policy requires all UCI students, faculty and staff, with few exceptions, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before physically accessing the university’s locations and programs. Compliance is required no later than two weeks before faculty, staff and students are expected to be on campus.

For information on the UC vaccination policy, exemptions and accommodations, and answers to frequently asked questions, please see:

For more information on the where and how to get vaccinated, visit our vaccine information page.

 

What happens if I do not comply with the UC COVID-19 vaccine policy?

Students who fail to upload vaccination verification or exception or deferral request are subject to:

  • Loss of access to UCI’s Wi-Fi system, UCI Mobile Access
  • Registration hold that restricts their ability to register for classes for the Winter 2022 quarter
  • Noncompliance notifications that will result in a referral to the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct for disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, probation, suspension or dismissal

Reports of students or student organizations who allegedly violate campus policy can be made to the Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct for follow up. If the student or student organization is found responsible, they can face consequences including, but not limited to:

  • suspension or dismissal for students, or
  • loss of privileges and revocation of registration status for registered campus organizations.

To report an incident involving a student or student organization, submit the Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct incident reporting form: uci-advocate.symplicity.com/public_report/index.php

Do I have to complete the Daily Symptom Check?

All students, faculty and staff are required to complete the Daily Symptom Check.

What happens if I report symptoms of COVID-19 in the Daily Symptom Check?

If you report symptoms on the Daily Symptom Check, please stay home. Students will be referred to the Student Health Center. If a COVID-19 test is needed, one will be scheduled for you at no cost through UCI. 

What do I do if I get COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your primary healthcare provider for medical evaluation and treatment recommendations. If you did not test through the Student Health Center, report your case to the UCI COVID-19 Response Center by calling 949-824-9918 or using online options for students and employees found by clicking here

Individuals should follow the guidance on how to isolate.

For questions, please contact UCI’s Contact Tracing & Vaccine Navigation Services at 949-824-2300 or contacttracing@uci.edu.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus.

You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms.

How do I know if I need to isolate or quarantine?

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 on a laboratory test or home test, and those that are close contacts to cases should follow the isolation and quarantine instructionsDo not wait to be contacted by Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, or Student Health to contact you to begin isolation or quarantine. 

If you believe you are a case or a close contact to a UCI case or community case, self-report your status to the UCI COVID-19 Response Center by calling 949-824-9918 or using online options for students and employees found by clicking here.

I am a student who lives in campus housing and I tested positive for COVID, do I still need to do the weekly testing?

If you have recently tested positive for COVID, you should NOT be participating in weekly testing for three months, as the test result may continue to be positive.

If you took an at-home test that was positive, please upload it or notify our team through your Student Health Portal.

I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?

Individuals that are close contacts to cases should follow the isolation and quarantine instructions. Do not wait to be contacted by Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, or Student Health to contact you to begin isolation or quarantine. 

If you believe you are a case or a close contact to a UCI case or community case, self-report your status to the UCI COVID-19 Response Center by calling 949-824-9918 or using online options for students and employees found by clicking here.

What are procedures for someone who is vaccinated and asymptomatic, but who has been exposed to COVID-19?

If you are boosted OR vaccinated, but not yet booster eligible*

  • You do not need to quarantine.
  • Test on day 5. 
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • If testing positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home. 

If you are unvaccinated OR vaccinated and booster eligible* but have not yet received your booster dose OR you previously had COVID-19 within the last 90 days

  • Stay home for at least 5 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Test on day 5.
  • Quarantine can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present and you have a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test collected on day 5 or later. PCR or antigen testing is recommended for this clearance testing.
  • If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • If testing positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home.

*Booster Eligible: You are considered booster eligible if:

  • It has been six months since your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech
  • It has been two months after your single dose of Johnson and Johnson.
  • It has been six months of getting all recommended doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listing COVID-19 vaccine
  • It has been six months after getting all recommended doses of a mix and match series composed of any combination of FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO emergency use listing COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I have family or friends visit or stay overnight?

Yes, if certain rules are followed. Guests must wear a face covering inside student housing. Overnight guests in undergraduate housing are limited to one person at a time for no more than three days within a two-week period. The host must make an agreement with their roommate(s) before inviting guests. Graduate housing residents may have overnight guests in their apartments for no longer than seven consecutive days with approval from their roommate.

Do I have to wear a face covering while on campus?

All individuals on campus will be required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space. Unvaccinated individuals are recommended to wear a face covering when outdoors if six feet of physical distance between people cannot be maintained.

How do I obtain face coverings?

Students living in Student Housing, including at ACC Housing, can obtain face coverings from the front desk of the main office at each Student Housing complex. Students not living in Student Housing can obtain face coverings from the Information Center, located inside the Student Center across from the Student Center Parking Structure.

For your safety and the safety of others, additional face coverings are available at select locations.

  • Please only take one
  • Email safety@uci.edu if container is empty or running low

Backup face coverings for students, faculty and staff are available at the following locations around campus:

  • Pippen Dining Commons - entrance
  • Brandywine Dining Commons - entrance
  • Parking Structure Kiosk - across from Student Center; contact parking attendant
  • Anteater Learning Pavilion - entrance of building
  • Engineering Tower - loading dock; contact Mike Kennedy or Dennis Aldridge
  • School of Law; contact Garth Revtyak
  • Med Sci C Stack; contact Jeff Dillon
  • McGaugh Hall - loading dock, room 1439F; contact Robyn Stifler
  • Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) - front desk
  • FRESH Hub every Wednesday 11-4pm and Thursdays 1-4pm

Will testing be required?

Yes. Weekly testing is mandatory for all students who are not fully vaccinated; who have an approved exemption, exception or deferral; who have not received an approved exemption, exception, deferral; or who are “covered individuals” as defined by the policy. A covered individual is defined as any student who will be on campus or access any university facility at any time.

For testing information, such as scheduling, location and frequency, visit the testing webpage.

Testing Inforrmation

Are fully vaccinated students required to test weekly?

A sampling of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will test weekly. Students, faculty and staff will be contacted directly if they are required to test in a particular week.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test if I want one?

Free testing is available to all students either by scheduling an appointment. “Walk-in” testing is subject to availability, so the preferred option is to schedule an appointment. Check the testing schedule for locations, hours of operation and closures.

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are now available at the Student Health Center. Call 949-824-5304 to schedule an appointment.

What is the ZotPass?

This year’s ZotPass features integration with the following:

  • Compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
  • Student requirements to follow non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as face coverings. *Note: Due to the universal face coverings requirement, all students are required to wear face coverings.
  • Compliance with asymptomatic testing (if needed).
  • Compliance with the Daily Symptom Check.
  • The ZotPass will not:
    • Reveal medical information.
    • Tell you the student’s vaccination status.

How does ZotPass work?

Students submit their Daily Symptom Check via email or using the ServiceNow app.

Students will receive their ZotPass via email or by accessing the ServiceNow app.

GREEN ZotPass - Student is compliant; no additional NPI's needed; student is current with COVID policies / protocols; student must comply with general campus guidance / requirements; student is current with asymptomatic testing protocols (if needed). *Note: Due to the universal face coverings requirement, all students are required to wear face coverings.

YELLOW ZotPass - Student is required to follow NPI’s such as wearing a face covering indoors and eating while distanced as required. *Note: Due to the universal face coverings requirement, all students are required to wear face coverings.

RED ZotPass - Student is non-compliant with one or more COVID-related policy, directive and/or protocol. Students with a RED ZotPass may be asked to leave the campus.

What should I do if I have problems with the ZotPass?

If a student forgets to complete their Daily Symptom Check, they can use the ServiceNow app to respond. If they also are compliant with the other requirements, they should receive a Green ZotPass. If the student believes that the ZotPass is incorrect, they can call the UCI COVID-19 Response Center at 949-824-9918.

Is eating or drinking allowed in class?

When required campus-wide, face coverings should be always kept on, excepting brief moments to drink. Eating in class is prohibited when face coverings are required.

For more health guidelines for in-person courses, visit UCI Teach Anywhere.

What happens if a student does not comply with campus policies?

Reports of students or student organizations who allegedly violate campus policy can be made to the Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct for follow up. If the student or student organization is found responsible, they can face consequences including, but not limited to:

  • suspension or dismissal for students, or
  • loss of privileges and revocation of registration status for registered campus organizations.

To report an incident involving a student or student organization, submit the Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct incident reporting form: uci-advocate.symplicity.com/public_report/index.php

How do I report a COVID-19 case?

Students may report a case through the Student Patient Portal and complete the "COVID-19 Yes Responder Screening Request," or contact UCI’s Student Health Center (SHC) at 949-824-3870 to report a case.

What if someone isn’t complying with the protocols?

COVID-19 related campus procedures and executive directives are intended to keep the UCI community healthy by limiting the spread of COVID-19. Members of the UCI community are expected to behave in ways that respect the health of others.

While it is expected that each individual will assume personal responsibility to help protect the UCI community, it is also understood that mistakes and lapses in compliance or intentional non-compliance may occur. Generally, issues with compliance should be addressed with care and understanding. The overarching goal when addressing non-compliance is to de-escalate rather than intensify a situation.

Non-compliance Response Procedures

For assistance and questions regarding COVID-19, processes and reporting steps, contact the UCI Coronavirus Response Center (CRC) at covid19@uci.edu or call 949-824-9918 from Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After-hours instructions are provided to callers.

International Students

Will the university accept internationally approved vaccines even if they are not authorized or approved in the United States?

Yes, as long as the vaccine is authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a process for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics during public health emergencies. Through that process, a number of vaccines not available in the United States have received Emergency Use Listing (EUL). A document summarizing the status of a wide range of international vaccines can be found online on the WHO’s website (click on link to “Status of COVID-19 Vaccines” in the EUL/PQ evaluation process). The university will, consistent with CDC and CDPH guidance, accept proof of full vaccination with any international vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by WHO through the EUL process. People who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with one of these vaccines do not need additional doses with an FDA-licensed or -authorized COVID-19 vaccine, at least initially (but may be subject to subsequent booster requirements).

Please remember to upload your vaccination record to the Student Health Patient Portal. Your vaccination record should be translated into English prior to uploading.

I was vaccinated in a country, where the government increased the time between first and second doses longer than U.S. labeling. Do I have to be revaccinated?

No. If you have proof of completing a series of any FDA-licensed or FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine consistent with your country’s implementation, you will be considered to have complied with the vaccine mandate.

I do not have a social security number. Can I still schedule an appointment and receive the vaccine in the U.S.?

Yes. A social security number is not required in order to receive the vaccine. However, some providers may require that you enter a full nine-digit social security number or only the last four digits when completing your registration prior to scheduling the appointment.  If you are unable to complete registration and schedule an appointment, then please contact the vaccine provider directly for guidance and advise them that you do not have a social security number.

Does the booster shot mandate apply for international students who have received WHO-approved vaccines that are not available in the U.S.?

YES, the booster policy applies to all students.

What is the booster eligibility criteria or timeline requirement for different WHO-approved vaccines?

Six months after the final dose of a WHO-approved vaccine.

I received an international vaccine series and am considered compliant with the current vaccine policy. What vaccine should I get for my booster if I can’t get a third dose of my original series?

You can get a dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

My first two doses are not listed on MyTurn because they were not given in the United States. What should I do?

Call Vaccine Finder at 800-232-0233.

Some of the local vaccine sites are not allowing individuals with international vaccines to get boosted. Where can I get my booster?

Call 714-834-2000. They can help you.

Faculty / Academics

For a comprehensive list of facutly resources and instruction FAQs, please refer to the following:

UCI Teach Anywhere Academic Personnel FAQs

Academic Personnel policies related to COVID-19

For a compendium of Academic Personnel policies related to COVID-19, visit https://ap.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/Compendium-Measures-of-Support-for-Faculty.pdf.

Below is an overview of the topics discussed:

AP Review

  • Stop the Clock option (STC-COVID) and Retroactive Pay for Assistant Rank Faculty
  • One-year Academic Review Deferral for Associate and Professor Rank Faculty
  • Teaching Evaluations Exemption
  • CAP and AP Amendments and Recommendation about Review Files
  • Guidance About Documenting COVID-19 Impacts in Merit/Promotion Reviews
  • COVID-19 External Letter Solicitation Guidance 

Leaves for Faculty

  • Announcements
  • EFML - Emergency Family Medical Leave
  • Sick/Paid Medical Leave Option

Interim COVID Modified Duties (ICMD) 

  • Announcements
  • Form
  • Program Details

Other topics

  • Support related to Childcare and Other Dependent Care Issues
  • Guidance to Chairs about Workplace Adjustment/Accommodation
  • Additional Guidance to Chairs about AP Review due to COVID-19 Impact
  • Support with Faculty Internet Connectivity Issues
  • Communication with Faculty

Are instructors required to wear face coverings if they are required by the University?

Currently, face coverings are mandated, and the campus is distributing face coverings, including clear ones for those who teach students who read lips. Therefore, faculty are required to use them while teaching. Many classrooms have microphones available and additional microphones will be available for instructors to check out (see next question). Microphones have been tested with multiple types of face coverings to confirm compatibility and identify any limitations.

Will instructors be able to check out microphones to amplify their voices if they are required to wear face coverings while teaching?

Microphones and other equipment will be available for instructors to check out per quarter. Instructors teaching in general assignment classrooms equipped with a wireless microphone system can check out a lapel mic for the quarter to be used with the bodypack provided in the classroom. To request this option, please email: smartclassrooms@uci.edu.

If I am out sick for a period of time, can I conduct my classes remotely during that period?

Instructors and TAs are expected to have a contingency plan for being out sick or other potential disruptions that would prevent the instructor from teaching their class in-person. Conducting the course remotely is one option. Ideally, instructors and TAs should provide information on contingency plans in their syllabus, so students are prepared for possible changes.

What if I do not feel comfortable teaching in person?

It is hard for anyone to feel fully comfortable during a pandemic. That said, if a medical condition or other disability prompts you to want to request a disability accommodation, you can reach out to Disability Management Services to determine next steps.

Am I required to provide remote learning options for international students who are unable to come to campus due to visa delays or travel restrictions?

This past Fall, the campus expected that the vast majority of students to have returned to an on-campus experience. Although some undergraduate students may choose to build a fully remote schedule using available online/virtual courses, most will likely need to take at least one course in-person. In the rare circumstance that students cannot attend their courses in-person because of a COVID-19 related hardship, travel restriction or medical condition, two centralized processes are in place to evaluate student requests:

  • Disability Services Center (DSC): As part of their established accommodation services, DSC may approve an accommodation that includes remote instruction for students with certain temporary or long-term disabilities, including some medical conditions related to COVID-19.
  • Temporary Remote Alternative for COVID-19 Related Hardships: Under a temporary process, a central committee is evaluating requests for remote instruction from students who are unable to come to UCI due to travel restrictions or students who are experiencing temporary and exceptional hardships related to COVID-19.

Similar to other forms of accommodation, faculty are not expected to fundamentally alter their in-person courses in response to students’ inability to attend in-person. However, they do need to provide full instructional content that will enable these students to achieve the same learning outcomes. This could include streaming or recording lectures, existing course videos, online discussions and assignments, or a combination of these and other resources. Courses with significant active learning and in-class exercises will be addressed individually. 

For additional information, please see the FAQ on the Teach Anywhere site. Questions should be directed to dtei@uci.edu

If face coverings are mandated by the university, what can I do to encourage students to wear them in class?

When face coverings are required campus-wide, you may want to start your classes with a reminder about the latest guidance. It could be a verbal reminder and/or a note on the whiteboard or a slide at the beginning of your presentation. You may also want to add to your syllabus that “students must adhere to the current campus directives related to COVID-19 and refusal to do so may result in the student being asked to leave.”

What if a student isn’t wearing a face covering in class when face coverings are required by the campus?

Students have generally been compliant with campus requirements. In many cases, if a student isn’t wearing a face covering it is simply because they forgot to put one on. For students who forget their face covering at home, you may want to have extras on hand. Instructors are welcome to pick up a free box of disposable surgical masks for your classroom or office hours by emailing Environmental Health and Safety at safety@uci.edu and arrange for a pickup of these masks. Backup reusable cloth face coverings are also available at various places around campus.

What if a student refuses to wear a campus-required face covering in class?

Students must adhere to any face covering requirements in effect in the same way that they must conform to elements of the Code of Student Conduct or other campus policies. If a student shows up to class or office hours without a face covering while campus guidance requires them, you may remind the student of the requirement and ask them to put on their face covering. If the student refuses to put one on, you may ask the student to leave, just as you would ask a student who is being disruptive to either cease their disruptive behavior or leave. If you cannot control the situation yourself, you may end class early for the well-being of all. Please report incidents to the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct (OAISC). OAISC will need the students’ name, SID and other relevant information submitted via the online report form.

If a student has a disability accommodation to attend class without a mask, you would be notified in advance by the Disability Services Center. You should know that this is an unlikely scenario since other options would be considered such as remote instruction. For any questions regarding disability accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Center.

You should not call UCIPD to report failure to wear a face covering. UCIPD is not charged with enforcement of face covering requirements and failure to wear a face covering is not a police emergency.

How will I know if the students in my course are not vaccinated?

Instructors will generally not be able to confirm that all of their students are vaccinated. Some students will be studying on campus with an approved exception or deferral from the requirement to be vaccinated. Instructors are not responsible for enforcing the vaccination policy.

Student Affairs is responsible for enforcing student compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy. Students who do not comply with UC vaccination requirements, including the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, may be subject to disciplinary action or loss of campus privileges, including but not limited to loss of WiFi privileges, restriction from campus resources, restriction of access to campus, and an academic registration hold restricting students from registering for classes. Disciplinary action can include probation, suspension, or dismissal from the university.

Instructors will not be obligated to provide remote learning options for these students, even if that results in the students failing their courses.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Policy is one strategy to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. The campus has adopted a number of additional public health measures for students, including: an indoor face covering requirement regardless of vaccination status; COVID-19 testing of those not fully vaccinated; daily symptom checking for all regardless of vaccination status; contact tracing; and isolation and quarantine support. While it is not possible to make the campus a “bubble” in which everyone is vaccinated, these layers of public health protection, developed consistent with current public health, UC Office of the President and CalOSHA guidance and regulations, allow us to return to in-person instruction and reduce the costs of isolating individuals.

Will I be directed to conduct my class remotely if a student in my class tests positive for COVID-19?

Most likely not, based upon current public health guidance. Vaccinated individuals who are close contacts to positive COVID-19 cases are not recommended to quarantine unless they have symptoms. Classroom interactions are typically limited, and with such a high vaccination rate in our community, it is unlikely that the number of people required to quarantine would necessitate a class being conducted remotely during a quarantine period.

It is, of course, possible that other issues such as poor air quality or power outages could necessitate conducting class remotely.

 

How do I obtain face coverings for my class/department?

Faculty/lecturers should contact their school or unit’s Buildings Facilities Manager to obtain a supply of face coverings for their own use or for their class. To request face coverings with clear panels used for lecturing purposes, contact EH&S at safety@uci.edu or at 949-824-6200.

For your safety and the safety of others, additional face coverings are available at select locations.

  • Please only take one
  • Email safety@uci.edu if container is empty or running low

Backup face coverings for students, faculty, and staff are available at the following locations around campus:

  • Pippen Dining Commons - entrance
  • Brandywine Dining Commons - entrance
  • Parking Structure Kiosk - across from Student Center; contact parking attendant
  • Anteater Learning Pavilion - entrance of building
  • Engineering Tower - loading dock; contact Mike Kennedy or Dennis Aldridge
  • School of Law; contact Garth Revtyak
  • Med Sci C Stack; contact Jeff Dillon
  • McGaugh Hall - loading dock, room 1439F; contact Robyn Stifler
  • Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) - front desk
  • FRESH Hub Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Are fully vaccinated faculty and staff required to test weekly?

A sampling of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will test weekly. Students, faculty and staff will be contacted directly if they are required to test in a particular week.

More information on testing is available on HR's website.

Where can I get a COVID test if I want one?

Free testing is available to all students either by scheduling an appointment. “Walk-in” testing is subject to availability, so the preferred option is to schedule an appointment. Check the testing schedule for locations, hours of operation and closures.

How do I report a COVID-19 safety concern?

Report an injury, safety concern or COVID-19 safety concern by completing the questionnaire at https://www.ehs.uci.edu/forms/report-injury/

Staff

For a comprehensive list of resources and staff FAQs, please refer to the following:

Coronavirus Information for Staff

Are faculty and staff required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The UC COVID-19 vaccine policy requires all UCI students, faculty and staff, with few exceptions, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before physically accessing the university’s locations and programs. Compliance is required no later than two weeks before faculty, staff and students are expected to be on campus.

For information on the UC vaccination policy, exemptions and accommodations, and answers to frequently asked questions, please see:

For more information on the where and how to get vaccinated, visit our vaccine information page.

What happens if I report symptoms of COVID-19 in the Daily Symptom Check?

If you report symptoms on the Daily Symptom Check, please stay home. Do not wait to be contacted by Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, or Student Health to contact you to begin isolation or quarantine.

What do I do if I test positive?

If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your primary healthcare provider for medical evaluation and treatment recommendations. If you did not test through the Student Health Center, report your case to the UCI COVID-19 Response Center by calling 949-824-9918 or using online options for students and employees found by clicking here

Individuals should follow the guidance on how to isolate.

For questions, please contact UCI’s Contact Tracing & Vaccine Navigation Services at 949-824-2300 or contacttracing@uci.edu.

I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?

If you believe you are a close contact to a case, report your close contact by calling the UCI COVID-19 Response Center at 949-824-9918 or using online reporting options for students and employees found by clicking here. Do not wait to be contacted by Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, or Student Health to contact you to begin isolation or quarantine

What are procedures for someone who is vaccinated and asymptomatic, but who has been exposed to COVID-19?

If you are boosted OR vaccinated, but not yet booster eligible*

  • You do not need to quarantine.
  • Test on day 5. 
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • If testing positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home. 

If you are unvaccinated OR vaccinated and booster eligible* but have not yet received your booster dose OR you previously had COVID-19 within the last 90 days

  • Stay home for at least 5 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Test on day 5.
  • Quarantine can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present and you have a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test collected on day 5 or later. PCR or antigen testing is recommended for this clearance testing.
  • If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
  • If testing positive, follow isolation recommendations above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home.

*Booster Eligible: You are considered booster eligible if:

  • It has been six months since your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech
  • It has been two months after your single dose of Johnson and Johnson.
  • It has been six months of getting all recommended doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listing COVID-19 vaccine
  • It has been six months after getting all recommended doses of a mix and match series composed of any combination of FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO emergency use listing COVID-19 vaccine.

Do I have to wear a face covering while on campus?

All individuals on campus will be required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space. Unvaccinated individuals are recommended to wear a face covering when outdoors if six feet of physical distance between people cannot be maintained.

Am I able to eat at my desk or take sips of a drink when I am in the office or do I have to go outside?

Face coverings can be removed while an individual is eating or drinking indoors on UCI-controlled property, but if you are not fully vaccinated, you must stay at least six feet apart from other individuals.

How do I obtain a face covering?

Staff should contact their Building Facility Manager to obtain a face covering supply for their unit or for their own use. They may also contact safety@uci.edu to submit a request and pick up at EH&S.

If you reside in a building without a Building Facility Manager, please contact EH&S at safety@uci.edu or 949-824-6200 to request and pick up at EH&S.

For your safety and the safety of others, additional face coverings are available at select locations.

  • Please only take one
  • Email safety@uci.edu if container is empty or running low

Backup face coverings for students, faculty, and staff are available at the following locations around campus:

  • Pippen Dining Commons - entrance
  • Brandywine Dining Commons - entrance
  • Parking Structure Kiosk - across from Student Center; contact parking attendant
  • Anteater Learning Pavilion - entrance of building
  • Engineering Tower - loading dock; contact Mike Kennedy or Dennis Aldridge
  • School of Law; contact Garth Revtyak
  • Med Sci C Stack; contact Jeff Dillon
  • McGaugh Hall - loading dock, room 1439F; contact Robyn Stifler
  • Anteater Recreation Center (ARC) - front desk
  • FRESH Hub Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Will testing be required?

Yes. Weekly testing is mandatory for all staff and faculty who are not fully vaccinated; who have an approved exemption, exception or deferral; who have not received an approved exemption, exception, deferral; or who are “covered individuals” as defined by the policy. A covered individual is defined as any student who will be on campus or access any university facility at any time.

A sampling of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will also test weekly. Students, faculty and staff will be contacted directly if they are required to test in a particular week.

Executive Directive: Testing

Why are vaccinated employees tested for COVID-19 even if they don’t have symptoms?

Surveillance testing is an additional important source of information to learn about the rate of breakthrough cases in our community. Just about every peer campus is carrying out some level of surveillance testing. Our testing program impacts only a small fraction of our community each week; we are starting with a sampling rate that would have each employee tested less than once per quarter on average. To provide accurate data for the community, it is important that the program include all employees who are working on campus, even those who are primarily remote. 

For more about the COVID-19 testing program, visit the employee testing website. If you have questions or require support, contact the UCI COVID Response Center at 949-824-9918 (or x49918), Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Executive Directive: Testing 

Where can I get a COVID-19 test if I want one?

Free testing is available to all students either by scheduling an appointment. “Walk-in” testing is subject to availability, so the preferred option is to schedule an appointment. Check the testing schedule for locations, hours of operation and closures.

Does Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) or Contact Tracing and Vaccination Referral Services (CTVNS) notify the supervisor if an employee tests positive for COVID?

COEH or CTVNS will not notify the supervisor. If the case is positive, employees should follow the guidance on how to isolate or quarantine. The employee is to work with the supervisor based off the information COEH or CTVNS provides the employee.

Will COVID-19 paid leave be extended? With a rise in breakthrough COVID cases and children under 12 not yet vaccinated, UCI employees might still need leave time to care for themselves or a family member who has it.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave expired on Sept. 30, 2021; we have no indication from the UC Office of the President that the leave will be extended.

Staff employees may now utilize leave accruals, such as sick, vacation, PTO or compensatory time off, for leaves related to COVID-19. Additionally, staff employees on leaves longer than a few days should file a leave request via UCI's partner Sedgwick. For long leaves, staff employees may qualify for disability income and should coordinate with Sedgwick and HR.

Answered by Ramona Agrela, chief human resources officer and vice chancellor human resources

What if someone isn’t complying with the protocols?

COVID-19 related campus procedures and executive directives are intended to keep the UCI community healthy by limiting the spread of COVID-19. Members of the UCI community are expected to behave in ways that respect the health of others.

While it is expected that each individual will assume personal responsibility to help protect the UCI community, it is also understood that mistakes and lapses in compliance or intentional non-compliance may occur. Generally, issues with compliance should be addressed with care and understanding. The overarching goal when addressing non-compliance is to de-escalate rather than intensify a situation.

Non-compliance Response Procedures

For assistance and questions regarding COVID-19, processes and reporting steps, contact the UCI Coronavirus Response Center (CRC) at covid19@uci.edu or call 949-824-9918 from Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After-hours instructions are provided to callers.

How do I report a COVID-19 safety concern?

Report an injury, safety concern or COVID-19 safety concern by completing the questionnaire at https://www.ehs.uci.edu/forms/report-injury/

University Operations

Attendance policy for large indoor events

In accordance with guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), UCI requires participants (including spectators, event organizers and staff) in attendance to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test conducted within one day for antigen tests, and within two days for PCR tests prior to entry into the facility or venue

For indoor events with 1,000 or more people (also known as mega-events), attendees must provide proof that they:

  • Are fully vaccinated, or

  • Have received a negative COVID-19 test

    • The following are acceptable as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result:

      • A printed document from the test provider or laboratory; OR
      • An electronic test result displayed on a phone or other device from the test provider or laboratory.

Attendees cannot self-attest to verify vaccination status or a negative test result. Attendees ages 18 and older must provide identification at indoor mega-events. Your identification must confirm you are the person:

  • Presenting proof of vaccination status or negative test result, and

  • Entering the venue

A person is considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two (2) weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or other vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization), or two (2) weeks of more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

Accompanying proof of identification in the form of a driver's license or other document that visibly identifies the person on the proof of vaccination and test result is required for ages 18 and above.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask while indoors at UCI facilities unless actively eating or drinking.

Executive Directive: Face Covering

Details for implementing each option are available in the Managing Large Indoor Events Reference Guide

Managing Large Indoor Events Reference Guide

What is UCI's policy on university travel?

UCI strongly recommends that non-essential travel be postponed. UCI guidance may change if health conditions change. Please direct any questions to global@uci.edu.

Executive Directive: Travel

HVAC FAQs

Air Quality Related to COVID-19 Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Additional FAQs are available on EH&S's Building Ventilation and Filtration webpage.

Is recirculating air a concern, since little is known about the possibility of transmission through AC systems? Are there places where people can work that have outside air?

Aerosol transmission through the HVAC system has been suggested, but the available information to back up this claim has been speculative at best. Almost all buildings that you enter, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and medical offices will have a combination of outside and recirculated air. 

A number of online conversations refer to the installation of MERV-12 filters for the AC systems. The air handlers at UCI typically use MERV-15 filters, which are hospital grade air filtration media that are highly effective at capturing many contaminants. A few smaller buildings, or buildings with package type HVAC units are not designed to accommodate MERV 14+ filters. In such cases, UCI uses the most efficient available filters for these areas, which are serviced and changed more frequently.

Aerosol transmission based on the air dynamics in a room depends on the airflow pattern of the room, the point of release, and the point of reception. Initial understanding showed that other mechanisms for spreading the virus are likely to be more significant. These mechanisms include:

  • Direct person-to-person contact
  • Indirect contact through inanimate objects like doorknobs
  • Through the hands to mucous membranes such as those in the nose, mouth and eyes
  • Droplets and possibly particles spread between people in close proximity

Most recent evidence suggest airborne spread is possible. The campus is taking steps to ensure ventilation systems are using the most outside air possible, running extended hours to provide a building flush, and filtration levels are upgraded to the highest level possible for the system design.

EH&S FAQ

When meeting with faculty/grad students/others in person, does it make sense to have designated "open air" meeting spaces where people can stay socially distant, but have the advantage of natural air circulation?

If you are able to find and “open air” meeting space, you are welcome to convene your meeting there. However, keep in mind that “open air” does not mean contaminant-free air. Anyone in the path of the air currents (wind) will be exposed to anyone upstream. There will be more particles in the air outside than there are particles inside a building with filtration.

EH&S FAQ

How does air circulation work? And how has it been changed at UCI as a result of the pandemic?

First and foremost, facilities management has had continuous operation of heating ventilation and air conditioning systems throughout campus. Since COVID began, we did not shut down buildings, even though there was a curtailment of classes and work on campus. That also means that we didn't curtail or shut down our maintenance program. We continued all maintenance on campus throughout the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, which puts us in a much better position coming back to campus as those systems had no stagnation and were maintained throughout the entire time.

HVAC filters are rated in MERV ratings from 1 to 20, and 17 through 20 are what are referred to as HEPA filters. HEPA filters have the highest efficiency and remove the smallest particles from the air. Unfortunately, those filters are not compatible with the air handling units and air conditioning systems that we have on campus.

Industry standard for places like grocery stores, restaurants, and other common buildings that you might travel to is a MERV-8 rated filter. A home furnace might have a MERV-8 rated filter. These filters are utilized in some campus trailer and temporary buildings. UCI buildings with small air handlers were MERV-10 and are being upgraded to a MERV-13 rated filter. The MERV-13 level of filtration is the ASHRAE recommended filter in response to COVID-19. UCI buildings with larger handlers such as Aldrich Hall, Biological Sciences 3 and Engineering Hall all have MERV 15 filters. MERV 15 filters are used exclusively throughout the campus in our large air handlers and are several steps above the ASHRAE recommendation.

For more information on how UCI is handling indoor air quality as people return to campus, watch Anteater Insider Live: Episode 2 | The Health of Indoor Air.

How many people can be in an elevator at the same time?

With the elimination of physical distancing requirements, elevators will no longer have any capacity limits and capacity signs will be removed. Many regulatory health agencies continue to emphasize the continuous use of face coverings for unvaccinated individuals, good hand hygiene, and conscientious housekeeping strategies.

How often are our HVAC systems checked and maintained?

The HVAC systems are continuously monitored utilizing building management systems and a network of sensors.

As part of Facilities Management’s comprehensive preventative maintenance program, our skilled technicians inspect, clean and maintain building air-handling systems biannually. Preventive maintenance includes:

  • Vacuuming and cleaning air intakes and catch basins and air-handling rooms
  • Washing air handler fins and coils
  • Checking and replacing all pre-filters and filters at least once a year, more often on smaller buildings
  • Cleaning and treating the water in all closed-loop systems

For more information on how UCI is handling indoor air quality as people return to campus, watch Anteater Insider Live: Episode 2 | The Health of Indoor Air.

What level of filtration does UCI use?

UCI traiiers use filters with a MERV 8 rating that are effective in filtering particles such as mold spores, cooking dusts, hair spray and furniture polish. MERV 8 is the industry standard

UCI buildings with small AHU's use filters with a MERV 10 rating that are effective in filtering particles such as lead dust, flour, auto fumes and welding fumes. Faciiltes Management recommends these filters be upgraded to acheive a MERV 13 rating and the ability to filter particles such as bacteria, smoke and sneezes.

UCI buildings with large AHU's use filters with a MERV 15 rating that can filter particles similar to those as MERV 13 filters, but with greater efficacy.

Learn more about MERV ratings on the EPA website.

Community

Visitor and Vendor Guidance

If you plan to visit campus, please check with your campus contact for any special considerations or precautions for your visit. Also, take the time to familiarize yourself with the following general guidelines.

Campus Requirements

UCI Self-Attestation

  • UCI will deem visitors/non-affiliates to have self-attested to meeting the face covering exemption, if they enter a UCI building and are not wearing a face covering.

Resources

UCI COVID-19 Visitor Guidance UCI Contractor/Vendor Guidance

CDPH Guidance Face Coverings FAQ UCOP UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy