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 being 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 clicking on each bucket, you can scroll down to see all FAQs or you can use the search option above to find specific information.

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

Submit Questions

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 the fall term. 

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

Vaccine boosters

Many members of the UCI community may be eligible for a booster vaccine under new guidance from the CDC. Boosters are recommended for people who received the Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago and work in healthcare or education settings. These conditions must be met:

  • The recipient must have had the Pfizer-BioNTech as their primary initial vaccine series.

  • It must be administered at least six months after completing the primary two-dose series.

  • The recipient must be 65 years or older OR 18 years or older and work in settings such as education or healthcare or have underlying medical conditions.

See the COVID-19 Response Center’s “New guidance on COVID-19 vaccine boosters and third doses.”

Executive directives

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

Executive Directives

Testing

Regular, weekly asymptomatic testing is required for all unvaccinated students, faculty and staff. At the present time we are carrying out required weekly asymptomatic testing of on-campus students, faculty and staff.

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

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

Asymptomatic testing is for students and employees who do not have symptoms. Students, faculty and staff may receive an asymptomatic test from the campus testing site by making an appointment on the Student Health Center portal or by dropping by the test site.

Students who indicate symptoms on the Daily Symptom Check will be referred to the Student Health Center for evaluation and symptomatic testing if needed.

Faculty and staff who indicate symptoms on the Daily Symptom Check will be referred to the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH).

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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 - 48 hours. 

Testing is currently available at Student Center Crescent Bay A - D.

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Testing Asymptomatic Testing for Employees

Executive Directive: Testing

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

If employees have any symptoms, they will be advised to stay home, tell their supervisor they will not be coming to work and to contact the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.

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 visitors to the campus
  • Mandated daily symptom checking and reporting for all students, staff and faculty, with COVID-19 testing arranged for those who are symptomatic.
  • Mandated weekly asymptomatic testing for those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will test asymptomatically weekly. Students, faculty and staff will be notified directly.
  • Onsite case investigation and contact tracing services to quickly identify cases and close contacts and arrange for isolation and quarantine as appropriate

Preventative Measures

Physical distancing

  • Unvaccinated employees eating or drinking indoors must be at least 6 feet apart from others.
  • If unvaccinated individuals cannot wear a face covering, they must continue to stay physically distanced of at least 6 feet from other individuals or be tested once a week for COVID-19 during paid time and at no cost to the employee.
  • No physical distancing or barriers between workers are required, regardless of employees’ vaccination status, unless there is an outbreak (see below).

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

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.

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

Maintaining the health and safety of our community is of the utmost priority. As such, this page provides guidelines on addressing non-compliance.

Non-compliance Response Procedures

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 every Wednesday 11-4pm and Thursdays 1-4pm.

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 to have self-attested to meeting the face covering exemption, if they enter a UCI building and are not wearing a face covering.

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 (≥ 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period & within 6 feet).

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 Checker (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-19 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, 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.

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.

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 the fall term.

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 health care provider for medical evaluation and treatment recommendations. If you did not test through Student Health Center, please 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. Once your case is reported, Contact Tracing and Navigation Services will call you to ask where you have been, where you think you may have been exposed and who you have been in close contact with. You will also receive instructions on self-isolation during recovery and assure you have the resources you need. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services team members call all UCI COVID-19 cases and close contacts and will provide isolation and quarantine instructions. If you believe you are a case or a close contact to a UCI case or community case, please report your case or close contact 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. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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, please 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. Once your close contact status is reported, a Contact Tracing and Navigation Services team member will call and interview you and provide quarantine and testing instruction if necessary. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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

If you are a close contact to a case and are fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to quarantine. However, you do need to test 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until you have a negative test result. A Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services will need to interview you to verify your vaccine status and that you do not have symptoms and will provide you with appropriate follow-up instructions. If you believe you are a close contact to a case, please 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. Once your close contact status is reported, a  Contact Tracing and Navigation Services team member will call and interview you and provide quarantine and testing instruction if necessary. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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 6 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 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.

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, or 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 during the Fall term.

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 asymptomatically 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 “walk-in” asymptomatic testing is available to all students either by scheduling an appointment or going directly to the Student Center Crescent Bay A-D. “Walk-in” testing is subject to availability, so the preferred option is to schedule an appointment. The testing center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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
    • If the student is required 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 are 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-19 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, 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.

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.

International Students

Will the University accept internationally approved vaccines even if not authorized or approved in the United States?

Yes, if the vaccine 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 a 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- UC COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Student FAQs Updated July 15, 2021 Page 6 of 7 licensed or -authorized COVID-19 vaccine, at least initially (but may be subject to subsequent booster requirements). Those who are not fully vaccinated generally will be required to receive an FDA-licensed or -authorized vaccine no less than 28 days after their last international vaccination (but may consult with the Location Vaccine Authority or designee to discuss eligibility for a temporary medical exemption). In the interim, they will be treated as if they are not fully vaccinated.

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 vaccines longer than US 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.

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 a face covering while teaching, if face coverings are required by campus?

Currently, face coverings are mandated, and 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 are being 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 a face covering 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?

As previously communicated, the campus expects that the vast majority of students will return to an on-campus experience this Fall. 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 Fall 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 new process that has a deadline of Friday, September 3, 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. 

Beginning in August 2021, the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (OVPTL) will contact faculty who are teaching courses with students who have been centrally approved through either mechanism to determine what support will be required to meet any approved accommodations or alternative instruction. Faculty may also be notified by DSC or the students directly, in which case they can reach out to the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (dtei@uci.edu) to receive support services (e.g., consultation, training, and lecture capture assistance). For students with an accommodation approved through DSC, their office will work with faculty to determine what constitutes a reasonable accommodation or a fundamental alteration. 

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

What can I do to encourage students to wear face coverings in class, if mandated by the campus?

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 including indoor face covering requirement regardless of vaccination status, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing of those not fully vaccinated, daily symptom checking for all regardless of vaccination status, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine support for students. 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 to 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, please 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, or 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 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Thursdays 1 - 4 p.m.

Are fully vaccinated faculty and staff required to test weekly?

Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated employees and students will participate in periodic sampling. This program is still in development, so please check the section below periodically for updates.

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

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

Free “walk-in” asymptomatic testing is available to all campus employees either by scheduling an appointment or going directly to the Student Center Crescent Bay A-D. “Walk-in” testing is subject to availability, so the preferred option is to schedule an appointment. The testing center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

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 the fall term.

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.

Can I get a COVID-19 booster shot?

Many members of the UCI community may be eligible for a booster vaccine under new guidance from the CDC. Boosters are recommended for people who received the Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago and work in healthcare or education settings. These conditions must be met:

  • The recipient must have had the Pfizer-BioNTech as their primary initial vaccine series.

  • It must be administered at least six months after completing the primary two-dose series.

  • The recipient must be 65 years or older OR 18 years or older and work in settings such as education or healthcare or have underlying medical conditions.

See the COVID-19 Response Center’s “New guidance on COVID-19 vaccine boosters and third doses.”

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. Employees will be referred to the UCI Center for Occupational and Environmental Health for evaluation. 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 health care provider for medical evaluation and treatment recommendations. If you did not test through the UCI Center for Occupational Health, please 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. Once your case is reported, UCI Contact Tracing and Navigation Services will call you to ask where you have been, where you think you may have been exposed and who you have been in close contact with. You will also receive instructions on self-isolation during recovery and assure you have the resources you need. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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, please 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. Once your close contact status is reported, a UCI Contact Tracing and Navigation Services team member will call and interview you and provide quarantine and testing instruction if necessary. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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

if you are a close contact to a case and are fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to quarantine. However, you do need to test 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until you have a negative test result. UCI Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services will need to interview you to verify your vaccine status and that you do not have symptoms and will provide you with appropriate follow-up instructions. If you believe you are a close contact to a case, please report your close contact by calling the UCI Coronavirus Response Center at 949-824-9918 or using online reporting options for students and employees found by clicking here.  Once your close contact status is reported, a UCI Contact Tracing and Navigation Services team member will call and interview you and provide quarantine and testing instruction if necessary. More information on Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services can be found here.

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.

Are we able to eat at our desk or take sips of a drink when we are in the office or do we 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 6 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 EHS.

If you reside in a building without a Building Facility Manager, please contact EHS at safety@uci.edu or 949-824-6200 to request face coverings 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, or 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 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Thursdays 1 - 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 during the Fall term.

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

Read message: Randomized Asymptomatic Testing of Employees Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Begins Oct. 4

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 asymptomatic 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.

Read message: Randomized Asymptomatic Testing of Employees Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Begins Oct. 4

Executive Directive: Testing 

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

Instructions for scheduling asymptomatic testing is available at https://hr.uci.edu/partnership/futureofwork/asymptomatic-testing.php

Testing frequencies, instructions, and locations will be found on the upcoming employee testing website. 

What do I do if I test positive?

Employees testing positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) with instructions for isolation and treatment. Additionally, a contact tracer will call to interview you about who you have been in close contact with. You will also receive instructions on self-isolation during recovery and assure you have the resources you need.

Employees with previous COVID-positive tests: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months, you will not participate in this testing program. Please contact COEH at 949-824-8685 for further information.

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, COEH will recommend a quarantine and the employee is placed off work. 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 ends on Sept. 30; we have no indication from the UC Office of the President that the leave will be extended. In March 2021, the University offered all employees, including exclusively represented employees, a new 2021 allotment of Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Full-time employees may take up to 80 hours of EPSL for one of six qualifying reasons, ranging from caring for themselves or others with COVID-19 to caring for dependents because of school closures. As with the prior EPSL allotment, employees receive their regular rate of pay during EPSL. Although the law allows employers to place caps on pay for EPSL, the University decided not to apply these caps. This allotment of EPSL expires Sept. 30. Employees may apply for EPSL at this website.

After Sept. 30, staff employees may 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, 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.

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

Beginning September 20, 2021 and in accordance with guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), UCI will require participants (including spectactors, event organizers and staff) in attendance to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before an event starts, for indoor events.

These guidelines are subject to change at the direction of the health department and are in place until November 1, 2021 or unless otherwise directed by the CDPH.

The following forms of vaccine verification will be accepted:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and dates doses administered; OR
  • A photo of a vaccination card; OR
  • Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider; OR
  • State of California Digital COVID-19 vaccine record that includes a QR code, name, date of birth, vaccine dates and vaccine type (Can be found https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/)

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

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.

The information must include the person's name, date of test performed, type of test performed and negative test result.

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

Is campus mail in service?

Campus mail delivery resumes October 4.

Distribution Services will resume USPS mail delivery to on-campus mailboxes in support of fall quarter activities. Beginning Monday, October 4, package pick-up at the North Campus Distribution Facility will no longer be available.

For the most efficient and cost-effective service, please address all deliveries to your office or lab location prior to the reactivation of mail service. We also recommend modifying your delivery times from third-party carriers (e.g., FedEx, UPS, DHL) to align with on-site staff and hybrid work schedules for successful delivery.

Packages received at our North Campus Distribution Facility after October 4 will incur standard or oversized package delivery fees. If you have any questions, please contact Distribution Services supervisor Dylan Largent at dlargent@uci.edu or call 949-824-6734.

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. In any cases, ALL supplied air (100% outside, recirculated, or a combination) goes through filters before it is distributed to a space.

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 trailiers use filters with a MERV 8 rating that are effective in filtering particles such as mold spores, cooking dusts, hair spary and furniture polish. MERV 8 is insudtry 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

About the Delta variant

What is the Delta variant

Does the vaccine I received protect me from the delta variant?

Yes. Current data indicate that the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use are also effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, including the delta variant.

Answered by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team

I’ve heard about delta, but should I also be concerned about other variants?

As long as a substantial number of people remain unvaccinated, the COVID-19 virus will continue to be transmitted between people. When the virus spreads, new variants can also emerge, as we’ve already seen. And as new variants emerge, they have the potential to be more transmissible and to cause more serious illness. That’s why, right now, the most important thing people can do to reduce the risk of new variants emerging is to get vaccinated. If the virus has nowhere to go, it will have no ability to mutate and result in new variants.

Answered by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team

Are some vaccinated people more at risk from the delta variant than others?

Only a small portion of fully vaccinated people get infections, even with the delta variant, according to the CDC. And these rare infections tend to be mild. However, people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be fully protected, even if vaccinated. Those people should consult with their healthcare providers about how to reduce their risk.

Answered by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team

Are vaccinated and unvaccinated people who get infected equally contagious?

Recent data released by the CDC following an outbreak of COVID-19 on the East Coast suggests that vaccinated people infected with the delta variant can still spread the virus to others. Public health officials and researchers are working to learn more about this.

Answered by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team

If breakthrough disease can occur with the delta variant, why should I be vaccinated?

There are many reasons you should be vaccinated, even with reports of breakthrough infection with the delta variant.

  • First, vaccination is the only protection you have after you’ve been exposed and the virus enters your body through your eyes, nose or open mouth. Vaccination gives you an army in your body that is ready to fight any COVID-19 virus that enters. This includes both antibodies and fighter cells that recognize the virus and attack it. This is why vaccinated people are far less likely to become infected with delta virus (about one third as likely as unvaccinated persons).

  • Second, because vaccinated persons are less likely to become ill, they protect those around them. While vaccinated persons can become ill and shed a lot of virus, it remains to be seen whether the virus that vaccinated people shed may be less contagious than the virus shed by unvaccinated ill persons.

  • Third, vaccination provides near perfect protection against severe disease, including hospitalization and death. The truth is no one thinks they are going to get severe disease until it happens. The vaccine protects you from the worst kinds of outcomes from this virus.

  • Finally, vaccination can be very convenient. More and more workplaces, performances and social events are requiring proof of vaccination.

Answered by UCI Health

Has the impact of the delta variant peaked, or will we see more cases as winter arrives?

I doubt we'll make it through the winter without another surge, but the height will be heavily mitigated by vaccines and boosters. Here in California we have hope for a smaller wave (maybe the same as what we just experienced) vs. less vaccinated states ... I think it's highly unlikely that it's all downhill from here, but that may be a real possibility in the spring.

Answered by Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention for UCI Health