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

UCI continues to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This FAQ 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:

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Students

What is the Anteater Pledge?

Why attend UCI during a pandemic?

Why attend UCI during a pandemic?

Where can students find more information about the mandatory flu vaccine requirement?

Information about the mandatory flu vaccine requirement can be found on the Student Health Center website

View UCI's Student FAQs regarding UCOP's Influenza Vaccine Directive

Why are we testing students?

As you know, while the majority of COVID-19 cases are associated with symptoms including very mild cold/flu like symptoms, research has shown that a significant proportion of the populations could be asymptomatic.  Our testing helps to identify asymptomatic cases and protect the UCI community at large.  

Additionally, there is a UCI executive directive mandating student testing. A conduct process will apply for students who do not participate in COVID-19 testing.

View information on COVID-19 testing for UCI students.

Is there a cost for the mandatory COVID-19 testing?

No. There is no cost to you for this mandatory testing or for repeat testing that may be required if your initial test results are inconclusive and/or need to be repeated for any reason. Also, since this testing is not considered “medically necessary,” the fees are not billable to UC SHIP as they would not be covered by UC SHIP or by any other insurance plan.

View information on COVID-19 testing for UCI students.

Will I need to be tested for COVID if I live on campus or in the ACC properties?

Testing is for campus residents only, including ACC properties. Students who do not live on campus do not need to be tested.

Please watch this brief animated video on the experience you will have at the testing center.

View information on COVID-19 testing for UCI students.

How often do I need to be tested?

Weekly testing for all student residents begins October 19 until further notice.

For detailed information regarding locations, dates/times, frequency of testing, scheduling instructions and other information, visit https://uci.edu/coronavirus/students/testing.php.

What are the plans for winter and spring quarters?

In preparation for this academic year’s remote courses, we have prepared a number of resources for undergraduate student success in a remote learning environment.

Following the same general plans as fall quarter, most undergraduate courses will be taught remotely this upcoming winter quarter. Any in-person courses will require approval consistent with the latest public health guidance. Graduate courses will be allowed to be held in-person with appropriate public health practices and procedures in place. Details regarding course-related field work and practicums for graduate work are still in development and will be communicated separately.

Will fall quarter include in-person instruction?

Classes will start on schedule. Most classes will be offered remotely, either as the only option or a complement to in-person instruction. We are doing everything possible to prepare classrooms for in-person instruction, but it’s too early to determine which courses will be ready for traditional on-site learning. Deans and department chairs are working with our Office of Teaching and Learning to identify which classes can be prioritized for in-person instruction. For the latest information, please visit students.uci.edu.

Learn more about Fall 2020 in-person undergraduate courses and in-person graduate courses.

What do I need to know about living in campus housing?

For information about expected changes for fall 2020 as they are determined, please visit the Admissions FAQ page and the Student Housing FAQ page.

If you have questions about COVID-19, testing, quarantining and related housing matters, please contact HousingCovidQuestion@uci.edu.

I am moving in after September 29th. Do I still need to be tested?

Yes. If you are moving in after September 29th and before Phase 3 (weekly testing) begins on October 5th, you will need to be tested at Student Health Center. Contact SHC at 949-824-5304 to schedule an appointment.

However, if you are moving in on Saturday, October 3rd or on Sunday, October 4th when SHC is closed, then please schedule your testing appointment for Monday, October 5th at one of the testing sites on campus.

How will I be able to take classes online if I don't have access to internet?

We have a centralized catalog of links to programs offered by Internet carriers that are available for remote faculty, students & staff on the UCI TechPrep site at https://techprep.oit.uci.edu/internet-resources/.

I am anxious and scared about COVID-19 - does UCI have help for that?

Yes. We understand that the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus may be causing stress and worry among students, for a variety of reasons. You are encouraged to contact the Student Counseling Center. Other resources include:

What steps will UCI take for residence halls to facilitate physical distancing and other safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Students will be housed in single-ccupancy rooms to promote physical distance. Precautions include reducing and spacing furniture and limiting allowable occupancy in common areas as well as recommending use of group bathrooms to one resident at a time when possible. For more information on housing policies, visit https://housing.uci.edu/covid19-2020-21.html.

Where can I get more information on student services?

For additional information and resources, please visit our student resources page.

Do I need a parking permit to park on campus?

After extensive evaluation of the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the UCI community and our parking operations, UCI Transportation is extending its parking permit reprieve through the end of the year. For more information, please visit UCI Transportation’s website.

I am an on-campus resident living in Mesa Court, Middle Earth, or Campus Village and need my car. Can I purchase a parking permit?

As an on-campus resident, you will need to submit a Parking Permit Application. For more information about resident parking permits, please visit UCI Transportation’s student permit webpage.

I live off campus and will be commuting to UCI. Can I purchase a parking permit?

Student commuter permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis in the myCommute portal. For more information about commuter parking permits, please visit UCI Transportation’s student permit webpage.

Faculty / Academics

What are the plans for winter and spring quarters?

In preparation for this academic year’s remote courses, we have prepared a number of resources for undergraduate student success in a remote learning environment.

Following the same general plans as fall quarter, most undergraduate courses will be taught remotely this upcoming winter quarter. Any in-person courses will require approval consistent with the latest public health guidance. Graduate courses will be allowed to be held in-person with appropriate public health practices and procedures in place. Details regarding course-related field work and practicums for graduate work are still in development and will be communicated separately.

Will fall quarter include in-person instruction?

Classes will start on schedule. Most classes will be offered remotely, either as the only option or a complement to in-person instruction. We are doing everything possible to prepare classrooms for in-person instruction, but it’s too early to determine which courses will be ready for traditional on-site learning. Deans and department chairs are working with our Office of Teaching and Learning to identify which classes can be prioritized for in-person instruction.

What resources are available for faculty to facilitate remote learning?

We actively invest in the development and improvement of new teaching methods that shape the future of education.  The recently established Online Learning Research Center is dedicated to providing evidence-based resources and defining best practices for educators, students and researchers throughout the world.  The center’s work and other innovative approaches are applied through our Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, which partners with faculty and educators to develop exceptional learning experiences for our students, regardless of the setting.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and OIT offer additional resources:

Where can I get more information on Research Continuity?

For guidance on research continuity, please refer to Office of Research's page on research continuity and ramp-up.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19 Research Seed Funding?

Statewide funding programs are together making available up to $2M to immediately support urgent research to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://news.research.uci.edu/vcr/emergency-covid-19-research-seed-funding/

What should I do about ongoing faculty searches?

For guidance on completing ongoing faculty searches, please refer to the Office of Academic Personnel: https://ap.uci.edu/2020facultysearches/

Where can I get more information on how COVID-19 has affected the academic review cycle?

For information about the academic review cycle, please visit the Office of Academic Personnel website.

What COVID-19 leave options are available?

There are  three COVID-19 related paid leave provisions potentially available to academic appointees:

  1. Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or
  2. Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML)
  3. Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (EPAL)

All these leaves are available to eligible individuals through December 31, 2020.

Appointees who are eligible for more than one of these leave options may apply for all entitlements they are eligible for and can choose which to take first.

Regardless of whether academic appointees have exhausted their administrative and emergency paid leave options, they may use paid leave throughout the current Stay-at-Home time frame by using any remaining personal time off or vacation. They may also use any remaining other sick leave balances provided for in the APM or applicable collective bargaining agreement for their COVID-19 related or family member’s COVID-19 related illness.

More detailed information is available at the Office Academic Personnel website.

Staff

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

Coronavirus Information for Staff

Are there plans for a reduction in workforce at UCI?

Since the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak, UCI leadership has prioritized workforce preservation, despite the adverse financial impact of the pandemic. Our strategies to preserve jobs include flat budgets, position controls, a freeze on faculty salary scales, and no merit increases for non-represented staff for the 2020-21 year – all of which limit additional expenses on the campus at a time of financial risk and uncertainty. UCI has no current plans to lay off any employees. Normal summer curtailments and the ending of grants – which happens every year – will proceed as usual. We expect these curtailments to be temporary, and expect that our affected employees will return when the work returns. Most of these curtailments occur at our campus, as our medical center is a year-round, 24-hour operation.

When will staff return to campus?

Working remotely is the default mode of operation. Please plan to continue working remotely through the start of the winter quarter, January 4, 2021, unless you have been notified otherwise.

We understand that there has been a lot of messaging about returning to campus, especially around the steps to take before and upon returning to the workplace. While we are requiring training, checking in on the daily symptom check app, and risks assessments, completion of these steps does not mean that you should be coming back to campus. All returns to the workplace must be pre-approved. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please speak with your supervisor.

Are faculty required to receive the flu vaccination?

Effective Sunday, November 1, 2020, UCI employees (staff, faculty and other academic appointees) who have not received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine, a medical exemption, religious accommodation, or disability accommodation, will not be permitted to work on-site or visit any UC or UCI controlled property.

The President’s Executive Order is intended to reduce the potential strain on our medical centers from an influx of influenza cases amid an active COVID-19 pandemic. You can read President Napolitano’s Executive Order here: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/08/2020-21-flu-vaccination-executive-order.pdf

How will faculty and staff provide proof that they have received their flu shot?

If you get your flu shot, please obtain a record. You will be asked later to provide proof of vaccination.

Is there a penalty or consequence for faculty and staff if they do not get a flu shot?

Individuals who do not certify that they have received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine or have an approved exemption or accommodation will not have access to university facilities.

Employees who are working remotely (telecommuting) must receive the flu vaccine as well. If you have not received your flu vaccination and are telecommuting, you will be able to continue to work remotely. However, should you need to visit or work at any UCI or University of California site, you will not be permitted to do so without complying with the flu vaccination mandate.

For complete program information, including program guidelines and exemption and accommodation forms, please visit: https://hr.uci.edu/disaster-relief/flu-vaccination-program.php

How do I report paid leave hours related to COVID-19?

The Time Reporting System was recently updated to allow employees to report paid leave hours related to COVID-19.

Employees who use TRS can report COVID-19 paid leave in the same way they report their normal work hours and leave usage. When you’re in a timesheet, simply select the "Paid Leave (COVID19)" code from the "Add" drop-down menu for the appropriate day and enter in your leave hours as normal. The same code is used for both hourly and salary employees. Paid administrative leave may be used in hourly increments for non-exempt staff and 8-hour increments for exempt staff. For changes to the Benefit Programs for COVID-19 Pandemic Relief, please review the message from Ramona Agrela, Associate Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Executive. and HR's COVID-19 Employee Leave Information page.

For more details, refer to the UCI Accounting & Fiscal Services website.

How do I pick up my paycheck?

Effective Wednesday, March 18, the Campus Billing and Collections Office service windows in Aldrich Hall (Room 101) will be closed. Campus Billing staff will be working remotely and remain available to answer questions by phone or email, but in-person check pickup will no longer be available in Aldrich Hall. 

Students, faculty members and staff who wish to pick up a printed check must instead go to the Accounting and Fiscal Services Office located at 120 Theory, Suite 200 in the UCI Research Park. Pickup is only available for checks related to accounts payable and student disbursements. Printed payroll checks are mailed to employee homes directly from the bank. Check pick up will be available Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. Please be sure to bring a photo ID in order to have the check released to you.

Where can I get help if I’m feeling anxious or scared about COVID-19?

We understand that these are unsettling times and concerns about the coronavirus may cause stress and worry. Help is available through the following resources:

How do I get support from OIT?

Device support will be provided in the following ways, depending on need:

  1. Our primary approach will be to provide continued remote support, as most issues can be resolved without an in-person visit.
  2. For issues that cannot be resolved remotely, or for new hardware pick-up, we will be implementing a drop-off and pick-up support model. We ask that clients picking up a new computer or requiring in-person support visit the Administrative Modulars which is building 423 on the campus map between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm. We will contact you via phone and email to arrange a pickup time and walk you through the process of how you will plug in cables over the phone, when you return to your office. Additionally, the following videos will help you with disconnecting/reconnecting your computers to bring them in for service:
    1. Laptop Users
    2. Desktop Users
  3. In the rare instance where Desktop Support staff must make an on-site visit to resolve an issue, we ask that you not be present in your workspace, in order to ensure proper physical distancing.

In accordance with the Governor’s orders requiring masks in high risk environments and the Chancellor’s executive order requiring masks on campus, all Desktop Support personnel will be wearing masks should they visit your site.

Do I need a parking permit to park on campus?

After extensive evaluation of the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the UCI community and our parking operations, UCI Transportation is extending its parking permit reprieve through the end of the year. For more information, please visit UCI Transportation’s website.

Am I going to be payroll deducted for parking even though I am working from home?

No, you will not be payroll deducted for a parking permit.

I’m working from home, but may need to commute to campus on a rare occasion. Do I have permit options as a telecommuter?

Discounted permit options are available to support telecommuters and those who will occasionally require on-campus parking. Explore your options and purchase your desired permit online in the myCommute portal.

Returning to Campus

Required safety training

All employees 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.

Measures to control the spread

The best ways to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus are through frequent hand washing, use of face coverings, physical distancing, self-screening for symptoms, viral testing for those with symptoms, and contact tracing of individuals testing positive. As we return to campus:

  • We will expect individuals to screen themselves for symptoms each day before coming to campus. Human Resources is providing easy-to-use software for your desktop or mobile device, along with a dedicated phone number, to facilitate this symptom check. As individuals return to campus, they will receive a check-in email or a mobile app notification. This process is already working well at our medical center, and you are expected to use the screening software before reporting to your workplace.
  • We are enhancing custodial services with the hiring of additional workers and more frequent cleaning schedules.
  • Supplies including hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, paper towels, disposable gloves, and washable face masks will be provided centrally to returning groups.
  • Signs and other reminders encouraging physical distancing will be common.
  • We will wear face coverings while in campus buildings and in outdoor campus spaces where it is not possible to ensure physical distancing, in accordance with orders from the Orange County Health Agency. Facial coverings are not required for those unable to wear them for health or other reasons, as set forth in the Orange County orders. Remember that we wear masks to protect each other.

Symptom checks

Each day before coming to campus, students, faculty and staff are expected 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.

Employees 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.

Face coverings

In compliance with the California Department of Public Health, all individuals on UCI-controlled property are required to wear face coverings to reduce possible exposure and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the UCI community.  Please read UCI’s Executive Directive for details, including permitted exceptions. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) is offering face coverings to campus employees.

Students returning to campus will be issued three washable masks per quarter. Although daily machine washing is recommended, the masks can also be cleaned with soap and water in a sink.

In labs where people are working with flammable materials they should not wear cloth face coverings and instead should wear ASTM Level 1 surgical masks. In some UCI locations, such as the UCI Health System (including UCI Medical Center, Gottschalk Plaza, and other UCI Health clinics) or labs with hazardous or flammable materials, stricter face-covering or PPE requirements may apply.

How do I obtain a face covering?

In order to assist Campus departments in providing face coverings as we ramp-up operations, EH&S will be scheduling cotton face covering pick up services on the days and times listed below. Once you receive an email confirmation, please go to EH&S to pick up the face coverings. When picking up the supplies, please adhere to appropriate physical distancing practices.

• HOW: Have your supervisor email a request with the department name and number of employees to safety@uci.edu. EH&S will respond with a pick up day and time for the request.

• WHERE: Environmental Health & Safety Department (4600 Health Sciences Road - Building 41 on the campus map)

• DATES: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Note: Student Affairs will be distributing face coverings to students. EH&S pick-ups are for Campus employees only.

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 contact Son Nguyen

• 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.

Bathrooms and other common spaces

UCI is enhancing custodial services with the hiring of additional workers and more frequent cleaning schedules. In addition, supplies including hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, paper towels and disposable gloves will be provided centrally to returning groups.

Campus restroom facilities and other plumbing systems are not designed to handle disinfectant wipes. Cleaning wipes do not break down or dissolve and should not be flushed down toilets. Doing so can lead to significant building floods and could ultimately require closure of buildings and interruption of operations. This type of material should be discarded in the trash only.

Bottled Water Dispenser and Drinking Water System Units

How safe is my office water dispensing system?

  • There are safety concerns with drinking bottled water from a unit that has not been used or flushed out for extended periods of time.
  • Based on information provided by the CDC , there is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted through drinking water, recreational water, or wastewater. The risk of COVID-19 transmission through water is expected to be low. The standards for bottled water are set by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA bases its standards on the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards for tap water.

How often do I have to get my bottled water dispenser serviced and maintained?

Manufacturer suggests routine cleaning and maintenance be done twice a year.

Where can I find more information on water quality/safety related to water dispensers/coolers that have not been used for an extended period? 

Who do I contact to clean or service my bottled water unit if it hasn't been used for an extended amount of time?

  • Contact the manufacturer and follow steps based on their recommendations.
    • For water provided by Nestle Waters North America (our Campus primary water provider), they provide a service which is offered at a cost of $59.99 based on the most current price agreement:
      • Bottled Water Service Vendor contact info:
        Lucrecia Castellon | Key Account Manager
        Nestlé Waters North America
        619 North Main Street Orange, California 92868
        M 714-337-8447 | F 714-639-9471
        lucrecia.castellon@waters.nestle.com
  • For all other vendor information, contact Procurement Services or if the unit has a label, contact them with the information provided on the unit.

What other steps can I take to ensure my office water dispensing system is safe to use?

  • Discard the partially used (opened) bottle. .
  • Drain the unit’s reservoir and thoroughly clean the unit in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or you can get the dispenser cleaned or serviced by an outside service provider..
  • Read the label on your bottled water. While there is currently no standardized label for bottled water, this label may tell you about the way the bottled water is treated..
  • Check the label for a toll-free number or Web page address of the company that bottled the water. This may be a source of further information..
  • Use the dispensers with a new water bottle after verifying the “Best By” date on the bottle.
    • A “Best By” date, which applies only to unopened products, is a 2 year or 1 1/2 year shelf life window, depending on the product, by which the consumer may measure "the age" of the water. You know it has been bottled 2 years, or 1 1/2 years, prior to the “best by” date on the bottle.

What other proactive or preventative steps can I take?

  • Wash hands before changing a water bottle.
  • Gently wipe down the surface area of the equipment using the appropriate disinfectant.
  • Wipe down the dispenser with disinfectant around the water-dispensing hot and cold spigots, levers or faucets.
  • Wipe the top and neck of the new bottle with a clean sterile cloth.
  • Remove the drip tray and wash with mild dishwashing soap.
  • Do not touch the end of the water cooler with your hands or any items such as glasses, cups, or small water bottles that have come into contact with your mouth. 
  • Continue with a no-contact water delivery service. If you have any special instructions, communicate with the vendor via email, by phone, or leave a note for your delivery person.

Cleaning and disinfecting supplies

As UCI continues to prepare for the gradual phase-in return to campus, the COVID-19 Logistical Support Team has been established to coordinate inventory and supply-chain processes for items needed to support the work being done by various departments to ensure local requirements are met as we return to campus.

To avoid competing with ourselves in procuring common commodities, the following supplies will be purchased centrally and redistributed to the areas returning to campus:

  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Paper Towels
  • Sanitizing Wipes (limited supply for areas with shared computers)
  • Washable Face Coverings

The transition to phase 2 for research activities is underway. Point-persons from each department/unit that have received authorization to return to campus will need to complete the following form to help coordinate logistics for the above items: Supplies Needed to Return to Campus.

Wall-mounted and free-standing hand sanitizer dispensers are being ordered with the goal of being placed at building entrances, common areas, and classroom spaces. As there is considerable lead time on procuring and installing these dispensers, some groups will receive bottles of alcohol-based sanitizers while dispensers are being installed.

We understand that some workplaces may require physical barriers such as plexiglass or other impermeable dividers or partitions to help physically separate people. Please email your request to LogisticalSupportTeam@uci.edu so an evaluation of the workspace can be conducted.

In addition, custodial services is cleaning and disinfecting common areas more frequently. All high-traffic areas are cleaned twice daily, Monday through Friday. Employees are responsible for routinely cleaning their workspace such as keyboards, mouse, desktops, chair arms, telephones, etc. Visit Facilities Management’s website for more information.

Campus restroom facilities and other plumbing systems are not designed to handle disinfectant wipes. Cleaning wipes do not break down or dissolve and should not be flushed down toilets. Doing so can lead to significant building floods and could ultimately require closure of buildings and interruption of operations. This type of material should be discarded in the trash only.

If you need any guidance or have questions, please email LogisticalSupportTeam@uci.edu.

Signage for reengaging campus operations

As the UCI campus begins a phased approach to reengaging campus operations, signage, including decals, floor graphics, A-frames and posters, has been developed to communicate best practices for all individuals who are on site. A rolling installation is planned beginning with research buildings and high-traffic locations. Signs approved for campus-wide use may be downloaded and printed for individuals wishing to access signs directly for specific locations. Additionally, building managers may contact Dan Crout dcrout@uci.edu  in Facilities’ Sign Shop for more information.

If anyone with a disability should need special accommodations, they can reach out to building managers directly. 

Signs will be posted at building entries/exits, restrooms and elevators, along with notifications requiring face coverings may be accessed here.

The highly recommended signs are:

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.

For more information, please view the Executive Directive issued by Chancellor Gillman.

Do I need a parking permit to park on campus?

After extensive evaluation of the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the UCI community and our parking operations, UCI Transportation is extending its parking permit reprieve through the end of the year. For more information, please visit UCI Transportation's website.

Where do I purchase a parking permit?

Faculty, staff, and students may purchase a parking permit online in the myCommute portal. Visitors may purchase short-term permits by the hour, day, or week at campus parking dispensers or staffed kiosks. For more information about parking permits, please visit UCI Transportation’s permit webpage.

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

What do we know about how droplets and aerosols travel and how does our HVAC address both of those to reduce potential virus transmission?

When we look at the heating ventilation and air conditioning systems on campus and the air that's being moved throughout those systems, we want to understand the two main transmission paths for COVID-19. The droplet-based transmission stays in the immediate area because it's impacted by gravity. The droplets are large enough that they're pulled out of the air within that three to six-foot range. There's also the aerosolized transmission path. This is a much smaller particle that is not impacted by gravity and can ride on air currents, traveling great distances including into the exhaust system for the heating and cooling ducts.

Since March we have taken specific actions throughout the campus pointing to the heating ventilation and air conditioning side such as maximizing the dilution ventilation and maximizing the amount of outside air. This is the best path forward for droplet-based transmission and for aerosol-based transmission. This dilutes the concentration of particulate in the air, and minimizes the possibility of spreading through recirculation.

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.

Is there guidance that we must comply with for HVAC standards?

We're working with many partners throughout the industry to understand how to implement the best mitigation strategies for COVID-19. We're currently working with both CDC and the World Health Organization's guidance and implementing the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommendations. We also work with some of our campus partners like Three Flow Technologies, Taylor Engineering and the UC Office of the President.

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 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.

What if someone in the same space is contagious? Does the filtration protect me from COVID-19?

With respect to the HVAC systems campus has reduced occupancy, which increases dilution ventilation, and we have increased the percentage of outside air flow, and are flushing buildings with fresh air before and after occupancy. These steps mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Filtration also mitigates risk however the transmission of the virus can still occur.

What is the difference between air circulation in a classroom versus an office space or a lab?

Labs zones utilize 100% outside air. The air enters the air handler where it is filtered, heated, or cooled, and then supplied to the lab zones. All of the air is then exhausted with no re-recirculation or re-entrainment. Labs have high volumes of dilution ventilation and utilize high MERV filtration ratings.

For the offices and classrooms, we have what we call a return air system. This is basically supply air from the outside mixed with some portion of return air. All of the air is cooled/heated and filtered. Currently we modulated the amount of outside air to maximize outside air and limit the return air that goes back into the building. We also have the high to medium MERV filtration, rated filters.

Trailers, and temporary buildings that we have on campus have limited outside air. They have high levels of recirculation, and most of the exhaust is through exfiltration of the building. They also have the lowest MERV rated filters on campus. Which are still at industry standard or a MERV-8 rated filter.

Is it a good idea to open the windows in an office/classroom/lab?

Any time you can increase the dilution ventilation which lowers the concentration of particulate or virus particles in the space will lower the potential dose you could receive. You should never open a lab window as those zones are specifically designed to capture any effluent in the lab zone and exhaust it safely.

Is it better to have meetings/discussions outside?

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.

What about air circulation in bathrooms and elevators?

Here, too we rely on the CDC guidance. These smallest spaces, such as bathrooms and elevator are ventilated 24/7. These spaces operate using fixed exhaust fans, which run 24/7, so those spaces are constantly being exhausted.

However, they still present a challenge in that it is difficult to physically distance and people must adhere to the face covering directive in these spaces to help prevent the spread.

Should employees bring in personal fans? Do those help?

There is no reason to bring in personal fans, the air conditioning systems are still cooling as designed. Fans may help spread the virus, or push the virus spread further depending on how they are used.

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.

How does UV light play into air circulation?

At this time, we're implementing the best strategies possible to mitigate COVID-19 throughout the campus. We've reviewed personalized ventilation systems and UV lighting systems, including their effectiveness and whether or not they can be implemented on campus.

The feasibility of adding air purification sterilizers to existing air conditioning systems, especially ultraviolet light is being scrutinized by the industry for effectiveness. Ultraviolet light has shown to kill COVID-19. However, in a heating ventilation and air conditioning system the air is moving so quickly, there is not enough time for the UV light to be effective on the COVID-19 virus, as it moves through the 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.

University Operations 20-21

What campus services remain open?

We are working on a phased approach for reengaging on-site operations. While the campus remains open, campus services are limited. Instruction will be remote until further notice. On-site operations will resume at a gradual pace, with some areas ready for in-person operations before others. 

The UCI Libraries have services and resources available, including reservable study space, curbside delivery and pick up options, and remote assistance and reference. The UCI Libraries website is a great place to start to learn about the range of services that we offer, specific services and resources available during COVID-19 curtailments.

The FRESH Basic Needs Hub is open for students needing access to the pantry, food distribution, toiletries and other assistance. Services are available by appointment only. Visit the website for operating hours and additional services and information.

For students residing in campus housing, dining services are available for grab-and-go by reservation.

How is UCI planning to reengage some campus operations?

Since March, we have been devoting countless hours to learning best practices and exploring ways to bring faculty, staff and students back to campus in an appropriate way and at the appropriate time. Multiple teams have been working closely with health experts from both government agencies and our own public health program to help us redesign spaces, establish cleaning and rapid response guidelines, and educate our community about how to operate and interact in this new chapter in the COVID-19 environment. We are working on a phased approach for re-engaging on-site operations. The Strategic Advisory Group led by Interim Provost Hal Stern, along with the Campus Recovery Implementation Team (CRIT) have been in place since shortly after the campus pivoted to remote teaching, learning and working. These groups have executed executive directives, building protocols and other protocols, such as required training and a daily symptom check in for both students and employees, as are required by the California State Roadmap. Research operations was first to engage in on-campus operations. 

UCI is in Research Phase 2 as of June 8.  UCI’s research activity phases align with the State of California Roadmap.  Please see the Vice Chancellor’s May 27, message about UCI’s transition to Phase 2 Research.  Additional information is available on the Research Ramp Up tab.

When will I return to campus to work?

As always, the health and well-being of our entire community will be the primary factor in deciding how and when individual on-campus operations will reengage. We are doing this with care, in phases, assessing as we go, building on lessons learned. Over the summer, we slowly and carefully brought some of our research, academic and administration teams back to campus. While it is important to continue some of the work that can only be accomplished in person, most of our faculty and staff will continue to work primarily remotely through the end of the calendar year.

When will campus events and activities resume?

We are continuing to address how gatherings such as sporting events, lectures and symposia will be structured. We are working with outside governing bodies, such as the NCAA and local health agencies, and our own public health experts, for guidance in these areas. Fall Quarter remains remote in all activities, including instruction, and UCI has issued an executive directive on gatherings requiring gatherings of two or more to be facilitated remotely; as well as an executive directive for protocols it have visitors and invited guests to campus. 

Is campus mail still in service?

Mail collection and delivery on campus continues to be limited.  Schedules may be updated as the campus response to COVID-19 is reevaluated.

Departments may drop off their outgoing mail at the North Campus Mail Processing Center between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Those with a valid UCI ID may retrieve their incoming mail from the Mail Processing Center between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.

If you have questions, please contact Dylan Largent at dlargent@uci.edu or (949) 824-4735. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

What is UCI's policy on university travel during the Coronavirus outbreak?

Students, faculty and staff should refer to the Executive Directive on Travel

Parents & Community

What are the plans for winter and spring quarters?

In preparation for this academic year’s remote courses, we have prepared a number of resources for undergraduate student success in a remote learning environment.

Following the same general plans as fall quarter, most undergraduate courses will be taught remotely this upcoming winter quarter. Any in-person courses will require approval consistent with the latest public health guidance. Graduate courses will be allowed to be held in-person with appropriate public health practices and procedures in place. Details regarding course-related field work and practicums for graduate work are still in development and will be communicated separately.

Where can I find more information on opportunities to get involved?

There are lots of options to support your student during his or her education. Please read more in the Parent and Family Guide.

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) comes from a large family of viruses that are a common cause of mild upper respiratory infections, but also include both SARS and MERS, which can cause more serious disease. Many patients with coronavirus have mild symptoms, however some patients who have underlying health issues or have compromised immune symptoms are suffering more severe symptoms.

To learn more about the coronavirus, the CDC website is a reliable source of updated information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

How does COVID-19 spread?

This is still being worked on by the scientific community. However, here is what the CDC says: “COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.”

For more information from the CDC regarding transmission, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

In addition to partnering with the County for COVID-19 preparedness and testing, UCI has contracted with Quest for increased testing ability. Through this level of increased testing, we will be able to expand the number of tests we will be able to perform, which will help us manage our resources. 

While we have increased capability for testing, please remember there are still specific criteria we consider prior to testing for COVID-19. Students who feel that they have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should call the Student Health Center/or your physician’s office for further guidance. Staff and faculty should contact their primary care provider or call ahead to an urgent care center before arriving in person.

If you feel ill or think that you qualify for testing, contact your provider BEFORE going into the clinic. And please consider using Live Health Online, a newly offered USHIP covered service that connects you via a TELE-MEDICINE visit with a provider online, from the convenience of your home, 24 hours a day. See the details here: https://shc.uci.edu/services/livehealth-online

Tests are available at multiple locations in Orange County, including UCI Health, but only when recommended by a physician. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact your doctor. For information on screening and testing (by appointment only) at UCI Health, call 714-456-7002 or visit http://www.ucihealth.org/patients-visitors/pricing-transparency/covid-19-test-billing.

For additional testing sites, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: Cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fever; chills; muscle pain; sore throat; new loss of taste or smell. This list is not comprehensive of all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Do face coverings protect against COVID-19?

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, while also urging that high-grade masks and equipment be reserved for medical personnel. Healthcare workers interacting with coronavirus patients or suspected cases will follow CDC recommendations for personal protective equipment. A cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.

View CDC's How to Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19