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Planning for Return to Campus - Winter 2022

Section 1

December 22, 2021

Dear UCI Students,

I am writing as a followup to the Chancellor’s email to provide you with additional details regarding plans for returning to the campus in Winter 2022. Plans are subject to change depending on the public health status of the campus community and county so continue to watch your email for important updates. As mentioned in the Chancellor's email, the first two weeks of winter quarter instruction (Jan. 3 through Jan. 14) will be remote after which we can determine how quickly we can return to in-person instruction. Our plan is to test all students upon arrival to campus, regardless of vaccination status. The goal is to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 on the campus.

COVID-19 booster

COVID-19 vaccination boosters are also an important part of returning to in-person instruction. Students are encouraged to get their COVID-19 booster during the winter recess. If you have received your COVID-19 booster already, upload your record to the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal. UC policy requires those who are eligible for boosters to receive one. Students must upload their COVID booster record by Jan. 31, 2022 or 2 weeks after their eligibility date. You are eligible to receive a booster 6 months after completing your primary Pfizer/Moderna vaccination series or 2 months after completing your primary Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on booster recommendations. More information will come in a separate email on COVID-19 booster requirements, eligibility and incentives.

Winter 2022 Return to Campus Testing

Pre-Arrival Testing
All students returning to campus for Winter 2022 should get a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to your return to campus. Testing is available at most pharmacies either in-person or take home.

Free Antigen Test Kits for Campus Residents:
Free antigen test kits will be made available to all residential students starting on Jan. 3, 2022. You will be provided two test kits and can pick them up in your student housing community and at the Asymptomatic Testing Sites. We are also planning for drive-up locations around campus (details are forthcoming). If you are an unvaccinated student with an approved exemption, this antigen test does not replace your requirement to test weekly.

Test, Sequester and Re-Test:
The protocol for residential students is to Test, Sequester and Retest. During sequestration, students and dependents should leave their residences only to participate in essential activities (e.g., to pick up meals or purchase food, go to work, participate in low-risk outdoor recreational activities, or obtain health care services). You should not attend large gatherings such as athletic events or go to the movie theater during this period of time.

All residential students are required to complete this testing and sequestration process prior to the planned resumption of in person instruction on Jan. 18, 2022. You should carefully plan your arrival to the campus. As an example, if the campus is able to start in person classes on Jan. 18, then you will need to arrive on Jan. 11 to initiate this testing protocol.

On-Campus Residents (Student Housing and ACC Communities):

  • Residential students returning from off-campus to their campus residence:
    1. Pick up your free antigen tests at your housing community’s administrative office starting on Jan. 3, 2022.
    2. Test upon your arrival and again five days later.
    3. Sequester for seven days upon arrival.
    4. If you test positive with either test, make an appointment at an Asymptomatic Testing Site through the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal for a PCR test confirmation. You should stay in your room and minimize any contact with others pending your results from your PCR test and remain masked, except when sleeping.
  • New Residential students moving into housing for Winter Quarter:
    1. Follow your move-in instructions.
    2. Make an appointment at one of the Asymptomatic Testing Site through the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal.
    3. On move-in day, please test at the Asymptomatic Testing Site.
    4. Proceed to move in.
    5. Pick up one free antigen test kit and test five days later.
    6. Sequester for seven days upon arrival.
    7. If you test positive with the antigen test, make an appointment at an Asymptomatic Testing Site through the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal for a PCR test confirmation. You should stay in your room and minimize any contact with others pending your results from your PCR test and remain masked, except when sleeping.
  • Residential students who remain on campus for the duration of the Winter Break:
    1. Pick up your free antigen tests at your housing community’s administrative office starting on Jan. 3, 2022.
    2. Test upon receiving your test kit and again five days later.
    3. Sequester starting on Jan. 3, 2022 ending Jan. 10, 2022.
    4. If you test positive with either test, make an appointment at an Asymptomatic Testing Site through the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal for a PCR test confirmation. You should stay in your room and minimize any contact with others pending your results from your PCR test and remain masked, except when sleeping.

In addition to these return to campus plans, we are also continuing our Asymptomatic Testing Program:

  • Unvaccinated students with an approved exemption, exception, or deferral: Required to test weekly at the Asymptomatic Testing sites on campus. This requirement will be strictly enforced.
  • Vaccinated Undergraduates Living on Campus: 25% of the population will be selected weekly to test at the Asymptomatic Testing site. The UCI Student Health Center will contact you to schedule an appointment if selected. 
  • Vaccinated Students Living Off-Campus & Graduate Students Living on Campus: 5% of the student population will be selected weekly to test at the Asymptomatic Testing sites. The UCI Student Health Center will contact you to schedule an appointment if selected.

For more information on the Asymptomatic Testing Program, visit UCI Forward.

Campus Services and Operations

During Jan. 3 through Jan. 14, the following campus services will be impacted:

  • Residential Dining: The Anteatery and Brandywine will continue to be open for grab and go options only. No dine-in seating will be available.
  • Retail Dining: Please visit food.uci.edu for retail operating hours. Retail dining will be open for grab and go only.
  • Student Center: The Student Center will continue to be open with adjustments to operations in the conference center (see Student Activities/Clubs & Organizations section below). 
  • Anteater Express: All Shuttles will run as normally scheduled. Any changes to routing that need to be made will be posted at shuttle.uci.edu.
  • Student Activities/Clubs & Organizations: Student events and activities will be virtual. Reservations made through the Student Center and Event Services will be canceled during this period of time (this includes Student Center, classroom, and outdoor spaces). Recurring reservations for meetings and events held after Jan. 14 will not be canceled.

For more information on campus services and resources not listed here, please visit the department or center’s website and stay tuned for additional updates on the Winter 2022 opening plans.

As a reminder, if you are on campus or planning to visit the campus you must do the following:

  • Wear a face covering - Executive Directive
  • Wash your hands well and often. Carry hand sanitizer and surface wipes
  • Monitor your symptoms by participating in the Living Well Daily Symptom screening - Executive Directive
  • If you have symptoms and answer “yes” to one of the screening questions, follow directions as provided in the response to the Living Well Daily Symptom screening. Instructions for contacting the UCI Student Health Center can be found on SHC’s “Emergency Services/After-Hours Care”webpage.
  • Don’t forget to contact your primary care provider if it is other than SHC.
  • Participate in asymptomatic testing if you are selected.
  • Participate in regular testing for our community members with vaccination exemptions.
  • Get your booster and upload it to the UCI Student Health Center patient portal.

We take compliance with these university directives seriously. Students who fail to adhere to campus policies are subject to university proceedings that may result in loss of privileges such as a restriction from the campus wifi, denial of campus services, and disciplinary action including, but not limited to suspension or dismissal. Students are also subject to disciplinary action for off-campus behaviors (see 101.00a) that affect the health and safety of community members. For more information, please refer to the COVID-19 policy compliance website.

If you have any questions regarding our winter quarter plans, please visit UCI Forward for information on testing, contact the UCI Coronavirus Hotline at 949-824-9918 or email covid19@uci.edu.

Sincerely,

Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
University of California, Irvine