COVID-19 Fall Protocol Updates
Sept. 19, 2022
- UCI is adjusting COVID-19 protocols for fall quarter given the evolution of the pandemic
- Daily symptom check emails to be discontinued; continue to self-check for symptoms and report positive test results to UCI
- PCR testing site to close on October 28, antigen test kits are available to all students and employees
- Contact tracing will continue, and close contacts will be notified; classroom or meeting exposure notices will be discontinued
- Student isolation spaces will continue to be available for on-campus residents
- Bivalent booster will be required under the UC Vaccine Policy, more information to come later in the quarter
- Face coverings continue to be recommended for indoor public settings
- Reduce personal and public health risk by staying up to date on the vaccine, wearing a face covering, and testing often, especially when symptoms are present
Dear UCI Community:
Welcome back to campus for the new academic year.
Throughout the summer, the campus has continued to monitor COVID-19 trends on campus and in the community. We have also refined our strategies to reduce risk and manage COVID-19 on campus. As the pandemic has changed over time, and testing, vaccine, and treatment have become widely available, public health guidance and recommendations have also evolved. As a result, UCI is making the following adjustments to our COVID-19 protocols.
Daily Symptom Check
Beginning Thursday, September 22, the daily symptom check email will be discontinued and instructions for what to do if you have symptoms will be linked in the UCI Digest and available on the UCI Forward website. By coming to campus each day, students and employees are attesting they are free of COVID-19 symptoms. If a student or employee has symptoms, we continue to ask them to stay home and test for COVID-19 via home antigen or PCR test and report any positive test result to UCI for case investigation and follow-up. Students and employees who have symptoms but test negative for COVID-19 should stay home until symptoms improve.
PCR Testing Site
Effective Friday, October 28, the Student Center PCR testing site will close. The campus will continue to make antigen test kits available to all students and employees and encourages everyone to test often including before and after travel or attending events, if you have had an exposure, or if you have symptoms. For those needing a PCR test, please contact your primary care provider or other PCR testing source. In most cases, health insurance will cover the cost of PCR testing.
Contact Tracing and Exposure Notifications
Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services (CTVNS) will continue to conduct COVID-19 case investigation interviews of reported UCI cases and notify close contacts of recommended testing and masking guidance. However, beginning Thursday, September 22, CTVNS will no longer send exposure notifications to class attendees or large event attendees where a case has been. COVID-19 exposures are likely to occur whenever we are in public and around others; we all have steps we can take to reduce our personal risk including staying current with vaccines and wearing a face covering.
On-Campus Student Isolation Support
UCI will continue to maintain isolation beds for students who reside in on-campus housing. Isolation beds will be prioritized for students who are COVID-19 positive and living in doubles, triples and quads. Once a COVID-19 case is reported to campus, CTVNS and UCI Student Housing will coordinate isolation housing.
Students and employees are required to comply with the UC Vaccine Policy by being up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including any boosters recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recently recommended that those 12 and older receive the updated Pfizer or Moderna bivalent booster. This booster is in addition to any prior booster dose. The bivalent booster will be required under the UC Vaccine Policy. Please watch for more information on a compliance due date.
Face coverings are currently recommended indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are available for free to students and employees at various distribution locations around campus.
Effective Thursday, September 22, the campus will discontinue updating the COVID-19 dashboard daily case counts and vaccination rates, but will continue to post locations on campus where reported COVID-19 cases were on campus during their infectious period.
For the latest COVID-19 information, please continue to visit the UCI Forward website. As always, thank you for your ongoing support of COVID-19 prevention measures that help support our campus health and wellbeing.
David M. Souleles, MPH ‘87
Director, Campus Public Health Response Team