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.

Winter 2022

Section 1

UCI is committed to the health and well-being of our Anteater community. As students, faculty and staff return to campus, we ask the campus community to follow these campus safety requirements to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

We are guided by federal, state and county public health authorities and are prepared to adjust our plans if necessary. 

Remote instruction has been extended through January 28.

COVID-19 Requirements for All Anteaters

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

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

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

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

Vaccine Info

Vaccines and Boosters

COVID-19 boosters are required all eligible students, faculty and staff by Jan. 31, 2022. For information on commonly asked questions, view the FAQ on boosters.


COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots are now available at the Student Health Center (students only.) Note that J&J vaccines and booster shots are not available at SHC. Call 949-824-5304 to schedule an appointment.

If you have questions about the vaccine or boosters, please contact UCI's Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services team. The team is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions and help individuals find vaccine appointments at 949-824-2300 or contacttracing@uci.edu.


At this time, UCI is not organizing employee vaccine clinics on campus.

However, UCI Health patients who are eligible can receive vaccine booster doses from UCI Health clinics, including Gottschalk Medical Plaza. Log into MyChart for additional information. Check https://www.ucihealth.org/covid-19 periodically for information about upcoming special vaccination and booster events.

Front-line healthcare professionals and medical center employees should follow the guidance issued by UCI Health.

Uploading your vaccination/booster record

Students can submit proof of their vaccination on the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal.

Instructions on how to upload COVID-19 vaccine record

Employees can submit proof their vaccination at the Occupational Health Upload Portal

Consider these tips to ensure successful verification:

  • If the name on your vaccination record does not match your name as it appears in UCPath (the payroll system), please upload another piece of documentation, e.g., a copy of your driver’s license, with your vaccination documentation so that the team can verify your records.
  • Please do not cross out your name or birthdate on your vaccination card. This information is important for verification of your records. The upload portal is a UCI health record system and all reasonable precautions are taken to protect your information.



To request a medical exemption, religious exception, disability exception or deferral during pregnancy, students may visit the Student Health Center's website

All request forms must be uploaded to the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal. Note that the review of your request may take up to seven (7) business days. Students will receive notification of approval or denial of the request via secure message on the portal.

For questions regarding the exemption process, send a secure message on the portal to: “Immunization Exemption/Deferral Request Inquiry” and a SHC nurse will respond within three to five (3-5) business days.

Students who are not vaccinated because of receiving an exemption, exception or deferral must, at a minimum, wear masks and participate in regular COVID-19 testing. Students who arrive partially vaccinated or whose exemption, exception, or deferral request is pending must also mask and participate in regular testing. Students who are not vaccinated and not approved for an exemption, exception or deferral will be subject to enforcement protocols.


To request a medical exemption, religious exception, disability exception or deferral during pregnancy, employees may visit UCI’s Future of Work COVID policy page or click on the appropriate form below:

Medical Exemption  Religious Exception  Disability Exception  Pregnancy Deferral

You will receive a confirmation email when your documentation has been received. While your exception request is pending, as a condition of physical presence, you must observe local non-pharmaceutical interventions including wearing a face covering when indoors, participating in weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic testing, and completing the daily Working Well symptom check.


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

At the present time, we are testing all unvaccinated on-campus students, faculty and staff weekly. 

A sampling of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff also test weekly. These individuals are 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

Students, faculty and staff may make a testing appointment on the Student Health Center portal.

After a positive test, follow guidance on how to isolate or quarantine.

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. 

View the testing locations and schedule.


Executive Directive: Testing

Face Coverings

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

  • All individuals on campus are required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space.
  • UCI will provide voluntary-use respirators to unvaccinated or vaccinated employees. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals are recommended to wear a face covering when outdoors if six (6) feet of physical distance between people cannot be maintained.

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

Daily Symptom Check

All UCI students, faculty and staff are required to complete and submit a daily self-screening for COVID-19. The check-in is available via email and mobile app.

Living Well Program for Students Working Well Program for Staff

If You Feel Sick or Test Positive

If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the guidance of a medical provider, stay home and isolate from others. Do not wait to be contacted by Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, or Student Health to contact you to begin isolation or quarantine. Depending on daily case and close contact volume, you may not be contacted.

If you are experiencing symptoms, stay at home except to get tested and report symptoms in the Daily Symptom Check.


Plan to return to campus at least seven (7) days prior to your first in-person class in order to complete required testing. For example, if you plan to attend in-person classes on January 31, 2022, follow this timeline: 

  • Jan 24: return to campus and test at testing site or use antigen home kit
  • Jan 28: go to 2nd test at testing site or use antigen home kit
  • Jan 31: release from sequestration 

Before your return to campus, complete a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to your return date. Testing may be available at pharmacies either in-person or take home. If you test positive, please do not return to campus until you have met criteria to exit isolation as found on the isolation and quarantine page.


Executive Directives

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

Executive Directives



Instruction has been extended through Jan. 28, 2022 . The precaution will enable university officials to extensively test returning students and other community members, then assess the situation before finalizing a decision on when it is safe to resume in-person instruction. 

Students arriving on campus for winter quarter must submit your COVID-19 vaccination by Jan. 3, 2022.

COVID-19 boosters will be required all eligible students by Jan. 31, 2022. 

More information is available on the student resources page.

Student Resources

Housing and Dining


Students living in on-campus housing are expected to follow all campus guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 prevention and response. Three policies that students should take note of are:

Students who are required to sequester can consult undergraduate activities during sequestration for guidance on permitted activities during sequestration.

For more details, visit UCI's Housing website.


  • 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.

International Students

International students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before physically accessing the university’s locations and programs.

COVID-19 boosters will be required all eligible international students by Jan. 31, 2022. 

For students who have received a COVID vaccination outside of the United States, UCI will accept vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization's (WHO). The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a process for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics during public health emergencies. Through that process, a number of vaccines not available in the United States have received Emergency Use Listing (EUL). A document summarizing the status of a wide range of international vaccines can be found online on the WHO’s website. 

Individuals arriving in the U.S., but have not received the vaccine, may be able to get the vaccine at an airport or schedule an appointment at a vaccine provider.

Several airports offer COVID-19 vaccines, including: 


SNA- Orange County


For international students trying to schedule an appointment with a vaccine provider, a social security number is not required in order to receive the vaccine. However, some providers may require that you enter this information when completing registration. If you are unable to complete registration and schedule an appointment, you should contact the vaccine provider directly for guidance. 

Vaccine FAQ for International Students



Instruction has been extended through Jan. 28, 2022. The precaution will enable university officials to extensively test returning students and other community members, then assess the situation before finalizing a decision on when it is safe to resume in-person instruction.

FAQ: Instruction

The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning has produced an helpful FAQ to address faculty questions for instruction, including:

  • Are instructors required to wear a face covering while teaching, if face coverings are required by campus?
  • Will instructors be able to check out microphones to amplify their voices if they are required to wear a face covering while teaching?
  • What resources are available to support students that have exceptions to attend classes remotely?
  • What can I do to encourage students to wear face coverings in class, if mandated by the campus?
  • What if I do not feel comfortable teaching in person?
  • How will I know if the students in my course are not vaccinated?

Faculty also have flexibility in determining what in-person instruction entails.

There are many resources available to instructors; here are some of the most critical ones for reference:

2021 Instruction & FAQ Academic Personnel Guidance & FAQ

Face Coverings in Classrooms

If a student in a classroom or other learning space fails to wear a face covering per campus executive directive or follow other safety protocols without UCI approved authorization, the instructor (faculty or teaching assistant) will ask them to put on a mask. If they do not comply, they will immediately dismiss the student from the classroom or other learning space.The instructor has the responsibility to report anyone who is unauthorized and not following the campus face-covering executive directive to Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct (OAISC). Students do not need to report each other, and if the instructor has not removed a student not wearing a face covering, other students should assume that person has prior authorization. Note that individual instructors may adjust how quickly they progress through these steps based on the expectations they want to set in their classes.

If campus executive directives are updated and no longer require face coverings, you’re allowed to request that students wear a face covering in your classroom, but it is not okay to exclude, retaliate or penalize those who choose not to.

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

Research Continuity

UCI is in Research Phase 4 as of July, 22 2021. For more information about research operations, visit the framework for UCI's research ramp-up.


Required Training

All staff and faculty are required to complete the “Returning to Campus” training module available through the UC Learning Center. 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. This is a one-time only training.

UCLC: Returning to Campus Training

Work Arrangements

The Future of Work Resource Program has been created to ensure that all campus units have access to resources to effectively support a hybrid workforce with consistent and standardized technology and workspace solutions. Units planning for a hybrid workforce may be eligible for conversions of desktop computers to laptops, upgrades to some conference rooms with audio video equipment and the reconfiguring of some workspaces into shared hotel spaces for hybrid employees who work on-site occasionally. 

Employees are encouraged to review the following resources:

Future of Work Webinar Series including:

  • Coping with Uncertainty in a New Normal
  • Self-Compassion for Returning Back to Onsite
  • Thriving in a Hybrid Work Environment

HR: Future of Work OIT: Future of Work Program

Visitors and Vendors

General Public and Vendors

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.

UCI COVID-19 Visitor Guidance

UCI Contractor/Vendor Guidance

Attendance Policy for Large Indoor Events

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 conducted within one day for antigen tests, and within two days for PCR tests prior to entry into the facility or venue.

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

  • Are fully vaccinated, or

  • Have received a negative COVID-19 test

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

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

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

  • >Presenting proof of vaccination status or negative test result, and
  • Entering the venue

A person is considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two (2) weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 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).

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

Campus Facilities and Services

Building Ventilation and Filtration Systems

Building Occupancy

The operational hours for the building HVAC systems are the same as before the pandemic, but with an increase of two hours prior and two hours after operational use.

As of July 6, 2021, campus buildings are unlocked 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. to support approved faculty and staff returning to campus. HVAC systems have been maintained in all buildings and will be fully functional as the campus community returns.


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.


Facilities Management maintains air conditioning and ventilation systems and replaces air filters on a schedule throughout the year. Filtration further mitigates risk of transmission in buildings with recirculated air. As air moves through a building's HVAC system, air filters trap and collect large and small particles such as dust, allergens and microorganisms.

Building Ventilation and Filtration EH&S FAQ

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

Indoor air quality and heating ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) influence on the spread of COVID-19 is a major concern for the campus. Facilities Management continuously monitors the recommendations and guidance from the WHO, CDC, and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Based on the recommendations, Facilities is maximizing outside air, operating additional hours to flush pre and post occupancy, and utilizing filtration beyond industry standard where possible. 

Building Ventilation and Filtration HVAC FAQ


In accordance with updated public health guidance regarding COVID-19, UCI Athletics events will be at full seating capacity for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Fans can look for fall sport schedules to be released later this month. Athletics will utilize mobile ticketing for all home games.

UCI Athletics

Campus Facilities and Services

During the remote instruction period from January 7 through January 28, campus services will be impacted. View the list of impacted services.