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.


Returning to campus: units

How to return to the workplace

All returns to the workplace must be preapproved

UCI has announced that the fall quarter will be nearly all remote instruction, and faculty and staff should expect to continue working remotely through January 4, 2021. While remote learning, teaching and working remains the default in the near term, the Campus Recovery Implementation Team (CRIT) has developed the procedures needed for any employee to return to campus. 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.

UCI campus

How does one get approval to return to campus?

step 1

If a unit leader determines that an employee’s job duties or a group of employees' job duties require on-site engagement, the unit leader or dean must clearly identify what activities these are, and submit a unit plan to the Campus Recovery Implementation Team (CRIT).

step 2

The CRIT Team will review and the Return Plan Review Committee will approve, or ask additional questions to ensure we are only returning staff to campus who really need to be on-site.

step 3

CRIT will notify units whether or not they are approved to return to campus. Employees will be notified by their unit leader or dean when they are approved to return to work on campus.

If you are a department head and have questions about how to safely return your unit to campus, please visit the Returning to campus: units page or email the Campus Recovery Implementation Team at crit@uci.edu.

Additionally, with the understanding that spikes or outbreaks of new COVID-19 infections could occur, all operations will be ready to retreat to conservative phases if safety concerns arise.

Step-by-step process for bringing employees back to campus

The state requires that each unit with employees working on campus for any length of time (even for short occasional visits) must have an approved plan. The Department and Unit Return to Campus Planning document illustrates the two routes for applying to return to campus for work: either as a complete unit, or for some unit staff to occasionally come to campus to work. Units who continued to work on campus during the pandemic must also submit a plan and receive proper approvals before engaging in on-campus work. Units must consult with the Campus Recovery Implementation Team (CRIT) at crit@uci.edu to determine which approval route is appropriate before preparing their plans.

Once your unit/department has determined which of the three routes your unit will take to return: full unit, occasional/partial, or continual (unit remained working on campus during stay-at-home), your unit head must submit a return to campus plan to CRIT. The plan document must include the required risk assessment and physical space assessment. CRIT will evaluate the plan according to local, state and federal guidance.

Each individual who is part of a unit plan to return to campus must complete the online “Return-to-Campus” training module training module, which is available through the UC Learning Center and can be searched by title using the Find a Course function.

Quick links to relevant forms and information:

step by step Process Approval Timeline Return Options

Additionally, all individuals who are included in a plan to return to campus must participate in the daily symptom check in.

Below are a few more items worth noting as you plan for your unit’s safe return to campus:

Sanitation and janitorial

As UCI conducts the phased-in return to campus, the COVID-19 Logistical Support Team is coordinating the inventory and supply process for sanitation items needed by various departments to meet local requirements. Visit this link for information on how cleaning, sanitation and janitorial supplies will be centrally purchased and distributed.

Risk assessment

As part of the State of California Resilience Roadmap, all returning businesses are required to complete a site-specific risk assessment and protection and monitoring plan. This document is to be drafted by the site manager and be specific to individual workspaces. To assist, UCI is releasing guidance from the Office of Research (for research-based workspaces) and Human Resources (for non-research operations).  Non-research operations will receive additional information in coming weeks outlining how to complete the required documents, route them for approval and receive support to complete the paperwork.

Physical space assessment

The Campus Logistical Support Team has released the Physical Space Assessment References Guide and Physical Space Assessment Checklist to provide guidance and a tool for staff to utilize when conducting a physical distancing space assessment related to returning to work. If, upon completion of the checklist, you determine that your area needs plexiglass or other barriers installed and you would like to determine if the barriers are appropriate, or request an evaluation of your workspace, please complete the plexiglass/barrier form and submit to EH&S. If you have any additional questions please contact EH&S at safety@uci.edu.

Once your unit is approved to return to campus, please ensure you review the new protocols required for a safe return.

Additionally, with the understanding that spikes or outbreaks of new COVID-19 infections could occur, all operations will be ready to retreat to conservative phases if safety concerns arise.

If you are a department head and have questions about how to safely return your unit to campus, please email the Campus Recovery Implementation Team at crit@uci.edu.