COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force
Dear Bruin Community:
It has been reassuring to see the increasing number of fully vaccinated Bruins and the reduction of new and suspected cases of COVID-19 in our local community — a reflection of broader trends throughout our state and nation.
In light of these trends, the state of California made the move to fully reopen as of today. This morning’s revised L.A. County Department of Public Health Health Officer Order (PDF ) lifts many restrictions, however, several safety protocols on the UCLA campus remain in place for the time being. We are reviewing the changing state guidance on health and safety protocols, and are working with county, state and federal health and workplace safety officials to revise our policies accordingly. As a result, we wanted to share some important updates in various areas:
UCLA employees are still required under Cal/OSHA regulations to wear masks indoors at all times in campus buildings, and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be achieved. This guidance will be changing as of June 17 and details are shared later in this message.
UCLA is taking steps to modify the COVID-19 testing protocols for fully vaccinated people in alignment with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and LACDPH. Effective immediately, fully vaccinated members of the UCLA community who are living, learning or working on campus are able to opt out of previously required surveillance testing. Fully vaccinated individuals are defined as those who have received their second or final dose of an FDA/WHO EUL-approved (PDF) COVID-19 vaccine 14 or more days ago.
Fully vaccinated individuals are asked to bring proof of vaccination and their BruinCard IDs to a testing site to be removed from the list of those who are required to test. Your vaccination record will not be stored and personal health information will not be recorded. Please note that once removed from the list, you may continue to voluntarily test, if you choose, even though it will no longer be required. Simply stop by one of the testing sites. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please contact your medical provider prior to coming to a testing site.
Students, faculty and staff who are unvaccinated or who have not provided proof of vaccination and continue to work, learn or live on UCLA property are still required to participate in weekly testing.
Another notable milestone is the suspension of Bruin Bus mobile testing. The last day of the bus was June 11. Beginning Monday, June 21, we will be converting to a new self-administered saliva-based test. This is a test offered by Swab-Seq, a research lab based at UCLA. Testing sites at Collins Court and Switzer Plaza will be open until July 9 to provide assistance to those who need help using these new kits. On July 12, these test kits will be available to active Bruin Card holders via no-charge vending machines at roughly a dozen locations on campus. Please visit the Ashe Center website for locations and further details. An in-person testing option will be available at 300 Bradley Hall beginning July 12 for those needing assistance or accommodation for testing. Additional locations are being identified and will be available on the Ashe website.
Daily symptom monitoring
Daily symptom monitoring is still required by Cal/OSHA for faculty, staff and student workers who are coming to campus and other UCLA properties, regardless of vaccination status. This includes UCLA Health employees.
Workplace protocol changes ahead
On June 17, we expect Governor Newsom to issue an Executive Order to make the following Cal/OSHA ETS revisions (PDF) effective immediately. This new set of proposed changes supersedes prior revisions, and reduces several important prior restrictions.
Notable protocol changes that likely will go into effect at workplaces on June 17:
- Face masks: Fully vaccinated employees will not have to wear face coverings indoors, even if unvaccinated coworkers are among them. Unvaccinated employees do not have to wear face coverings outdoors. Employers must provide and enforce face coverings for employees not fully vaccinated indoors or in vehicles. Employers will be required to provide face coverings to all employees upon request, regardless of vaccination status.
- Physical distancing: Physical distancing will be removed in its entirety, with narrow exceptions for non-fully vaccinated employees and outbreak situations at the worksite.
- Vaccination: The definition of “fully vaccinated” will include persons who received a WHO-approved vaccine outside of the U.S.
- Voluntary use respirators: If a non-fully vaccinated employee requests a respirator for voluntary use, the employer needs to ensure that the employee is provided with a respirator of the correct size.
- Solid partitions/barriers: Will not be required except in the event of a major COVID-19 outbreak, and employees in the exposed group cannot be physically distanced.
We are all starting to get back to the people, places and activities that are important to us, and your continued efforts to support public health and help UCLA prepare for a phased return to campus are deeply appreciated.
It has been a challenging 15 months for all of us, and we thank you for your cooperation with testing, symptom monitoring, mask wearing and other mitigations put in place, and for getting vaccinated. Our community’s decline in cases is a direct result of the efforts by Bruins to make UCLA a safer place to work, learn and live.
Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force
Immediate Past Chair, UCLA Academic Senate
Professor of History
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force