UCLA will return to in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 31Read more.

Health and safety checklist: What do I need to do?

Our collective adherence to UCLA’s on-campus health and safety protocols has contributed greatly to making our return a success. Here are the key requirements:

  • Complete a daily symptom check
    Fill out the Symptom Monitoring Survey each morning on the web or using the UCLA Mobile app and receive your clearance certificate.
  • Wear a mask
    Upgraded masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus, including offices and other workspaces. Find out where to pick one up on campus.
  • Test for COVID
    All staff are required to test on campus once a week. Get the details on how and where to test and what to do if you test positive.
  • Get a COVID booster
    In addition to getting vaccinated, a booster is an effective strategy for reducing the severity of COVID-19 — and is required by UC’s vaccination policy (PDF) if you’ll be on campus.

Fully remote staff: Employees working fully remotely must update their status one time within the Symptom Monitoring Survey to indicate to indicate they are fully remote as soon as possible.

Faculty returning to campus: Staff who have been working remotely but are now returning to campus on a full-time or hybrid basis must complete the Symptom Monitoring and Vaccination Verification System survey to indicate their new work status. Returning staff will also need to upload proof of their vaccination status or request an exception if they have not yet done so.

For a full list of our health and safety protocols, see our UCLA COVID protocols page. Check this website frequently for updates and visit our Events page for upcoming webinars and town halls.

Employees and work arrangements

Our planning target for departments this September is to have 50–75% of employees working in person, although some units involved in education delivery and support activities might approach 100%. We ask for employees’ patience as we continue to navigate this return to on-campus work.

Decisions about which employees and functions will shift back to campus — and in which order — will be made by each department, as we recognize that each functional area has its unique needs. Department heads, managers and supervisors are encouraged to allow those who can continue to perform their duties effectively from remote locations to do so.

UCLA has created an online Campus Ramp-Up Planning Guide to help departments and units prepare to expand operations and to let faculty and staff know what they can expect. Our FlexWork Guide for Managers (PDF) is designed to assist managers and supervisors in implementing flexible, supportive working arrangements for employees, whether they are working on campus, remotely or in a hybrid fashion.

For the most up-to-date details on work arrangements and guidance, visit our UCLA Return to Campus page.

Remote work furniture allowance

Employees who will be working remotely three days a week or more for at least the next year are eligible to select an office chair and height-adjustable desk for their home workstation. To qualify for the allowance, employees must sign a FlexWork agreement, with their department’s approval. The cost of the furniture will be funded centrally. Read the full message.

UCLA will also provide up to $1,400 in reimbursement to employees who meet this qualification and who purchased chairs and desks that conform to the university’s ergonomic guidelines between March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

Technology purchases, such as computers and monitors, are not included as part of this program. This furniture purchased under this allowance remains the property of UCLA and must be returned upon the employee’s separation from the university.

Parking arrangements

It is conceivable that many returning employees who formerly used public transportation or UCLA’s various transportation services may instead choose to drive to campus. To alleviate any potential pressure on parking capacity, we will be working to design plans that strategically stagger the days various employees working hybrid in-person/remote schedules come to campus.

Guidance for offices and workspaces

Basic health and safety requirements

Symptom monitoring: Before arriving at on-campus offices and workplaces each day, employees are required to complete the Symptom Monitoring Survey. Supervisors and department chairs must check the COVID-19 Clearance Portal daily to make sure that employees who report directly to them have been cleared by the survey to be on campus.

Masks: Employees should wear masks at all time while in the office or workplace, regardless of the physical distance between them. Masks can be removed only when an employee is alone in an individual office with the door closed. (At this time, here is no need for solid or plexiglass dividers between office workstations.) Those employees who might arrive at work without a mask should be offered one.

Eating and drinking Eating and drinking are permitted outdoors and in restaurants, dining facilities or catering venues but are prohibited at indoor meetings and seminars held in departmental spaces. In addition, food and drink should not be consumed in campus workspaces during working hours unless an employee is alone in a cubicle or individual office. Exceptions can be made for hydration or the medically necessary consumption of food or medications as appropriate.

Food is permitted at certain departmental events and gatherings — such as holiday parties and celebrations — with specific mitigation requirements. See “Departmental events: Where food is permitted and prohibited” below for details

Workplace cleanings

Throughout the fall term, UCLA Facilities Management will continue to perform cleanings and disinfection of all high-use common areas, restrooms and public spaces throughout campus — including office common areas and restrooms. Details on these cleanings is available here (PDF).

For the cleaning of individual offices, units and departments can purchase cleaning packages through Facilities Management by submitting a facilities service request (please include “COVID” in the FAU project description).

Facilities Management has also installed hand sanitizer stations throughout campus. Individual units and departments are responsible for purchasing their own sanitizer for use in offices and workspaces

Workplace ventilation

UCLA Facilities Management on campus to make sure they meet industry recommendations for air exchanges and filtration. A website has been created that lists the buildings that do not meet the recommendations and should be reviewed by managers and supervisors.

UCLA Facilities Management has evaluated all building ventilation systems on campus to make sure they meet industry recommendations for COVID-19 air exchanges and filtration. Facilities Management has supplied portable HEPA air purifiers to those offices and workspaces that require them in order to meet industry standards — including most single occupancy offices without dedicated ventilation, multiple occupancy offices, conference rooms, and general assignment and departmental rooms.

Managers and supervisors who may still be unsure whether their spaces meet ventilation requirements can request a building ventilation assessment by Facilities Management to determine whether they need an air purifier or not.

A website has been created that lists the buildings that do not yet meet the recommendations and should be reviewed by managers and supervisors.

Office meetings and remote technology

There is no restriction on the number of employees in office meetings, but because a significant number of them are likely to be on a hybrid work schedule or completely remote, some offices may want to update their conference room audio-visual systems to accommodate those who are off site. UCLA’s IT Services has put together a set of technology recommendations based on room types, sizes and purposes to ease the burden of research and product selection. For more information, please contact IT services at help@it.ucla.edu or 310-267-4357.

Departmental events: Where food is permitted and prohibited

While food and drink is prohibited at indoor departmental meetings and seminars held in departmental spaces, food can be served at certain departmental events and gatherings — such as holiday parties and celebrations — with the following requirements in place, as outlined in the Protocol for Organized Events (PDF).

Please keep in mind that in all cases, outdoor dining is preferred and should be the first option.

  • Attendees must show their Symptom Monitoring Survey Clearance Certificate for that day.
  • Unvaccinated attendees must maintain 6 feet of distance from others when eating or drinking.
  • Event organizers should maintain an attendee list for potential contact tracing.
  • Disinfecting wipes must be available for individual use.
  • Hand hygiene resources must be provided and used by servers and by attendees who are collecting food from the food-service area.
  • Food should not be shared among guests.

If the departmental event or gathering at which food is being served is being held indoors, the following additional mitigation requirements apply:

  • The gathering should be optional, and alternative modes of participation (e.g., Zoom) should be offered if feasible.
  • Occupancy must be limited to 50% to 75% of capacity, with alternate seating between participants.
  • Communal areas should be cleared of any chairs, tables or furniture not being used to reduce congestion.
  • Store-bought and prepackaged meals and grab-and-go food are highly preferable. Self-service and buffet-style setups present a greater risk and are highly discouraged — but they are permitted from university food-service providers or university-contracted providers who are contractually required to comply with the university’s COVID-19 mitigation measures for food service.
  • Once attendees have collected their meals, they should move from the communal area to a separate eating area — unless the room is large enough to provide adequate space.

Alternative options:

Workplace COVID signage

To help the campus community navigate health and safety regulations related to working, teaching and learning, UCLA has installed relevant signage and messaging in most common and public areas.

For your convenience, you can also access signs and flyers for posting in offices and workplaces here:

When posting materials, please make sure to follow UCLA Departmental Regulations for Posting Signage.

Pivoting to hybrid or remote work

Significant changes in the public health landscape could require UCLA to make changes to work arrangements during the fall quarter — including adjusting workplace density or shifting some offices to completely remote work. Our COVID-19 Pivot Plan and Decision Matrix (PDF) describes the criteria that will inform possible changes in our operations.

Dealing with violations of health and safety guidelines

UCLA is focused on developing of a collaborative community of compliance to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Supervisors and department heads should remember to remind employees to complete the daily Symptom Monitoring Survey, to wear masks at all times in the office and to follow other campus protocols. Those employees who might arrive at work without a mask should be offered one.

There may be times when employees, after being reminded, refuse to comply with campus health and safety protocols. If employees demonstrate repeated noncompliance with protocols, a complaint can be made to the employee’s supervisor or unit head. In addition, reports of violations may be made anonymously through UCLA’s whistleblower hotline at 800-403-4744.

A determination will be made whether an employee’s violation was willful or not. Employees with willful violations, repeated violations or violations believed to have resulted in COVID-19 infections will face disciplinary measures up to and including exclusion from campus.

For full details of UCLA’s protocol on compliance and violations, see Compliance With Safety Measures (PDF).

Campus health and safety precautions

In addition to UC’s vaccination requirement, the campus has implemented a number of health and safety protocols designed to keep the Bruin community safe this fall.

For a full list of these protocols, see our UCLA COVID protocols page.

Current precautions and requirements are as follows:

Daily symptom monitoring and clearance portal
Daily symptom checks are required for all instructors teaching or working on campus or at other UCLA properties, regardless of their vaccination status.

Face masks
Mask use, regardless of vaccination status, is required in all indoor spaces on the UCLA campus, including classrooms, libraries and teaching labs.

Campus COVID testing
UCLA requires once-a-week testing for all unvaccinated faculty members and TAs teaching, working or living on campus. Regular testing is not mandatory for vaccinated, asymptomatic faculty, although they are strongly encouraged to test once a week.

Isolation, quarantine and contact tracing
It is likely that some faculty members will test positive for COVID-19 during the fall term. UCLA has isolation, contact tracing and quarantine protocols in place to protect the health of infected individuals and the rest of the campus community.

COVID-19 case dashboard (PDF)
UCLA’s case dashboard keeps those on campus informed if they were present in a UCLA building where someone who tested positive for COVID-19 had been. When UCLA receives notice of a positive case, the dashboard is updated and an email is sent to those who indicated in the Symptom Monitoring Survey that they would be present in the related facility.

Guidance on working remotely

The UCLA IT Support Center’s Connect at Home page has information on using Zoom, Slack, VPNs and other remote technologies. The campus also has a wide-ranging set of tips on how to work effectively from home, as well as ergonomic advice on setting up a home workstation. Additional resources are available below.

  • Hardware, software and accessories are available through the UCLA Computer Store, which offers academic discounts and has an in-depth knowledge of UCLA departments’ technology requirements.

Campus research operations

The research operational plan (ROP) program UCLA launched with the move to Phase 2 of the ramp-up plan (PDF) is no longer required for research and creative activities on campus or in the field.

Principal investigators can now utilize as many researchers — including staff, postdoctoral students, graduate and undergraduate students, high school students, volunteers and visiting scholars — as they deem necessary, as long as they continue to comply with all mandates from the Centers for Disease Control, the Californian Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

Please contact UCLA Environment, Health and Safety’s field research safety area regarding safety protocols for field and community-based research.

Paid leave and COVID-19

In addition to making use of regular accrued leave and other paid leave, employees now have the option of taking emergency paid sick leave.

The University of California is offering employees— including exclusively represented employees — who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 a new allotment of emergency paid sick leave, which is available for use immediately. Full-time employees may take up to 80 hours of emergency leave, and part-time employees may take up to the two-week equivalent, while receiving their regular rate of pay.

An employee may request EPSL by speaking to their supervisor or by submitting a completed emergency leave request form (PDF) to their supervisor. Emergency leave has now been extended through Sept. 30, 2022.  

If an employee took any leave between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 28, 2021, for one or more of the emergency leave–qualifying reasons but was not paid as described above, the employee may submit a retroactive request to use emergency leave.

For more on UC policies in response to COVID-19, visit their coronavirus updates for employees page.

COVID-19 and accrued vacation days

Because of increased workloads and COVID-19–related restrictions, many policy-covered employees have been unable to take time off and have now accrued the maximum allowable vacation leave.

The University of California has approved a second extension of the temporary exception to PPSM-2.210 (Absence from Work), which allows policy-covered staff employees additional time to take vacation leave in order to bring their vacation accrual balances below the maximum. The exception deadline has been extended to June 30, 2022. During the exception period, employees whose balances exceed the maximum will continue to accrue vacation leave.

Under the policy, departments are encouraged to work with employees to bring their balances below the maximum by the exception deadline. Effective July 1, 2022, employees who are over the maximum vacation leave accrual limit will stop accruing additional hours.

For further information, employees should contact Campus Human Resources or their departmental representative. 

Benefits and retirement

The University of California provides updates for UC employees on how their health, welfare and retirement benefits plans may be affected by the pandemic. For more information, contact your UCLA human resources representative

Medical treatment at UCLA Health facilities

In-person visits: UCLA hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica and clinics throughout Southern California are open, including imaging and interventional centers. Precautions against COVID-19 are in place at all locations, including testing, masking, physical distancing and deep cleaning of facilities. Employees who are UCLA Health patients should contact their doctor directly or call 800-825-2631 to schedule an appointment.

Video visits: For ease and convenience, patients can schedule video visits with their doctor. For information on video visits, patients can call their doctor’s office or 800-825-2631. Click here to learn more about video visits.

Prescriptions and medication: All UCLA retail pharmacies are currently operating and can be reached at 310-206-3784.

For more information on appointments and other health-related topics, visit UCLA Health’s website

UCLA Health visitor guidelines: In accordance with the health order from the California Department of Public Health, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all visitors to UCLA Health hospitals. Learn more here.

Where can I turn for counseling?

Employees are encouraged to contact UCLA’s Staff and Faculty Counseling Center, which offers online advice and telehealth sessions for UCLA staff and their families and significant others. The center can be reached at 310-794-0245.

Further resources are available on this site’s Emotional, Social and Physical Well-Being page.

Information for health care workers and other staff on campus

Staff and faculty at UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — working both on campus and remotely — should refer to the following resources for details on work, research, leave and other topics:

For questions related to work, benefits and other resources, UCLA Health employees should visit UCLA Health’s human resources page.

UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have established a COVID-19 Wellness and Mental Health Workgroup to provide emotional support for UCLA Health staff and faculty working on the front lines of the pandemic.

Recommended COVID-19 resources

For journalists

UCLA faculty members are available for interviews with news media on a wide range of topics related to COVID-19, including public health and epidemiology, virology and vaccines, mental health, education, law, politics and the economy.

UCLA COVID-19 experts UCLA COVID-19 news stories

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