Updated L.A. County public health protocols allow some expanded campus activities

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Dear Bruin Community:

As regional COVID-19 case rates decline and immunization rates continue to increase, our planning for a phased return to campus continues. We are pleased to inform you that recently updated protocols from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) have been adopted by campus leadership. These changes now allow UCLA faculty, students and staff to take part in some additional activities, with a limited number of participants and with COVID-19 health and safety mitigations and protocols in place.

Key new LACDPH protocols

The following is a summary of certain elements of new LACDPH protocols that are relevant to UCLA. Please note that the full protocols linked below must be adhered to and should be consulted.

Private events – LACDPH Protocol Appendix BB (PDF) (see summary table on page 13)

  • Private outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people may be held on campus. This number may increase to 300 people if all guests show a recent negative COVID-19 test result (within 72 hours prior to event if a PCR test has been administered, or 24 hours prior to event if an antigen test has been administered) or are fully vaccinated (at least two weeks have passed since a person has received the second dose in a two-dose series, or at least two weeks have passed since a person has received a single-dose vaccine).
  • Private indoor gatherings may be held only if all guests show a recent negative COVID-19 test result or are fully vaccinated, and no more than 150 people are permitted to attend.
  • If all attendees are fully vaccinated, masks and physical distancing are not required for outdoors events with up to 50 people or indoor events of up to 25 people.
  • Events staff and performers are subject to masking and physical distancing requirements, regardless of vaccination status. Refer to the protocol linked above for details.
  • A section of a gathering of fully vaccinated attendees may be created where masking and distancing are not necessary; areas with non-vaccinated individuals require masks and physical distancing.
  • Pre-registration is required for all private events and must include designated seats or seating areas.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  An event plan must be submitted to UCLA EH&S for review and approval.

Informal social gatherings – LACDPH Protocol Appendix CC (PDF)

  • The LACDPH continues to recommend limiting social gatherings to those within one’s household. However, the department has issued guidance on how social gatherings of non-household members may occur with safety measures in place.
  • Outdoor informal social gatherings are limited to 50 people maximum.
  • Indoor informal social gatherings are limited to 25% capacity or 25 people, whichever is less.
  • Unless all guests are fully vaccinated, face masks are required, except while eating or drinking. Eating and drinking is limited to outdoor areas and only while seated.
  • Unless everyone is fully vaccinated, physical distancing is required.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Informal social gatherings (on and off campus) must adhere to LACDPH Protocol Appendix CC (PDF) but do not require EH&S approval.

Outdoor seated live events and performances – LACDPH Protocol Appendix Z (PDF)

  • Outdoor collegiate sports, performances and musical events are limited to a maximum occupancy of 33% of a venue, or 67% of a venue if guests are fully vaccinated or have tested negative within 72 hours of the event.
  • Attendees must only be from California, unless out-of-state guests are fully vaccinated.
  • Event tickets must be purchased in advance (no same-day tickets). No more than six tickets can be sold in a single block, with the exception of tickets purchased for seats within a section reserved for fully vaccinated attendees, which may be purchased in blocks of more than six seats.
  • Eating and drinking is only allowed in seats or predesignated eating areas, which follow restaurant guidance.
  • Fully vaccinated sections are permitted with no physical distancing.
  • Face masks are required to be worn at all times.
  • Audience members from the same household may be seated together but must be spaced six feet apart from members of other households. If fully vaccinated, groups of individuals from different households may be seated together but must be at least six feet apart from unvaccinated groups.
  • Performers may be unmasked if they are six feet or more away from others (12 feet if singing or playing wind instrument), or if all performers and workers they come in closer contact with are routinely tested at least twice per week.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  An event plan must be submitted to UCLA EH&S for review and approval and if more than 250 people will be in attendance the plan must also be submitted to LACDPH.

Indoor seated live events and performances – LACDPH Protocol Appendix Z-1 (PDF)

  • Collegiate sports, performance and musical event venues that seat up to 1,500 persons are allowed at 15% maximum occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer. A maximum occupancy of 35% is allowed if all guests are fully vaccinated or have tested negative within 72 hours of the event.
  • Venues that seat more than 1,500 attendees are allowed at 10% maximum occupancy or 2,000 people, whichever is fewer. A maximum occupancy of 35% is permitted if all guests are fully vaccinated or have tested negatively for COVID-19.
  • If only fully vaccinated individuals are admitted, maximum occupancy can increase to 50%.
  • Attendees must be from California, unless out-of-state guests are fully vaccinated.
  • Event tickets must be purchased in advance (no same-day tickets). No more than six tickets will be sold in a single block, with the exception of tickets purchased for seats within a section reserved for fully vaccinated attendees, which may be purchased in blocks of more than six seats.
  • Eating and drinking is permitted only in designated areas that follow restaurant protocol.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  An event plan must be submitted to UCLA EH&S for review and approval and if more than 100 people will be in attendance the plan must also be submitted to LACDPH.

Proof of vaccination for COVID-19

Relative to entry to the above events, proof of “full vaccination” requires a government-issued photo identification AND one of the following: a vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccine card. The event location manager or ticket taker at the entrance should request proof of full vaccination be shown prior to entry. However, such records should not be collected or stored and no further inquiries are permitted about vaccination status or lack thereof.

Revisions to UCLA learning and research activities

Undergraduate internships and community-engaged learning

Students involved in internships may transition to on-site work if all of the following three conditions are met:

  1. The site is interested in shifting from remote to on-site work for the UCLA intern, the intern is able to access the site and interested in switching to on-site work.
  2. The site is operating within the current LACDPH industry protocols — or the appropriate local public health authority if the internship site is not in Los Angeles County.
  3. The site has the capacity to bring the UCLA intern on site and still operate within public health protocols.

Research

To ease bottlenecks to research productivity, principal investigators may now request an amendment to their Research Operations Plan (ROP) to reduce physical distancing standards for time-limited close-contact research activities that cannot be performed with all participants maintaining six feet of distance. Examples include, but are not restricted to animal surgeries, training in scientific techniques, work in adjacent tissue culture or fume hoods and certain arts practices.

Requests must include the following:

  • A plan describing the number of individuals involved in the activities (in most cases it should be no more than four individuals).
  • Vaccination status and/or increased COVID testing protocol and PPE requirements that will be implemented.
  • Duration of the close contact.
  • Level of exertion.
  • Use of other appropriate safety measures, such as face masks, eye protection, ventilation, sanitation.

Proposals will not be considered if the space will be used simultaneously by another research group. Proposals must be submitted to the principal investigator’s departmental chair and dean for approval, and ultimately to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for final approval.

Please note that physical distancing exceptions will not be permitted for academic instructional activities, as LACDPH Protocol for Institutes of Higher Education (PDF) currently requires at least six feet of physical distancing be maintained at all times for such activities.

Los Angeles County is preparing for to shift to the yellow tier, the most lenient in the state’s reopening system. This is an exciting development for all of us, but this does not mean that things are yet “back to normal.” We must continue to follow health and safety protocols as recommended by the LACDPH, including getting vaccinated. The University of California recently announced a draft policy that will require UCLA community members to be vaccinated before returning to campus. This requirement would take effect once a vaccine has full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and would allow for religious and medical exemptions.

Visit UCLA’s Return to Campus website for the latest information and our current plans for 2021.

Thank you for your continued attention to these matters and for doing your part to keep yourselves and our communities healthy.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, Response and Recovery Task Force

Michael Meranze
Immediate Past Chair, UCLA Academic Senate
Professor of History
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

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