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Spring Semester Update

Body: 
Re: Spring Semester Update
To: All campus
January 7, 2022
 
We write today to give you an overview of plans for spring semester. Next week, we will provide more details and host some open forums for you to ask questions. Please watch for further emails and check our Campus Ready site for up-to-date information.
 
Instruction begins Jan. 18. Based on the experiences of universities that began instruction this week, we are extending our period of remote instruction through Jan. 28. In-person instruction will begin Monday, Jan. 31.
 
Please be aware that some university functions may be affected by staff illness during the omicron surge. We will work to keep essential functions operating at the highest possible level.
 
Faculty: The provost will issue guidance over the next few days on regulations, recommendations and best practices for instruction (click here to see the guidance sent out on January 8, 2022). Research activities will continue, subject to standard safety protocols.
 
Staff: Staff will continue their current work modality consistent with the mandate to maintain our mission. The university will issue updated guidance over the next few days to supervisors. Critical services such as, but not limited to, dining, facilities, public safety, student health, and research support must be performed in-person.
 
Staff members who are ill can apply for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), which has been extended through June 2022. Click here for EPSL forms (under "Leaves") and more information.
 
Staff members who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, you have the option to continue working remotely (if your position supports remote work) or to apply for EPSL.
 
Students: Move-in begins Jan. 14 for those students who have already made arrangements that cannot be changed. Students will be invited to move in through Jan. 30 and should look for communication next week regarding the process to reserve their move-in time.
 
Everyone:
 
Get your booster shot as soon as you are eligible. To be considered fully vaccinated under the University of California COVID vaccination policy , COVID-19 booster shots are required for faculty, staff and students as soon as they are eligible — generally, six months from the last vaccination. Click here to find a booster clinic near you.
 
Everyone not yet eligible for boosters will be subject to testing on campus on a schedule to be shared next week. Continue to check Campus Ready for updates.
 
Wear a face covering indoors. The California Department of Public Health is recommending surgical-grade masks (for example, N95s, KN95s, KF94s) but any face covering is better than none. We will distribute surgical-style masks from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at COB, Granite Pass, Fresno Center and Downtown Campus Center.
 
Stay at home if you are not feeling well, regardless of test results and regardless whether you believe it to be COVID or another illness. Exercise good judgment about your own health and that of your colleagues and peers.
 
Employees, including postdocs and graduate students, may access their offices and workplaces, consistent with campus safety protocols, during the remote instruction period.
 
No events or gatherings (except for instructional settings) that include more than 50 attendees will be held. We anticipate this change lasting for the first few weeks of the semester; the actual duration will depend on the course of the pandemic.
 
Campus dining will be open for “grab and go” options, with limited seating at the Pavilion.
 
Campus recreation facilities will be open limited hours — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Regular hours will return starting on the first day of in-person instruction.
 
The Early Childhood Education Center will remain open on the same basis as during fall semester.
 
Shuttles will continue to operate on the same schedule as during fall semester.
 
Kolligian library will remain open, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 14 and then regular hours for spring semester. It will remain closed on Saturdays due to staffing limitations.
 
If you prefer to receive future messages on your phone via the UCMAlert text system, please ensure you are registered with that system:
• Log into idm.ucmerced.edu
• Select “UC Merced Alert”
• Select your campus affiliation
• Enter your contact information
• Remember to Save before logging out.
The system’s contact list updates every night.
 
Sincerely,
 
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, PhD
Chancellor
 
Gregg Camfield, PhD,
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
 
LeRoy Westerling, PhD
Academic Senate Chair
 
Alvin Cha
Staff Assembly President